How and why did the Cold War begin? How and why did it end? What will its end mean for international relations? Opening his new book with the drama of people struggling to survive in rubble-strewn countries after the Second World War, Thomas G. Paterson follows the long Cold War crisis though to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. He examines features of the international system that guaranteed conflict: the great-power quest for order by building spheres of influence; the power, ideology, and strategic-economic needs of the United States and the Soviet Union that compelled activist, global foreign policies; and the personalities of key figures, from Truman to Bush, Stalin to Gorbachev and Yeltsin. In his exploration of the end of the Cold War, the author concludes that the two superpowers sought detente because they had been weakened by the economic costs of the Cold War, challenges from allies, and the diffusion of power in the international system after the rise of the Third World. As historical story and analysis, On Every Front provides a telling account of an era - of the making and unmaking of the Cold War.