Did the Cold War end in 1989 or 1991?
There seem to be differing views on this and I'd value yours!
I'll give you the view of Mikhail Gorbachev, who became Soviet President in March 1985, interviewed by Katrina vanden Heuval and Stephen F Cohen of The Nation Magazine in November 2008, Faye!
MG:Let historians think what they want. But without what I have described, nothing would have resulted.
When you consider that after Reagan and Gorbachev first met in 1985, Reagan declared: "Gorbechev is a diehard Bolshevik!" and Gorbachev stated that Reagan was "A real dinosaur!" it seems amazing just how their relationship thawed. Do read the full article, it's fascinating (here), but the dramatic events of 1989 certainly left most of us agreeing with Mikhail Gorbachev that the Cold War had ended. Things no longer felt "Cold" - hadn't felt that "Cold" for a few years in fact - and there seemed no prospect of a "War".
Why this tendency persists to state that the Cold War ended in 1991 with the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, I don't know. Nothing 'signed' in 1989? The Cold War was never signed into being in the first place. I suspect though that many of the "great and good", including many highly respected historians, have a hard time allowing the limelight to fall on the 1980s, a decade many of them like to scapegoat and revile.
So they gabble things like: "and in 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. In 1991 a whole new era began as the Cold War ended and the world looked on stunned as the dissolution of the Soviet Union took place before their very eyes..."
1989 - the year the Cold War ended? I'm sure that sticks in more than a few priggish gullets! But I'd much rather listen to Gorbachev.