The Big Three

The Big Three : Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin in Peace and War

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This book is about the three most powerful leaders of World War II. It traces their rise to power and their leadership, in the case of Stalin and Roosevelt, in the 1930s while Churchill was in the wilderness. And, in more detail, their war-time relationship. The three only met twice at Yalta and Potsdam and although they were allies fighting a common enemy, the seeds of Cold War were already sown at those meetings. The post war "special relationship" between Roosevelt and Churchill and the Cold War between them and Stalin was concentrated by the atomic bomb: the essential difference between pre- and post-war international diplomacy.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 608 pages
  • 129 x 198mm | 386g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • maps
  • 014010402X
  • 9780140104028

Review Text

A thorough and erudite account of circumstances surrounding the Allied leaders of WW II. Edmonds, a former British minister in Moscow, was also once head of the American section in Britain's Foreign Office. Using among other sources Soviet ones newly accessible under glasnost, Edmonds makes a well-researched and thoroughly documented foray into familiar historical territory to present a comprehensive picture of three men whose temperaments and inter. personal chemistry shaped the course of history. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin are carefully introduced in their particular political contexts, and the stages of their careers prior to becoming wartime Allies are succinctly charted. By the end of 1941, disastrous miscalculations on the part of each - Roosevelt and Churchill in matters of Japanese military strength and purpose, Stalin with regard to Hitler's intentions - coupled with Hitler's declaration of war against the US a few days after Pearl Harbor, brought the three nations together for the duration of the conflict. The subsequent appointment of military leaders, targeting of objectives, and implementation of battle plans as hammered out in conferences in Moscow, Washington, London, Teheran, and finally at Yalta in February 1945 are meticulously presented, but with a smattering of anecdote and reminiscence that brings these moments vividly to life. Although Roosevelt died two months after Yalta, both Churchill and Stalin lived to influence the course of the cold war, and their respective postwar positions come under scrutiny here as well. A scholarly and rewarding study, notable not so much for breaking new ground as for its elegant depiction of world leaders facing a time of crisis with a fragile but effective partnership. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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