Roosevelt's Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War

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9780691121291: Roosevelt's Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War
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In the spring of 1945, as the Allied victory in Europe was approaching, the shape of the postwar world hinged on the personal politics and flawed personalities of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. Roosevelt's Lost Alliances captures this moment and shows how FDR crafted a winning coalition by overcoming the different habits, upbringings, sympathies, and past experiences of the three leaders. In particular, Roosevelt trained his famous charm on Stalin, lavishing respect on him, salving his insecurities, and rendering him more amenable to compromise on some matters.


Yet, even as he pursued a lasting peace, FDR was alienating his own intimate circle of advisers and becoming dangerously isolated. After his death, postwar cooperation depended on Harry Truman, who, with very different sensibilities, heeded the embittered "Soviet experts" his predecessor had kept distant. A Grand Alliance was painstakingly built and carelessly lost. The Cold War was by no means inevitable.


This landmark study brings to light key overlooked documents, such as the Yalta diary of Roosevelt's daughter Anna; the intimate letters of Roosevelt's de facto chief of staff, Missy LeHand; and the wiretap transcripts of estranged adviser Harry Hopkins. With a gripping narrative and subtle analysis, Roosevelt's Lost Alliances lays out a new approach to foreign relations history. Frank Costigliola highlights the interplay between national political interests and more contingent factors, such as the personalities of leaders and the culturally conditioned emotions forming their perceptions and driving their actions. Foreign relations flowed from personal politics--a lesson pertinent to historians, diplomats, and citizens alike.

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"This is a delightful and innovative book. Never before has any book on U.S. foreign relations provided such insightful character sketches. Scholars have long pondered why the best and the brightest went wrong, and now Costigliola offers an explanation: superpower tensions involved more than just misperceptions, divergent ideologies, and grand strategic differences. Personal rivalries, efforts to be in FDR's good graces, parties, and sex of all sort really had a bearing on diplomacy. Costigliola has written a novel masterpiece."--Thomas W. Zeiler, University of Colorado at Boulder

"Costigliola pulls back the veil on the personal lives of the major figures of World War II. With great verve and captivating anecdotes, he shows how personal politics helped forge and disrupt international alliances. Roosevelt's Lost Alliances combines innovative research, provocative interpretations, and page-turning prose, providing a fresh take on how gender, emotion, class, and culture shaped the high politics of World War II and the Cold War."--Emily S. Rosenberg, University of California, Irvine

"In this imaginative examination of the personal dynamics of the Big Three alliance during World War II, Frank Costigliola brings an important new and intriguing perspective to the origins of the Cold War."--Ronald Steel, author of Walter Lippmann and the American Century

"This is a terrific book. Fluidly written, cogently argued, and supported by superb research, it addresses a fundamental yet underexamined dimension of both the World War II Grand Alliance and the origins of the Cold War: the personalities as well as the personal relations of Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt."--Richard H. Immerman, Temple University

"Costigliola has written an important and compelling book. His character portrayals of the three great wartime leaders are among the most incisive that have ever been written. He shows how critical Roosevelt was to the functioning of the alliance and how central his demise was to the origins of the Cold War. Roosevelt's Lost Alliances is a fantastically well researched, wonderfully evocative, stimulating, and significant book."--Melvyn P. Leffler, University of Virginia

"A fascinating new history of a past we thought we knew very well already. Roosevelt's Lost Alliances represents a major intervention in the scholarship on World War II and the origins of the Cold War."--Tim Borstelmann, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

About the Author:

Frank Costigliola is professor of history at the University of Connecticut and former president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. He is the author of France and the United States and Awkward Dominion.

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the spring of 1945, as the Allied victory in Europe was approaching, the shape of the postwar world hinged on the personal politics and flawed personalities of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. "Roosevelt's Lost Alliances" captures this moment and shows how FDR crafted a winning coalition by overcoming the different habits, upbringings, sympathies, and past experiences of the three leaders. In particular, Roosevelt trained his famous charm on Stalin, lavishing respect on him, salving his insecurities, and rendering him more amenable to compromise on some matters. Yet, even as he pursued a lasting peace, FDR was alienating his own intimate circle of advisers and becoming dangerously isolated. After his death, postwar cooperation depended on Harry Truman, who, with very different sensibilities, heeded the embittered "Soviet experts" his predecessor had kept distant. A Grand Alliance was painstakingly built and carelessly lost. The Cold War was by no means inevitable.This landmark study brings to light key overlooked documents, such as the Yalta diary of Roosevelt's daughter Anna; the intimate letters of Roosevelt's de facto chief of staff, Missy LeHand; and, the wiretap transcripts of estranged adviser Harry Hopkins. With a gripping narrative and subtle analysis, "Roosevelt's Lost Alliances" lays out a new approach to foreign relations history. Frank Costigliola highlights the interplay between national political interests and more contingent factors, such as the personalities of leaders and the culturally conditioned emotions forming their perceptions and driving their actions. Foreign relations flowed from personal politics - a lesson pertinent to historians, diplomats, and citizens alike. Seller Inventory # AAH9780691121291

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the spring of 1945, as the Allied victory in Europe was approaching, the shape of the postwar world hinged on the personal politics and flawed personalities of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. "Roosevelt's Lost Alliances" captures this moment and shows how FDR crafted a winning coalition by overcoming the different habits, upbringings, sympathies, and past experiences of the three leaders. In particular, Roosevelt trained his famous charm on Stalin, lavishing respect on him, salving his insecurities, and rendering him more amenable to compromise on some matters. Yet, even as he pursued a lasting peace, FDR was alienating his own intimate circle of advisers and becoming dangerously isolated. After his death, postwar cooperation depended on Harry Truman, who, with very different sensibilities, heeded the embittered "Soviet experts" his predecessor had kept distant. A Grand Alliance was painstakingly built and carelessly lost. The Cold War was by no means inevitable.This landmark study brings to light key overlooked documents, such as the Yalta diary of Roosevelt's daughter Anna; the intimate letters of Roosevelt's de facto chief of staff, Missy LeHand; and, the wiretap transcripts of estranged adviser Harry Hopkins. With a gripping narrative and subtle analysis, "Roosevelt's Lost Alliances" lays out a new approach to foreign relations history. Frank Costigliola highlights the interplay between national political interests and more contingent factors, such as the personalities of leaders and the culturally conditioned emotions forming their perceptions and driving their actions. Foreign relations flowed from personal politics - a lesson pertinent to historians, diplomats, and citizens alike. Seller Inventory # AAH9780691121291

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