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Potsdam : The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe (Hardcover) (Michael Neiberg)

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After Germany’s defeat in World War II, Europe lay in tatters. Millions of refugees were dispersed across the continent. Food and fuel were scarce. Britain was bankrupt, while Germany had been reduced to rubble. In July of 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin gathered in a quiet suburb of Berlin to negotiate a lasting peace: a peace that would finally put an end to the conflagration that had started in 1914, a peace under which Europe could be rebuilt.The award-winning historian Michael Neiberg brings the turbulent Potsdam conference to life, vividly capturing the delegates’ personalities: Truman, trying to escape from the shadow of Franklin Roosevelt, who had died only months before; Churchill, bombastic and seemingly out of touch; Stalin, cunning and meticulous. For the first week, negotiations progressed relatively smoothly. But when the delegates took a recess for the British elections, Churchill was replacedboth as prime minster and as Britain’s representative at the conferencein an unforeseen upset by Clement Attlee, a man Churchill disparagingly described as a sheep in sheep’s clothing.” When the conference reconvened, the power dynamic had shifted dramatically, and the delegates struggled to find a new balance. Stalin took advantage of his strong position to demand control of Eastern Europe as recompense for the suffering experienced by the Soviet people and armies. The final resolutions of the Potsdam Conference, notably the division of Germany and the Soviet annexation of Poland, reflected the uneasy geopolitical equilibrium between East and West that would come to dominate the twentieth century.As Neiberg expertly shows, the delegates arrived at Potsdam determined to learn from the mistakes their predecessors made in the Treaty of Versailles. But, riven by tensions and dramatic debates over how to end the most recent war, they only dimly understood that their discussions of peace were giving birth to a new global conflict.
After Germany?s defeat in World War II, the victorious Allies faced the daunting task of negotiating a lasting peace. On July 17, 1945, Harry Truman, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill gathered in Potsdam, a quiet suburb of Berlin, to discuss, as Churchill put it, ?the gravest matters in the world.?

Award-winning historian Michael Neiberg vividly captures the delegates? personalities: Truman, eager to escape from the shadow of the recently-deceased FDR; Churchill, bombastic and seemingly out of touch; Stalin, cunning and meticulous; and the introverted Clement Attlee, who replaced Churchill as Prime Minister after a stunning election result midway through the conference. Stalin had the strongest position; having already conquered Eastern Europe, he saw little reason to let it go. Yet Truman had an ace up his sleeve: the success of the atomic bomb test. As Neiberg shows, amid their dramatic debates over how to end the most recent war, the delegates only dimly understood that they were giving birth to a new global conflict.
Number of Pages: 310
Genre: History, Political Science
Sub-Genre: Military / World War II
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Perseus Books Group
Author: Michael Neiberg
Language: English
Street Date: May 5, 2015
TCIN: 17179295
UPC: 9780465075256
Item Number (DPCI): 247-03-2916
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$25.49
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