Perspectives: How Did the Cold War Really End?

Wed 15 July 2020

Perspectives: How Did the Cold War Really End?

It is with great regret that for the first time in forty years we must cancel the Buxton International Festival in July 2020. This is an enormous disappointment but the health and well-being of our audience, our volunteers, the BIF team and all the artists involved is of primary concern. By taking this difficult decision now we are safeguarding the Festival for the Future. Read our full statement here.

Please save the dates for next year’s Festival taking place 2 – 18 July 2021.


In his new book, The Human Factor: Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War, eminent political scientist and historian Archie Brown questions the popular view that Western military and economic strength ‘won’ the Cold War. In an interpretation which accords a central place to political leadership, he makes a major contribution to our understanding of why and how the Cold War ended in the second half of the 1980s – and of the distinctive parts played in that process by Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Professor Archie Brown CMG FBA, Emeritus Professor of Politics, University of Oxford

Chair: Gerry Northam retired BBC broadcaster and producer