The Impossible Peace: Britain, the Division of Germany and the Origins of the Cold War

The Impossible Peace: Britain, the Division of Germany and the Origins of the Cold War

The Impossible Peace: Britain, the Division of Germany and the Origins of the Cold War

The Impossible Peace: Britain, the Division of Germany and the Origins of the Cold War

Synopsis

Presenting a new interpretation of the British government's policy toward Germany from the period of Churchill and Eden to that of Attlee and Bevin, this study exploits recently released documents to illuminate the strategic maneuverings of West and East over Germany and the emergence of the Cold War.

Excerpt

This book originated as a doctoral thesis written between 1983 and 1987 in the University of Reading, when I was a postgraduate student in the Department of Politics. The staff, now colleagues, of the Department of Politics at Reading have provided a very supportive atmosphere in which to work and teach; in particular Peter Campbell, Keith Sainsbury, Barry Jones, and Peter Jones have read and commented helpfully and positively on my work. My greatest thanks go to my doctoral supervisor, mentor, and friend Avi Shlaim, whose judicious blend of coaxing and badgering ensured that my thesis was completed in four years, and who contributed to proffer very positive encouragement from Oxford when I was revising the thesis for publication. Professor David Fieldhouse -- who was a most rigorous tutor when I was an undergraduate -- has continued to give me incisive yet always constructive advice, and I am very grateful for his interest in my work.

My thanks also go to Piers Dixon, who allowed me to spend many very profitable hours reading his father's invaluable papers and diaries as well as commenting in great detail on sections of the manuscript; and to Sir Alec Cairncross, who read sections of my work in an earlier form, and who put at my disposal his letters written from Berlin in 1945-6. I am particularly grateful for the conversations I have had with Sir Frank Roberts, Lord Franks, and Lord Gladwyn, and for the insights they gave me into the period. During the course of this research I have also met and benefited directly and indirectly from the ideas and kindness of many other people: Geoffrey Warner (who has given me much good advice, and whose treasured copy of Foreign Relations I borrowed for nearly a year), Christopher Hill, Lawrence Freedman, David Reynolds, Robin Edmonds, Joseph Foschepoth, Beatrice Heuser, and Anthony Gorst among others.

The Social Science Research Council (now the Economic and Social Research Council) generously funded me for three years of research. I remain indebted to the patience and skill of the Librarians and Archivists at the University of Reading; the Public Record Office; the Bodleian Library, Oxford; Churchill College . . .

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