In the late 1950s, the Cold War entered perhaps its most perilous phase, with the danger of nuclear war at its most intense. ‘From confrontation to détente, 1958–68’ charts the course of the Cold War through this period and the ensuing thaw in international relations. Tensions peaked during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, in which Russia and the USA came to the very brink of war. After this brush with nuclear annihilation, both countries took a more measured diplomatic strategy — the first relaxation of tension since 1945. However, the USA soon became involved in a more direct conflict, this time in Vietnam.