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Cold War at 30,000 Feet: The Anglo-American Fight for Aviation Supremacy / Edition 1

Cold War at 30,000 Feet: The Anglo-American Fight for Aviation Supremacy / Edition 1

by Jeffrey A. EngelJeffrey A. Engel
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In a gripping story of international power and deception, Jeffrey Engel reveals the "special relationship" between the United States and Great Britain in a new and far more competitive light. As allies, they fought communism. As rivals, they locked horns over which would lead the Cold War fight. In the quest for sovereignty and hegemony, one important key was airpower, which created jobs, forged ties with the developing world, and, perhaps most importantly in a nuclear world, ensured military superiority. Only the United States and Britain were capable of supplying the post-war world's ravenous appetite for aircraft. The Americans hoped to use this dominance as a bludgeon not only against the Soviets and Chinese, but also against any ally that deviated from Washington's rigid brand of anticommunism. Eager to repair an economy shattered by war and never as committed to unflinching anticommunism as their American allies, the British hoped to sell planes even beyond the Iron Curtain, reaping profits, improving East-West relations, and garnering the strength to withstand American hegemony. Engel traces the bitter fights between these intimate allies from Europe to Latin America to Asia as each sought control over the sale of aircraft and technology throughout the world. The Anglo-American competition for aviation supremacy affected the global balance of power and the fates of developing nations such as India, Pakistan, and China. But without aviation, Engel argues, Britain would never have had the strength to function as a brake upon American power, the way trusted allies should.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674024618
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 03/31/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jeffrey A. Engel is Associate Professor of History and Director of Presidential History Projects at Southern Methodist University.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. The Arsenal of Democracy versus British Planning
  • 2. Selling Jets to Stalin
  • 3. Death by Nene
  • 4. Comet Dreams
  • 5. A Lead Lost
  • 6. Approaching China
  • 7. The Viscount Conspiracy
  • 8. Aviation on the New Frontier
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Archives, Manuscripts, and Private Interviews
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

Thomas W. Zeiler

An excellent, ambitious book. I know of no other work that uses aviation to explore the Special Relationship. Engel is a superb writer, with a keen sense of the drama of his story and an ability to make the topic come alive.
Thomas W. Zeiler, University of Colorado

Walter A. McDougall

Despite their strategic special relationship, cooperation between the British and Americans masked a fierce rivalry for air power after World War II. This thorough yet fast-paced narrative is not only a rich contribution to Cold War history, but a timely reminder about the limits to globalization in a world where hard power still matters, even among 'friends.'

Walter A. McDougall, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age

Richard H. Immerman

A story of power and conflict brilliantly told. Engel reveals in unprecedented detail the bitter Anglo-American discord over policies to control the sale of the most technologically advanced aircraft of the Atomic Age. This book will change our perspective on the Cold War.
Richard H. Immerman, Temple University

Alan P. Dobson

An impressive work that makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the Cold War and Anglo-American relations. Engel's view of the conflict and cooperation between the United States and Britain adds considerable nuance to existing interpretations, especially with the British skullduggery over Viscount sales to the People's Republic of China. This was a delight to read.
Alan P. Dobson, University of Dundee

Richard S. Kirkendall

This brilliant book contributes to both the history of the airplane industry and Cold War history. Great Britain and the United States competed for supremacy and clashed over sales in the industry as leaders in each nation believed they alone knew how to strike the proper balance between the demands of security and the needs of commerce. It is a fascinating and important story, and Engel tells it well.
Richard S. Kirkendall, University of Washington

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