Lewis Honors College Capstone Collection

Year of Publication



Arts and Sciences



Degree Name

B.A. in History & Russian Studies

First Capstone/Thesis Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Ruder


It is commonly accepted that the United States and the Soviet Union competed, and did not cooperate, with one and other between World War II and the collapse of the USSR in the early 1990s. This is problematic, due to several joint projects undertaken by the two nations during this period, and especially the Apollo-Soyuz Experimental Test Project. Analysis of contemporary and secondary sources shows that though there was a large degree of competition between these superpowers, the idea of working together was proposed several times before it became a reality. Once the nations decided to move forward with Apollo-Soyuz, they successfully accomplished their goals. Examples such as Apollo-Soyuz call into question the conventional thinking that the USA and the USSR were mortal enemies who were devoted to the collapse of their counterpart, and provide a more nuanced look at the relationship between the two most powerful nations to exist in the twentieth century.