The Cold War and the World

Following World War II, geopolitical dominance was split between the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union (and its allies)

Some early exchanges–including one between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin–are below.


Winston Churchill on “The Iron Curtain” (1946)
Stalin’s response to Churchill (1946)
US President John F. Kennedy: The Lessons of Cuba (1961)

Questions to consider:

  1. Chruchill’s speech was given in the United States. What is his message for his audience? What dangers face humanity, and what should be done about them?
  2. What are Stalin’s specific criticisms of Churchill and his Iron Curtain speech? How does Staling use World War II to help illustrate his argument?
  3. According to Kennedy, what were the “lessons” of Cuba for the United States?
  4. From your textbook reading or classroom work, discuss in what ways the United States would apply these “lessons” with regard to Cuba.