Introduction
The Cold War as an imaginary war
in Understanding the imaginary war
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This chapter interprets the Cold War as an imaginary war, imaginary in the sense that formats that are usually described as fictitious – from dreams and nightmares, films and novels to forecasts and scenarios – had an important bearing on the reality of the Cold War as a nuclear confrontation. The chapter argues that representations of the nuclear threat have to be situated in discourses about national and international security and about the role of nuclear deterrence in the postwar world.

Understanding the imaginary war

Culture, thought and nuclear conflict, 1945–90

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