This study explores the fundamental questions facing students: who was responsible for the Cold War? Was it inevitable or could the whole episode have been avoided? Was Stalin genuinely interested in a postwar agreement? Was a great opportunity lost by the world powers, one which could have brought immense benefits to both sides as well as to the rest of the world...? Since publication of the First Edition in 1983 the world has changed out of all recognition -- the Cold War has ended, communism has collapsed and 1991 saw the final demise of the Soviet Union. It is in the light of these recent events, and the latest historiography, that Martin McCauley has revised, and greatly expanded, his original text.