BYSTROVA I.V. “The Big Three”: Historical Experience of Personal Contacts (Book Review: Costigliola, F. Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances. How Personal Politics Provoked the Cold War [Text] / F. Costigliola. – Princeton and Oxford : Princeton University Press, 2

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.1.22 

Irina V. Bystrova

Doctor of Sciences (History), Leading Researcher,

Institute of Russian History of RAS;

Professor,

Russian State University for Humanities,

Dm. Ulyanova St., 19, 117036 Moscow, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

https://orchid.org/0000-0002-6534-1354   


Abstract. The book of Frank Costigliola is devoted to the role of personal factor in the evolution of relations between the USA, the USSR and Great Britain during World War II. The author used different sources from the archives of the USA, the USSR and Great Britain, first of all, the sources of personal origin, diaries and interviews as well as unpublished memoirs of comrades-in-arms of the leaders of the “Big Three”. The main hero of the book is President of the United States F.D. Roosevelt. The author claimed a rather controversial thesis that it was only Roosevelt who managed to establish very specific relations with Stalin, while opposing Roosevelt’s art of constructing bridges to the behavior of W. Churchill and H. Truman. We are now diminishing really great merits of the US President, but it seems hardly possible to establish some equality between Churchill and Truman. W. Churchill was a kind of liaison unit – a “cement” of the Big Three countries in real practice, for he actively moved from one front to another. Therefore he was the person who established personal contact with I.V. Stalin earlier, than Roosevelt. Special attention is devoted to the activities of a famous American diplomat G. Kennan and his colleagues – American representatives in Moscow during the more prolonged period from 1933 to 1946, i.e. more long-term tendencies in Soviet-American relations, including the informal ones, have been studied. As for the position of foreign ambassadors in the USSR, the author clarifies and studies thoroughly a very bad tendency, on his view, of their “isolation” from the Soviet people. This isolation aggravated the negative image of the Soviet state abroad. The main stages, problems and difficulties of creation of the “Big Three” alliance have been studied in the book. From the point of view of F. Costigliola, unprecedented unity of the leaders of the “Big Three” – F.D. Roosevelt, I.V. Stalin and W. Churchill had been achieved during the war, however, Roosevelt’s death in April 1945 led to the sharp change of course of the new American leadership towards the Cold war.

Key words: “The Big Three”, personal contact, politics of isolation, diplomatic corps, the Cold war.

Citation. Bystrova I.V. “The Big Three”: Historical Experience of Personal Contacts (Book Review: Costigliola, F. Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances. How Personal Politics Provoked the Cold War [Text] / F. Costigliola. – Princeton and Oxford : Princeton University Press, 2012. – 533 p.). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 210-214. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.1.22.

Лицензия Creative Commons

“The Big Three”: Historical Experience of Personal Contacts (Book Review: Costigliola, F. Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances. How Personal Politics Provoked the Cold War [Text] / F. Costigliola. – Princeton and Oxford : Princeton University Press, 2012. – 533 p.) by Bystrova I.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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