From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s

By David Reynolds | Go to book overview

8
The President and the British Left

The Appointment of John Winant as US Ambassador in 1941

Little that Franklin Roosevelt did was ever simple or straightforward. 'A man who would never tell the truth when a lie would serve him just as well,' was Douglas MacArthur's bitter epitaph.1 The President's closest associates often despaired of his deviousness. 'You won't talk frankly even with people who are loyal to you and of whose loyalty you are fully convinced,' complained Harold Ickes. 'You keep your cards close up against your belly. You never put them on the table.'2 Few of FDR's actions stemmed from a single motive. Beneath the surface bonhomie and the inspiring rhetoric lay a secretive, complex, calculating mind. Sometimes he was too clever by half, but even in failure, Roosevelt's ingenuity is a subject of enduring fascination for historians. A small but intriguing example is his choice in February 1941 of John Gilbert Winant as US Ambassador to Great Britain.

The Winant appointment is of interest for another reason. Many studies of Anglo-American diplomacy during the Second World War have concentrated on Roosevelt and Churchill. In large measure this is only right. As Churchill himself observed: 'My relations with the President gradually became so close that the chief business between our two countries was virtually conducted by these personal interchanges between him and me';3 and the rich mass of official records subsequently opened on both sides of the Atlantic has given scholars ample opportunity to document the relationship between the two leaders and

This chapter first appeared in The International History Review, 4 (1982), 393–413. Helpful
comments on a draft version were provided by John Thompson, Henry Pelling, and particularly
Garry Clifford, who kindly drew my attention to additional evidence. More recent literature of
relevance includes Kevin Jefferys, The Churchill Coalition and Wartime Politics, 1940–1945
(Manchester, 1991), and Nicholas John Cull, Selling War: The British Propaganda Campaign
against American 'Neutrality' in World War II
(Oxford, 1995).

1 William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur, 1880–1964 (Boston, 1978), 240.

2The Secret Diary of Harold L. Ickes (3 vols., New York, 1954), ii. 659, recording conversation
with FDR on 21 June 1939.

3 Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War (6 vols., London, 1948–54), ii. 22. For a com-
prehensive edition of their exchanges see Churchill and Roosevelt: Their Complete Correspondence,
1939–45, ed. Warren F. Kimball (3 vols., Princeton NJ, 1982).

-148-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 363

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.