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Read or Download Potsdam: The End of World War II

Read online or Download Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by Michael Neiberg



Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465075256
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
05/05/2015
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
215,972
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Overview


After Germany’s defeat in World War II, Europe lay in tatters. Millions of refugees were dispersed across the continent. Food and fuel were scarce. Britain was bankrupt, while Germany had been reduced to rubble. In July of 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin gathered in a quiet suburb of Berlin to negotiate a lasting peace: a peace that would finally put an end to the conflagration that had started in 1914, a peace under which Europe could be rebuilt.

The award-winning historian Michael Neiberg brings the turbulent Potsdam conference to life, vividly capturing the delegates’ personalities: Truman, trying to escape from the shadow of Franklin Roosevelt, who had died only months before; Churchill, bombastic and seemingly out of touch; Stalin, cunning and meticulous. For the first week, negotiations progressed relatively smoothly. But when the delegates took a recess for the British elections, Churchill was replaced—both as prime minster and as Britain’s representative at the conference—in an unforeseen upset by Clement Attlee, a man Churchill disparagingly described as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing.” When the conference reconvened, the power dynamic had shifted dramatically, and the delegates struggled to find a new balance. Stalin took advantage of his strong position to demand control of Eastern Europe as recompense for the suffering experienced by the Soviet people and armies. The final resolutions of the Potsdam Conference, notably the division of Germany and the Soviet annexation of Poland, reflected the uneasy geopolitical equilibrium between East and West that would come to dominate the twentieth century.

As Neiberg expertly shows, the delegates arrived at Potsdam determined to learn from the mistakes their predecessors made in the Treaty of Versailles. But, riven by tensions and dramatic debates over how to end the most recent war, they only dimly understood that their discussions of peace were giving birth to a new global conflict.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/02/2015
In July 1945, three Allied leaders—Harry S. Truman, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill—met at the Potsdam Conference in Germany to establish the structure of a postwar world order. Many observers disliked the outcome, but Neiberg (The Blood of Free Men), professor of history at the U.S. Army War College, explains why he approves of it in this thoughtful, mildly controversial account. Truman, vice president until F.D.R.’s death three months earlier, knew little of world affairs but proved a quick study. Churchill, voted out of office before the conference ended, “baffled and worried his own cabinet officers.” While acknowledging “Stalin’s brutality,” Neiberg sympathizes with him; aware that Russia did most of the fighting and suffering, the Soviet leader came to Potsdam “not to make deals but to settle scores.” In the end, Stalin got most of what he wanted: hegemony over Eastern Europe, reparations, and generous territorial gains in exchange for attacking Japan, as the war in the Pacific continued. Neiberg points out that WWII did not lead to a third world war, and that Stalin’s concentration on politics over economics at the conference eventually doomed the Soviet Union. Neiberg’s insightful history makes a case that Potsdam worked much better than Versailles had in 1919. Photos. Agent: Geri Thoma, Writers House (May)

Related Subjects

  • ">Europe - General & Miscellaneous - Politics & Government
  • ">European Theater - World War II - General & Miscellaneous
  • ">General & Miscellaneous European History
  • ">World War II - General & Miscellaneous
  • ">World War II - Resolution & Aftermath

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