Churchill's Cold War: The Politics of Personal Diplomacy

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Yale University Press, 2002 - History - 583 pages
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Churchill’s techniques of government were distinctly unconventional. Energetic, self-confident, and persuasive, he preferred to act outside official civil service channels when the stakes were high. When forming foreign policy, his preferred modus operandi was summit diplomacy--the cultivation of personal contacts to achieve national objectives. At its best his direct intervention could be heroically successful, resulting, for example, in the entry of the United States into the Second World War. At its worst it failed utterly. Either way this was international politics at a level of high drama and high risk.

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 1945-1955, 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 power was declining. In particular, after October 1951 Churchill sought to revive with President Eisenhower and with Stalin’s successors in Soviet Russia the "Big Three” summitry he saw as the most effective means to forestall a nuclear holocaust and achieve a lasting peace.

Based on an exhaustive scrutiny of official documents and private archives in Europe and the United States, this book breaks vital new ground in terms of both Churchill scholarship and the international history of the Cold War.
 

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Churchill's Cold War: the politics of personal diplomacy

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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 ... Read full review

Contents

Churchills Personal Diplomacy before the First World War AngloGerman Antagonism and Attempts to Negotiate with the Kaiser and Admiral Tirpitz
1
The Politics of War Summit Diplomacy with Roosevelt and Stalin
34
Churchill and the United States of Europe during the Second World War Attempts to Preserve Britains Status as a World Power
54
The Emergence of the Postwar World European Regionalism Big Three Summitry and AngloAmerican Difficulties
78
Early Cold War Years Churchills Survival as Leader of the Conservative Party and Attlee s Interest in Negotiating with Stalin
100
Waiting in the Wings Churchills Foreign Policy as Leader of the Opposition
123
Ever Closer Union? Churchill and European Integration in the Postwar Years
140
Against All Odds Return to Power and a Visit to Harry Truman
155
Churchills Policy Undermined Collusion and the Western Foreign Ministers Talks in Washington
263
Churchills Last Summit Conference The Bermuda Meeting and the Continuation of the Crusade
288
Preparing a Final Attempt Churchills Perseverance and Perceived Agreement with Eisenhower
318
At the End of the Day Outrage in London Consternation in Washington and Disinterest in Moscow
341
A Prolonged Farewell Churchills Last Months as Prime Minister
356
Churchills Legacy
383
Abbreviations
392
Notes
394

Between Pessimism and New Hope The Stalin Note and a New American President
174
The Cold War After Stalin Churchill the United States and the New Men in the Kremlin
189
Churchills Vision Proposals for Overcoming the Cold War
215
Triumph and Tragedy Britain the USA and the Uprising in East Germany
240
Bibliography
531
Index
571
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About the author (2002)

Klaus Larres is Jean Monnet Professor in European Foreign and Security Policy and Reader in Politics at the Queen’s University of Belfast. For the academic year 2002-3 he is Henry A. Kissinger Professor of Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. Among his publications is The Cold War: The Essential Readings, edited with A. Lane.

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