Book Launch Event with Simon Miles: Engaging the Evil Empire, Washington, Moscow, and the Beginning of the End of the Cold War

October 15, 2020 - 5:00 pm
Simon Miles
simon book cover

Join Professor William Inboden (Executive Director and William Powers, Jr. Chair at the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for National Security at the University of Texas-Austin) for a conversation with Professor Simon Miles, author of Engaging the Evil Empire: Washington, Moscow and the Beginning of the End of the Cold War (Cornell University Press).

In a narrative-redefining approach, Engaging the Evil Empire dramatically alters how we look at the beginning of the end of the Cold War. It explores the root causes of cooperation between two adversarial states, the United States and the Soviet Union, in order to situate the peaceful conclusion of the Cold War in a broader, international context. Between 1980 and 1985, US-Soviet relations improved so rapidly and so profoundly that scholars regularly use the case as an example of longstanding rivals setting aside prior disagreements and beginning to cooperate. Engaging the Evil Empire uses recently declassified archival materials from both sides of the Iron Curtain to show how shifts in the perceived distribution of power catalyzed changes in the strategies which US leaders used to engage the Soviet Union and vice versa. 

Simon Miles is Assistant Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. He is a diplomatic and international historian of the Cold War.

The book launch event is organized by DUCIGS/Rethinking Diplomacy Program, and is supported by the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy and Duke Sanford School of Public Policy. This event is open to the public, but registration is required. 


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  • Duke University Center for International and Global Studies
  • Center for Slavic Eurasian and East European Studies
  • Observatory on Europe
  • Rethinking Diplomacy