Theirs was a unique relationship. It was based on interlinked national histories, partially shared nationality - Churchill was half-American - similarities in class and education, love for the navy, and a common belief in the superiority of Anglo-Saxon institutions. Above all, it was cemented by shared enemies: Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. On ...
Theirs was a unique relationship. It was based on interlinked national histories, partially shared nationality - Churchill was half-American - similarities in class and education, love for the navy, and a common belief in the superiority of Anglo-Saxon institutions. Above all, it was cemented by shared enemies: Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. On these foundations Churchill and Roosevelt constructed a fighting alliance unlike any other in history, with a Combined Chiefs of Staff, Anglo-American war-making boards, and an atomic alliance that delivered victory in 1945. The two men also developed an extraordinary personal relationship, communicating almost daily by telegram, telephone, personal meetings and through intermediaries. Their camaraderie ended abruptly with FDR's death on 12 April 1945, just hours before American and British troops liberated Buchenwald and Belsen. At the heart of this special relationship, hidden by layers of secrecy, was an extraordinary and far-reaching sharing of intelligence. This was the most sensitive touchstone of their mutual trust, and as David Stafford's masterly biography demonstrates, a responsive barometer of suspicion and discord.
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-10-02 Stafford (Churchill and Secret Service, etc.) wants nothing to do with the popular view of the great wartime partnership between Churchill and FDR. Not content with the sentimentalized portrait of a warm friendship based on shared pedigrees and world views offered in Doris Kearns Goodwin's No Ordinary Time, Stafford demonstrates that the alliance of these two cunning leaders was the product of need and hard bargaining, not sentiment. He further contendsDquite rightlyDthat the complex relationship between the two was mirrored by the actions of their intelligence operatives. Stafford writes: "The most sensitive touchstone of trust between individuals, as well as nations, is how far they are prepared to share their secrets." When Churchill learned that Hitler had called off his 1940 invasion of Britain, he kept the information from FDR and continued to implore the president to come to England's aid. Five years later, as the war wound to its close, Churchill criticized FDR's intelligence chief, William "Wild Bill" Donovan, for his successful efforts to thwart British plans to restore colonial outposts in Asia. As Stafford shows, similar intelligence clashes occurred throughout the war. Both FDR and Churchill kept much to themselves while at the same time building an often-productive joint intelligence infrastructure. In the end, Stafford's book goes a long way toward proving the truth of an old adage favored in spy circles: "There are no friendly secret services; only the secret services of friendly powers." Strong reviews and the continuing broad interest in WWII and FDR will produce respectable sales, which might be boosted by a major fall focus on FDR as the final volume of Kenneth S. Davis's monumental biography comes out in late November. 8 pages of b&w photos. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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