Shadow Cold War

The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World

By Jeremy Friedman

304 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-4552-0
    Published: August 2018
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2376-4
    Published: September 2015
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-2377-1
    Published: October 2015
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4726-3
    Published: October 2015

New Cold War History

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Awards & distinctions

Chosen by Niall Ferguson as one of Bloomberg Business's Best Books of 2015

The conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War has long been understood in a global context, but Jeremy Friedman’s Shadow Cold War delves deeper into the era to examine the competition between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China for the leadership of the world revolution. When a world of newly independent states emerged from decolonization desperately poor and politically disorganized, Moscow and Beijing turned their focus to attracting these new entities, setting the stage for Sino-Soviet competition.

Based on archival research from ten countries, including new materials from Russia and China, many no longer accessible to researchers, this book examines how China sought to mobilize Asia, Africa, and Latin America to seize the revolutionary mantle from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union adapted to win it back, transforming the nature of socialist revolution in the process. This groundbreaking book is the first to explore the significance of this second Cold War that China and the Soviet Union fought in the shadow of the capitalist-communist clash.

About the Author

Jeremy Friedman is assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.
For more information about Jeremy Friedman, visit the Author Page.


"A landmark study. . . . Establishes Friedman as a first-rate exponent of the 'new cold war history.' Globally minded, enviably multilingual, painstakingly archival, his book poses and answers ambitious questions that educate us about our past and make sense of our present." --The Guardian

"A formidable work of historical scholarship which sheds dazzling new light on the global rivalry between the Chinese and the Russians. . . on top of the erudition, Friedman is a punchy writer."--Bloomberg Business

“If you want to learn how much of the Third World got screwed up during the 1960s and 1970s, read this book. . . . A compelling story.”--The Russian Review

“A very thoughtful and rich chronicle of the 'behind-the-scenes' Sino-Soviet relationship of the 1950s that asks the questions we need to ask, and illuminates the importance of the developing world in the history of the Cold War. This is a very welcome addition to the existing literature.”--The China Quarterly

"Presents and proves novel arguments on an important subject frequently alluded to but rarely dealt with in depth by previous scholars."--Passport

“A very important, well-written, and well-researched book that anybody interested in the Sino-Soviet conflict of the 1960s and 1970s must read.”--American Historical Review

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