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This revisionist study of Allied diplomacy from 1941 to 1946 challenges Americocentric views of the period and highlights Europe's neglected role. Fraser J. Harbutt, drawing on international sources, shows that in planning for the future Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, and others self-consciously operated into 1945, not on 'East/West' lines but within a 'Europe/America' political framework characterized by the plausible prospect of Anglo-Russian collaboration and persisting American detachment. Harbutt then explains the destabilizing transformation around the time of the pivotal Yalta conference of February 1945, when a sudden series of provocative initiatives, manipulations, and miscues interacted with events to produce the breakdown of European solidarity and the Anglo-Soviet nexus, an evolving Anglo-American alignment, and new tensions that led finally to the Cold War. This fresh perspective, stressing structural, geopolitical, and traditional impulses and constraints, raises important new questions about the enduringly controversial transition from World War II to a cold war that no statesman wanted.
Fraser J. Harbutt is Professor of History at Emory University. After a decade of law practice in London and Auckland, he received a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and later taught diplomatic, political, and legal history variously at the University of California Los Angeles, Smith College, and the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Iron Curtain: Churchill, America, and the Origins of the Cold War (1986), which co-won the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Bernath Prize, and of The Cold War Era (2002). He has also published chapters in several edited volumes and many articles in such journals as Diplomatic History, Political Science Quarterly, and International History Review.