Sunday, October 28, 2012
Books I'm Reading: The Grand Alliance by Winston Churchill (October 28, 2012)
As in the previous volumes, Churchill tells the story in the first person and mainly from the perspective of British activities. It again relies heavily on "directives, telegrams, and minutes upon the daily conduct of the war and of British affairs"--documents mostly written by Churchill himself during the conflict. These are supplemented by the author's retrospective analysis of events. At the end of the volume, I was left with a much better understanding of the relationship that developed between Churchill and President Roosevelt and of Stalin's character as revealed by communications between Churchill and Stalin. Churchill's calmness and confidence are remarkable throughout. While recognizing that winning the war will be painful and time-consuming, from a very early date he understands in broad outline how events are likely to unfold and he is unshakeable in his conviction that the Allies will win. This is not bluster. His view is based on rational analysis. In particular, Churchill understands the immense importance of now having the wealth of the United States behind Britain, which remains mostly in retreat through the period covered by this volume (1941).