chapter  1
5 Pages

Setting the Stage: The Cold War

ByVáclav Havel, Jan K. Coetzee, Lynda Gilfillan, Otakar Hulec

The life histories recorded in this book take place against the broad background of the Cold War. Each story recorded here is linked in some way to this larger global period, despite the individual events of each having occurred in two very different geographical locations of the world: central Europe and southern Africa. The Second World War had just ended in 1945, when a new struggle began on the world stage. In the ensuing decades, generations in different parts of the world would grow up under the threatening skies of possible global war. The era of the Cold War was characterized by the ongoing opposition of the two superpowers—the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).