Churchill's Cold War: The Politics of Personal Diplomacy / Edition 2

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"This book explores Churchill's predilection for direct diplomatic action from his first tentative involvement in 1908 until his retirement as prime minister in 1955. Its principal focus is the period 1945-55, during which the full force of Churchill's personal diplomacy was directed at sustaining Britain's great power status - in relation to the Soviet Union and the United States - at a time when its own economic strength was declining. It shows that, as an elderly prime minister in his final term after October 1951, Churchill sought to revive with US President Eisenhower and with Stalin's successors in Soviet Russia the 'Big Three' summitry he saw as the most effective means of forestalling a nuclear holocaust and achieving a lasting peace." This is the first time that Churchill's personal political style has been explored at this level of detail. Based on a scrutiny of official documents and private archives in Europe and the United States, it breaks new ground both in terms of Churchill scholarship and the international history of the Cold War.
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Editorial Reviews

Washington Times
Klaus Larres. . . has produced a well-written, scrupulously documented [work]. . . a gripping account.
Foreign Affairs
Larres has produced a volume almost three times the length of Keegan's, focusing on Churchill's attempts at personal diplomacy in 1945-55. This enormous volume by an erudite diplomatic historian boasts almost 200 pages of notes and bibliography. It is the most thorough examination of Churchill's attempts at opening a dialogue with Moscow after Stalin's death in the hope of putting an end to the Cold War. Like Lukacs, he shows how much resistance Churchill met in Washington but also in his own cabinet (several of whose members were eager to see him retire). We will probably never know whether Churchill's hopes would have been fulfilled if he had not been kept on a leash by the Eisenhower administration. Is there anything still left unclear in this turbulent life? The elusive relationship with Europe after 1945 needs a volume of its own, as Larres recognizes. What is clear is that Churchill was no integrationist, although he was not hostile to the continent's attempt at forming a union. Like the two books above, this work is also a counterattack against the revisionists who accuse Churchill of having left an impoverished United Kingdom as a satellite of Washington, thanks to his hatred of Hitler and dislike for Germany. But can anyone really believe that the United Kingdom would have remained a power if Hitler had won?
Library Journal
One of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century, Winston Churchill has been the subject of hundreds of books, including two recent hefty contributions by prominent historians Roy Jenkins and Geoffrey Best. Still, to the groaning shelf of Churchill studies should be added this excellent new work by Larres, who teaches at Queen's University in Belfast. Larres has sifted through a mountain of primary and secondary literature in his exploration of Churchill's ceaseless efforts during the twilight years of his career (1945-55) to use personal diplomacy to lessen international tensions among the great powers. Through the power of his personality and intellect, Churchill sought to keep Great Britain a major player in international affairs, and he never fully comprehended that the British imperial sun had already begun to set by 1945. This is an exceedingly well-researched and well-written study of Churchill and of British foreign policy in the first decade after World War II and should be a part of most collections. Highly recommended. Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300094381
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 2.06 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Churchill's Personal Diplomacy before the First World War: Anglo-German Antagonism and Attempts to Negotiate with the Kaiser and Admiral Tirpitz 1
2 The Politics of War: Summit Diplomacy with Roosevelt and Stalin 34
3 Churchill and 'the United States of Europe' during the Second World War: Attempts to Preserve Britain's Status as a World Power 54
4 The Emergence of the Post-war World: European Regionalism, Big Three 'Summitry', and Anglo-American Difficulties 78
5 Early Cold War Years: Churchill's Survival as Leader of the Conservative Party and Attlee's Interest in Negotiating with Stalin 100
6 Waiting in the Wings: Churchill's Foreign Policy as Leader of the Opposition 123
7 Ever Closer Union?: Churchill and European Integration in the Post-war Years 140
8 Against All Odds: Return to Power and a Visit to Harry Truman 155
9 Between Pessimism and New Hope: The Stalin Note and a New American President 174
10 The Cold War After Stalin: Churchill, the United States, and the 'New' Men in the Kremlin 189
11 Churchill's Vision: Proposals for Overcoming the Cold War 215
12 Triumph and Tragedy: Britain, the USA, and the Uprising in East Germany 240
13 Churchill's Policy Undermined: Collusion and the Western Foreign Ministers' Talks in Washington 263
14 Churchill's Last Summit Conference: The Bermuda Meeting and the Continuation of the Crusade 288
15 Preparing a Final Attempt: Churchill's Perseverance and Perceived Agreement with Eisenhower 318
16 At the End of the Day: Outrage in London, Consternation in Washington, and Disinterest in Moscow 341
17 A Prolonged Farewell: Churchill's Last Months as Prime Minister 356
Conclusion: Churchill's Legacy 383
Abbreviations 392
Notes 394
Bibliography 531
Index 571
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 4, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a great work only for churchill specialists

    abig book for those really immersed in the churchill lore. not for the general reader.

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