The Origins of the Cold War in Three Documents

The debate over the origins of the Cold War has been a heated one for the last seventy-plus years. Important government files in the United States, Great Britain, the former Soviet Union, and other participants have been declassified and made available to historians. New motivations have been discovered and new interpretations advanced. We will examine these new perspectives, focusing on three key documents from 1946: Stalin's “Election Speech” of February 9, Kennan's “Long Telegram” of February 22, and Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5.