In which John Green teaches you about the Cold War, which was occasionally hot, but on average, it was just cool. In the sense of its temperature. It was by no means cool, man.
After World War II, there were basically two big geopolitical powers left to divide up the world.
And divide they did.
The United States and the Soviet Union divvied up Europe in the aftermath of the war, and then proceeded to spend the next 45 years fighting over the rest of the world. It was the great ideological struggle, with the US on the side of capitalism and profit, and the USSR pushing Communism, so-called.
While both sides presented themselves as the good guy in this situation, the reality is that there are no good guys. Both parties to the Cold War engaged in forcible regime changes, built up vast nuclear arsenals, and basically got up to dirty tricks.
If you had to pick a bad guy though, I would point out that the USSR had no intention of bringing Laika the Cosmonaut Dog home alive. That poor dog never had a shot.
Note from Among the Fray: To begin April, we will be finishing Crash Course’s World History series. An episode – in chronological order of course – will be posted with the morning news everyday. Enjoy!