Email this review


An informal narrative of the July 1945 Big Three conference at Potsdam. The book clarifies and underlines the use of ""atomic diplomacy"" as the key Anglo-American armtwister against the Russians. The Red Army's eastward sweep was sending Churchill into dipsomaniac depression, a fact Mee plays down, but his report that Truman found in Stalin a total resemblance to Boss Prendergast of Kansas City is a telling psychological note. Stalin was always disposed to make deals, and Mee flatly shows how Germany was divided and how the reparations issue was settled very unfavorably for the Soviets. Mee gives a useful sense of how Potsdam affected Churchill's ""Iron Curtain"" speech and the promulgation of the Truman Doctrine, though unfortunately Mee neglects Stalin's refusal to use his political weight in France, Italy, and even China to counter the factitious Anglo-American claims to Eastern Europe. The book shows Churchill as either a victorious but mortally wounded warrior defending his Empire, or playing the junior partner ""hard-cop"" foil against Stalin for the more ""democratic"" U.S. Though the roles are not mutually exclusive, Mee limits himself to the first interpretation, and concludes that although Stalin was the most boorish and persistent, no one was to blame for the ensuing Cold War. An analysis that allows the reader to ask his own questions. . .a relief from the phony war between Cold Warrior and Revisionist.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1974
Publisher: Evans