AN OCEAN APART: The Relationship Between Britain and America in the Twentieth Century by David & David Reynolds Dimbleby

AN OCEAN APART: The Relationship Between Britain and America in the Twentieth Century

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A companion volume to a seven-part PBS series examining the ups and downs of the Anglo-American alliance; by Dimbleby, a BBC anchor, and Reynolds (International Relations and American History/Cambridge), author of The Creation of the Anglo-American Alliance, 1937-41. This is a studied look at how Britain, predominant in world politics at the turn of the century, through time yielded that role to the US. The authors appear almost in awe of how power managed to pass ""from one great nation to another in such a short time without a shot being fired in anger."" This is not to say that there were not moments of misunderstanding, mutual suspicion, and outright hostility in the transition (one of the surprises is seeing Churchill, part-American himself, speculating on how Britain cannot rule out the possibility of one day fighting another war with the US). In this basic historical, chronological rendering of the alliance, the authors demonstrate how the mutual struggles against Prussian militarism, fascist dictatorship, and communist revolution have cemented the bond between two similar, but oh-so-different nations. ""The shared language has linked two cultures as well as two governments. In literature and learning, in films and television, in science, technology, and industry, Britain and America have affected each other more closely than any other countries in modern history."" With its 32 pages of photos, line drawings, and maps, this is a spirited, ultra-accessible history.

Pub Date: May 16th, 1988
Publisher: Random House