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  • Book Club - The Twilight Struggle: What the Cold War Teaches us about Great-Power Rivalry by Hal Brands

Book Club - The Twilight Struggle: What the Cold War Teaches us about Great-Power Rivalry by Hal Brands

  • 14 Mar 2024
  • 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Island Recreation Center, 20 Wilborn Rd., Hilton Head Island
  • 9


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America is entering an era of long-term great power competition with China and Russia that pits democracy against autocracy. Author Hal Brands, a leading historian and former Pentagon adviser, says we can expect a series of long and grinding contests most of which will be “twilight struggles” — hence the book’s title — because they happen “between the sunshine of peace and the darkness of war.” Brands argues that America should look to the history of the Cold War for lessons on how to succeed in the great-power rivalry of today, and provides an insightful historical analysis of the nearly 50-year Cold War between the US and Soviet Union, from the end of WWII to the collapse of the USSR.

In this authoritative and influential book, The Twilight Struggle provides a guide to America’s successes and failures in the Cold War and their modern day relevance in understanding global power dynamics. With crisp prose and sharp analysis, Brand presents 12 lessons to be heeded today that include avoiding escalation, balancing strength with diplomacy, and understanding adversaries’ motivations.

Named one of best books of 2022 by the Council on Foreign Relations and selected as finalist for the 2022 Lionel Gelber Prize for the world’s best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs.


Hal Brands is the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and an eminent historian who has written several acclaimed and award-winning books on US foreign relations. Hal previously served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Strategic Planning and as lead writer for the Commission on the National Defense Strategy for the United States.

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