The War in the Shadows

War in the ‘shadows’ captures how the Cold War was often fought clandestinely, through proxies or waged inside the realm of culture. The prototypical soldier in the Cold War was not the infantryman of conflicts past, but the spy. From 1945-1991, ‘spooks’ worked not just for the official security services, but for international agencies and multinational corporations. Their impact in driving historical events was most evident in their spectacular failures when their ‘black ops’ misfired, bringing the conspiracy into the light. The assassination of the Diem brothers, the leaking of the blue prints for the Manhattan project or the floundering of Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs, however, belies the fact that not only did many covert missions achieve their desired strategic objective, but also their prime directive of remaining safely under the radar. The covert nature of the Cold War represents an underappreciated historiographical problem. Historians reconstruct the past through primary sources. What do you when the critical events that drove the collapse of a Third World regime or the death of a foreign leader remain shrouded behind a veil of secrecy?

Hugo Humberto Plácido da Silva

Autumn Shadows


HIS3315 Collective Research Project