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Churchill’s Grand Alliance

John Charmley
Date Published
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The Anglo-American alliance was the cornerstone of Churchill’s foreign policy after 1940, and from then up to the present, the ‘special relationship’ has always been a feature of Anglo-American relations. This controversial study ruthlessly strips away the myth to reveal the unsentimental reality.

Churchill carried on the war in 1940 because he believed that American help could save the British Empire. This book argues that his faith was misplaced, that Franklin Roosevelt saw an end to imperialism as one of America’s war aims. Fighting until Germany’s ‘unconditional surrender’ meant that Britain ended the war weakened and dependent on America.

Churchill, Bevin and Attlee all tried to persuade America into looking after British imperial interests in the post-war period, but as the Cold War dawned the Americans were only interested in using British help when it suited them.

Britain’s last attempt to act independently of America – Suez – ended disastrously, and the book ends with Anthony Eden’s removal from power under American pressure.

This is the final work in John Charmley’s revisionist triptych of British foreign policy in the mid-twentieth century. The other two books – Chamberlain and the Lost Peace and Churchill: The End of Glory – are also available in Faber Finds.


John Charmley is a British diplomatic historian and a professor of modern history at the University of East Anglia, where he is head of the school of history. He is the author of eight books, five of which are being reissued in Faber Finds. He is perhaps most famous for his revisionist interpretation of British foreign policy in the mid-twentieth…

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