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Less than a year after the assassination of President Kennedy brought Lyndon B. Johnson to the White House, Harold Wilson became British Prime Minister. Over the next four years, the two men governed their countries through unprecedented crises, both domestic and international. To provide a better understanding of the transatlantic relationship, this volume provides for the first time all the correspondence between Wilson and Johnson from the time Wilson became Prime Minister in October 1964 until Johnson stepped down as President in January 1969. This period witnessed Britain’s accelerated ’retreat from Empire’ and the United States’ correspondingly active role in confronting communist influence across the globe. The letters between Wilson and Johnson reveal the difficulties they faced during this period of transition. In particular, the issue of the Vietnam War looms large, as Wilson’s refusal to commit British forces, and his sponsorship of peace initiatives, served to place severe strain on relations between the two men. Other significant topics which re-occur in the correspondence include American attempts to stiffen Britain’s resolve to preserve the value of the pound, the almost continual British defence reviews, the future of the British Army on the Rhine, the French withdrawal from NATO, the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, East-West relations, Britain’s relations with the EEC, the Prague Spring, and the devaluation of sterling. Drawing on material from the Johnson Presidential Library, Wilson’s private papers at the Bodleian Library, and the National Archives of both the United States and the United Kingdom, this collection provides a direct insight into Anglo-American relations at a pivotal moment. For whilst the United States was undoubtedly a superpower on the rise and Britain a declining influence on the world stage, the letters reveal that Johnson was eager for international allies to demonstrate to the American people that the US did not stan
The nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956 triggered one of the gravest international crises since the Second World War. The fiftieth anniversary of the Suez crisis in 2006 presented an ideal opportunity to re-visit and reassess this seminal episode in post-war history. Although much has been written on Suez, this study provides fresh perspectives by reflecting the latest research from leading international authorities on the crisis and its aftermath. By drawing on recently released documents, by including previously neglected aspects of Suez, and by reassessing its more familiar ones, the volume makes a key contribution to furthering research on - and understanding of - the crisis. The volume explores the origins of the crisis, the crisis itself and the aftermath all from a broad perspective. An introduction by the editor presents the current state of the historiography and provides an overview of the debates surrounding the crisis, while the conclusion by Scott Lucas not merely draws the themes of the book together, but also explores the crisis in its regional and international context. Within the overall context of focussing on the international and military aspects of the crisis, it is an explicit intention to embody in the contributions the multifaceted nature of Suez. Although Britain, as in many ways the principal actor, is strongly represented, there are also highly original chapters on both the regional and international dimensions to the crisis, and crucially the interaction between the two. As well as exploring the role of the main protagonists, essays also deal with American, Jordanian and Turkish reactions to the invasion. The overall result is an innovative, thought-provoking, and wide-ranging reassessment of Suez and its aftermath, which at a time when the Middle East once again holds the world's attention, is particularly appropriate.
Less than a year after the assassination of President Kennedy brought Lyndon B. Johnson to the White House, Harold Wilson became British Prime Minister. Over the next four years, the two men governed their countries through unprecedented crises, both domestic and international. To provide a better understanding of the transatlantic relationship, this volume provides for the first time all the correspondence between Wilson and Johnson from the time Wilson became Prime Minister in October 1964 until Johnson stepped down as President in January 1969. This period witnessed Britain’s accelerated ’retreat from Empire’ and the United States’ correspondingly active role in confronting communist influence across the globe. The letters between Wilson and Johnson reveal the difficulties they faced during this period of transition. In particular, the issue of the Vietnam War looms large, as Wilson’s refusal to commit British forces, and his sponsorship of peace initiatives, served to place severe strain on relations between the two men. Other significant topics which re-occur in the correspondence include American attempts to stiffen Britain’s resolve to preserve the value of the pound, the almost continual British defence reviews, the future of the British Army on the Rhine, the French withdrawal from NATO, the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, East-West relations, Britain’s relations with the EEC, the Prague Spring, and the devaluation of sterling. Drawing on material from the Johnson Presidential Library, Wilson’s private papers at the Bodleian Library, and the National Archives of both the United States and the United Kingdom, this collection provides a direct insight into Anglo-American relations at a pivotal moment. For whilst the United States was undoubtedly a superpower on the rise and Britain a declining influence on the world stage, the letters reveal that Johnson was eager for international allies to demonstrate to the American people that the US did not stan
The nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956 triggered one of the gravest international crises since the Second World War. The fiftieth anniversary of the Suez crisis in 2006 presented an ideal opportunity to re-visit and reassess this seminal episode in post-war history. Although much has been written on Suez, this study provides fresh perspectives by reflecting the latest research from leading international authorities on the crisis and its aftermath. By drawing on recently released documents, by including previously neglected aspects of Suez, and by reassessing its more familiar ones, the volume makes a key contribution to furthering research on - and understanding of - the crisis. The volume explores the origins of the crisis, the crisis itself and the aftermath all from a broad perspective. An introduction by the editor presents the current state of the historiography and provides an overview of the debates surrounding the crisis, while the conclusion by Scott Lucas not merely draws the themes of the book together, but also explores the crisis in its regional and international context. Within the overall context of focussing on the international and military aspects of the crisis, it is an explicit intention to embody in the contributions the multifaceted nature of Suez. Although Britain, as in many ways the principal actor, is strongly represented, there are also highly original chapters on both the regional and international dimensions to the crisis, and crucially the interaction between the two. As well as exploring the role of the main protagonists, essays also deal with American, Jordanian and Turkish reactions to the invasion. The overall result is an innovative, thought-provoking, and wide-ranging reassessment of Suez and its aftermath, which at a time when the Middle East once again holds the world's attention, is particularly appropriate.
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