Review by Choice Review
Sainsbury focuses on the Churchill-Roosevelt relationship, reassessing how dramatically different assumptions and temperaments affected a "complex and shifting" and often contentious partnership resulting in military and political decisions that shaped wartime strategy and postwar reconstruction--although not always as they wished. Churchill's greatest influence was between 1940 and 1943, after which the growing imbalance between the relative strengths of the two allies caused major changes that created severe strains and increased Anglo-American disagreements. Separate chapters deal with the problems of the Second Front; Mediterranean strategy; relations with Russia, Poland, and Eastern Europe; de Gaulle and France; German postwar status; and Chiang and Asia, on which Churchill and Roosevelt rarely agreed. Sainsbury argues that "partly through necessity, and partly through choice" the two leaders nevertheless "achieved probably the closest planning relationship between allies in history." In one sense there is nothing strikingly new here, and yet this is a thoughtful and thought-provoking reexamination that sheds new insight on this unique relationship. For general or academic readers with considerable knowledge of WW II. E. P. Muller; emeritus, Bates College
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