FOR ALL AGES

90+ Important Cold War Quotes To Brush Up On Your History

Cold War quotes help us reflect on how this period affected history.

After the Second World War, between 1947 and 1999, a period of political tension ensued between two superpowers (the United States and the Soviet Union), known as the Cold War.

The tensions were a result of differences in political philosophies and arising conflicts between the two superpowers that were both aiming to expand their global influence. Though neither of the nations engaged in an all-out war, both were responsible for fueling propaganda and supporting proxy wars against each other.

Post World War II, the Cold War arose between the United States and the Soviet Union, with both countries struggling for global dominance. Several influential figures and political leaders of the time came forward and spoke about the Cold War and its consequences. Today, many of their words are quoted in remembrance of this pivotal time and the effect it had on the entire world.

Many historians agree that the Cold War was a fight to the top between two economic systems, of the United States-backed capitalism and the wave of communism that swept the Soviet Union. Several events of historical importance took place during the length of this period, making it an important period of history to study.  A well-planned list of Cold War quotes can easily help someone remember all the happenings and major incidents related to this period.

Some Cold War quotes focus on its events, others delve into how it shaped the foreign policy of the United States and the Soviet Union. You may quote the words used by political leaders of that time like Winston Churchill and Harry S Truman for academic purposes or simply use these quotes in discussions about the Cold War. We also have quotes on foreign policy, and interesting Joseph Stalin quotes in this article.

Our list of Cold War quotes is sure to grow your knowledge of history and the Cold War. The quotes have been made by famous personalities and political figures in their speeches and interviews. If you find Cold War quotes to be a compelling topic, we are sure you would also enjoy these [Reagan quotes] and [Harry Truman quotes].

Quotes On The Cold War's Beginnings

The Cold War began shortly after the Second World War and unfolded in several stages over multiple decades. The term "Cold War" was used to describe the conflict as it was a long conflict in which neither side officially declared war on the other. Cold War quotes about the originating stages of this period offer an outline of how it was first experienced throughout the world and views of the two opposing sides. You can choose a favorite of all the quotes from the Cold War below.

1. "After the Moscow Conference last December, Russia began to make a 'Cold War' on Britain and the British Empire."

-George Orwell, 'The Observer', 10 March 1946.

2. "Let us not be deceived: we are today in the midst of a Cold War."

-Bernard Baruch, April 1947.

3. "We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity... the social structure that would probably prevail in a state which was at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of 'Cold War' with its neighbors."

-George Orwell, October 1945.

4. "As long as Stalin was running the Soviet Union, a Cold War was unavoidable."

-John Lewis Gaddis, 1988.

5. "The Cold War began with the division of Europe. It can only end when Europe is whole."

-George H. W. Bush.

6. "These are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die."

-Lyndon B. Johnson, 'Daisy', 7 September 1964.

7. "If the estimate of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs is correct, then Russia has lost the Cold War in Western Europe."

-Walter Lippmann, 18 December 1947, 'The Miami Herald', p. 6A.

8. "Although the shooting war is over, we are in the midst of a Cold War which is getting warmer."

-Bernard Baruch, 16 April 1947, speech to the South Carolina Legislature.

9. "During the Cold War, West Berlin was an exclave."

-Craig Ferguson.

10. "In 1945, at the beginning of the Cold War, our leaders led us astray."

- Kai Bird.

11. The main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.”

-“X” (George Kennan), 1 July 1947.

Famous Cold War Quotes By American Presidents And Other Leaders

Cold War quotes made by popular global leaders often aimed to acquaint the masses with the downsides of war. These Cold War quotes also play an instrumental role in providing a clear perspective on the thoughts and ideologies of the two sides. These important history quotes help us capture the essence of global tension and turmoil. Which are the most interesting Cold War quotes from the ones given below?

Cold War quotes are taught to history students around the world.

12. "We have to get tough with the Russians. They don't know how to behave."

-Harry S. Truman.

13."A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war."

-John F. Kennedy, August 1961.

14."Here's my strategy on the Cold War: we win, they lose."

-Ronald Reagan.

15."I can deal with Stalin. He is honest, but smart as hell."

-Harry S. Truman.

16."They [The Soviet Union] are the focus of evil in the modern world."

-Ronald Reagan.

17."The communists have lost the Cold War, but the West has not yet won it."

-Richard M. Nixon.

18."The West will not contain communism- it will transcend communism. We will not bother to renounce it, we'll dismiss it as a bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written."

-Ronald Reagan, 1981.

19."The Cold War isn't thawing- it is burning with a deadly heat. Communism isn't sleeping; it is, as always, plotting, scheming, working, fighting."

-Richard M. Nixon.

20."By the Grace of God, we won the Cold War."

-George H. W. Bush.

21."I'm tired of babying the Soviets."

-Harry S. Truman.

22.“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.”

-Winston Churchill, 5 March 1947, 'The Sinews Of Peace' address at Westminster College.

23."If not us, who? And if not now, when?"

-Ronald Reagan.

24."I suppose that history will remember my term in office as the years when the Cold War began to overshadow our lives."

-Harry S. Truman.

25."Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the US was too strong."

Ronald Reagan.

26."The Cold War has been over for a long time. I'm not interested in having battles that, frankly, started before I was born."

-Barack Obama.

27."The United States should not under any circumstance throw away our gun until we are sure the rest of the world cannot arm against us."

-Harry S. Truman.

28."Let them come to Berlin!"

-John F. Kennedy.

29."The only answer to a regime that wages total Cold War is to wage total peace."

-Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Memorable Cold War Quotes

Remembering all Cold War quotes might be a difficult task. To make things easier, here are some memorable Cold War quotes that are important and easy to remember.

30."Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you."

-Nikita Khrushchev, November 1956.

31."The Soviet people are better off materially and richer spiritually."

-Leonid Brezhnev, 1976.

32."Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot."

-Margaret Thatcher.

33."And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades."

-Robert M. Gates.

34."I like Mr Gorbachev, we can do business together."

-Margaret Thatcher.

35."If the Soviet Union let another political party come into existence, they would still be a one-party state, because everybody would join the other party."

-Ronald Reagan.

36. "This war is not an ordinary war."

-Joseph Stalin.

37. "During the Cold War, we gathered information by listening to the Soviets, taking pictures of the Soviets, and we allowed our human intelligence to decline."

-Bob Graham.

38. "It is extremely important that mass media, having freed from the relics of the Cold War, served for peace and dialogue between nations and religions."

-Nursultan Nazarbayev.

39. "When the Cold War ended, I thought, as no doubt did many others, that the age of ideology was over."

-Anthony Daniels.

40."With his trademark courage and conviction, President Reagan led us out of the Cold War."

-John Doolittle.

41."For some twenty years, the window that opened at the end of the Cold War has been allowed to hang flapping in the wind."

-Hans Blix.

42. "JFK was leading the world, leading the United States into a new position with the Soviet Union. He was calling for the end of the Cold War."

-Oliver Stone.

43. "It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history."

-Ronald Reagan.

44. "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford administration."

-Gerald R. Ford.

45. "[Vladimir] Lenin said that religious faith and communism were incompatible."

-Paul Kengor.

Cold War Quotes on Communism, The Berlin Wall And The End Of The Cold War

Quotes about the Cold War are important when learning about the period in time.

The Berlin Wall was a symbol of the two opposing sides during the Cold War, its purpose was to divide the city. With these Cold War quotes about history, we learn how the Cold War impacted political ideologies. You're sure to enjoy these Cold War quotes given below.

46."Their victory came about because, for 40 long, cold years, the West stood firm against the military threat from the East. Free enterprise overwhelmed socialism.”

-Margaret Thatcher, October 1990.

47."Without perestroika, the Cold War simply would not have ended. But the world could not continue developing as it had, with the stark menace of nuclear war ever present."

-Mikhail Gorbachev.

48."Socialism would gather all power to the supreme party and party leaders, rising like stately pinnacles above their vast bureaucracies of civil servants no longer servants, no longer civil."

-Winston Churchill.

49."Communism is broken, utterly broken."

-Margaret Thatcher.

50."The Cold War has ended for America."

-Joe Garcia.

51."The Berlin Wall wasn't the only barrier to fall after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Traditional barriers to the flow of money, trade, people and ideas also fell."

-Fareed Zakaria.

52."The Cold War may be 'over' for the West. For the Soviets, it has entered a new, active and promising phase."

-Anatoliy Golitsyn.

53.“The threat of a world war is no more.”

-Mikhail Gorbachev, December 1991.

54."For more than 40 years that Iron Curtain remained in place. Few of us expected to see it lifted in our lifetime. Yet with great suddenness, the impossible has happened."

-Margaret Thatcher, August 1990.

55."The question which had bothered me most was - had Germany enough vital strength left in her? The Berliners gave me the answer... The worst possible circumstances seemed to bring out the best [in them]."

-Willy Brandt, 1960.

56."The Soviet people want full-blooded and unconditional democracy."

-Mikhail Gorbachev, 1988.

57."The [Berlin] wall will be standing in 50, even in 100 years."

-Erich Honecker, January 1989.

58."We no longer have to view the world through a prism of East-West relations. The Cold War is over."

-Margaret Thatcher.

59."Mr Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

-Ronald Reagan, June 1987.

60."For many years, right up until the fall of the Berlin Wall, I had vivid nightmares of nuclear apocalypse."

-Justin Cronin.

61."All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin."

-John F. Kennedy.

Cold War Aftermath Quotes

After the Cold War came to an end, several writers, thinkers, and historians evaluated the consequences of this event. Cold War quotes come in handy to remember the important dates and events revolving around this time. Read on to find some interesting Cold War quotes of the time and Cold War quotes about relations thawing between the superpowers.

62."The Cold War was really the great struggle of the 20th century and it shaped American political life from top to bottom."

-Jeff Sharlet.

63."Germany is an economic giant but a political midget, and with the end of the Cold War she has started to muscle her presence throughout Europe and the world."

-Christo.

64."NATO is still the most remarkable alliance in history. It stuck through 40 years of Cold War, and it then joined together to fight in Afghanistan."

-Paul Wolfowitz.

65."The Cold War is over but the Cold War thinking survives."

-Joseph Rotblat.

66."Since the end of the Cold War, hegemonism has become increasingly unpopular."

-Li Peng.

67."We're no longer in the Cold War. Eavesdropping on friends is unacceptable."

-Vladimir Putin.

68. "After America won the Cold War, some believed we had come to the 'end of history' and budget-cutter celebrated the so-called 'peace dividend'."

-Frank Gaffney.

69."The lesson of the Cold War is that against nuclear weapons, only nuclear weapons can hold the peace."

-Chung Mong-Joon.

70."The Cold War was wildly expensive and consumed the entire globe."

-David Remnick.

71."The Cold War was over long before it was officially declared dead."

-John le Carré.

72."World War II, the atomic bomb, the Cold War, made it hard for Americans to continue their optimism."

-Stephen Ambrose.

73. "We need to think of the Cold War as an aberration, a wrong turn."

-Kai Bird.

74. "America won the Cold War by protecting our strategic resources from the threat of foreign control."

-Jo-Ann Emerson.

75. "The softest, sweetest part of the Cold War, the only truly interesting part, the war of ideas."

-Ian McEwan.

76. "During the Cold War, we lived in coded times when it wasn't easy and there were shades of grey and ambiguity."

-John le Carré.

77. "World War III, was the Cold War, and the US won it."

-Norman Podhoretz.

78. "During the Cold War between the democratic West and the Soviet Union, there were, of course, many in the West who said, 'Better dead than red'."

-Dennis Prager.

79. "In the euphoria after the Cold War, there was a misplaced notion that the UN could solve every problem anywhere."

-Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

80. "We had ten years after the Cold War to build a new world order, and yet we squandered them."

-Mikhail Gorbachev.

Cold War Quotes To Remember

The Cold War will forever be an important part of world history, and will be remembered through a number of Cold War quotes.

81. "I grew up during the Cold War, when everything seemed tenuous."

-Justin Cronin.

82. "The Cold War was an aberration."

-Bill Vaughan.

83. "The Cold War is over. The world has become much more complicated."

-Vladimir Putin.

84. "I think the Cold War was an exceptional and unnecessary piece of cruelty."

-Jane Smiley.

85. "Now we are in a situation where that which belongs together will grow back together."

-Willy Brandt, 10 November 1989.

86. "The Cold War was dangerous and complex."

-Nicholas Guyatt.

87. "The Cold War was the brave and essential response of free men to communist aggression."

-Arthur Schlesinger Jnr.

88. "You have just put the last nails into the coffin of communism."

-Lech Walesa.

89. "The Cold War provided justification for a larger peacetime military, since we were never really at peace, or so the argument went."

-Phil Klay.

90. "The Cold War had gotten so bad that there wasn't a story anymore."

-Arthur Massolo.

91. "He saw communism, and he wanted to put an end to it."

-Lech Walesa.

92. "The only thing that kept the Cold War cold was the mutual deterrence afforded by nuclear weapons."

-Chung Mong-Joon.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 100 important Cold War quotes to brush up on your history, then why not take a look at these [anti war quotes] or [Civil War quotes] too?

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