Stacks Image 474
The communists and capitalists united in World War II to crush the Fascists. But in 1945, with Hitler’s Germany defeated, the allies became adversaries. The world’s two great superpowers locked in a dramatic showdown over ideology, vision and freedom that would persist for five decades. Under the omnipresent threat of nuclear holocaust, the Cold War became the defining conflict of the twentieth century.

Chapter Detail

Stacks Image 348
Chapter 1—From World War to Cold War (11:41)
Traces the historical relationship between the U.S. and Soviet Union, from the Bolshevik Revolution through the Grand Alliance of WW II and the dawn of the Cold War.
Stacks Image 367
Chapter 2—Containment (13:12)
The U.S. adopted the strategy of containment in order to limit Soviet expansion. Early in the Cold War this was put into practice through the Marshall Plan and Berlin Airlift.
Stacks Image 383
Chapter 3—Red Star Rising (12:32)
In 1950 a new front opened in the Cold War as communist North Korea invaded South Korea, drawing the U.S. into brutal, protracted conflict.
Stacks Image 388
Chapter 4—Reds Under the Bed (13:57)
The Cold War confrontation inspired an era of widespread investigations into alleged communist infiltration which threatened American civil liberties.
Stacks Image 413
Chapter 5—Confrontation or Coexistence (14:17)
The death of Josef Stalin in 1953 ushered-in a new era in the Soviet Union and created an opportunity for the Cold War rivals to find common ground.
Stacks Image 418
Chapter 6—Cracks in the Curtain (09:50)
In 1953 and 1956 Soviet Union's iron grip on Eastern Europe was challenged by popular uprisings in East Germany, Poland and Hungary.
Stacks Image 423
Chapter 7—Third World Wars (09:36)
The Cold War didn't erupt into "total war," but many proxy wars and skirmishes were fought, most notably in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Stacks Image 428
Chapter 8—Kennedy and Crises (17:29)
During his brief presidency, John F. Kennedy faced historic Cold War challenges—the Bay of Pigs invasion, the stand-off over West Berlin and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Stacks Image 439
Chapter 9—Detente (09:49)
The conferences in Yalta and Potsdam laid-out a plan for the post-war world, but deep divisions between the Western democracies and the Soviet Union led to the onset of the Cold War.
Stacks Image 444
Chapter 10—Evil Empire (14:32)
President Ronald Reagan rejected the idea of détente idea and promised the American people he would roll-back communism and "win" the Cold War.
Stacks Image 449
Chapter 11—The Wall (05:49)
Beginning in 1989, the Soviet empire collapsed with astounding speed, as the countries of Eastern Europe rose-up against communist domination.


The Cold War DVD can be purchased in our online store. The program may also be viewed at our companion website,, where it is available for Pay-Per-View screening and as part of our tiered Subscription Streaming packages.


Access to curriculum material is password protected. Please login now.

Not registered yet? Sign-up. It's absolutely free.

Teacher Resource Center

Teacher ResourcesSIGN-IN to access teacher's guide, transcript, curriculum activities, assessments, bonus video clips and other resources.
Teacher Resources ➦


VocabularyBackground information and media clips to learn more about the concepts, places and events of The Cold War
View Vocabulary➦


Biography In words and images, meet the fascinating, complex and flawed cast of characters of The Cold War
View Bios ➦