Seven Fateful Moments When Great Men Met to Change the World

New Word City
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Throughout time, leaders at the pinnacle of power - popes and kings, presidents and prime ministers, czars and generals - have subscribed to the belief that they can change the course of history, not by the force of arms, but through charm, skillful negotiation, honesty, deceit, and all the other arts of peaceful human exchange.

Award-winning author Charles L. Mee Jr. reproduces seven singular moments when heads of state have come together to decide the future of the world. He examines the uses of summitry, from the directness of Pope Leo's confrontation with Attila the Hun near Rome to Henry VIII and Francis I's meeting on the Field of the Cloth of Gold; from the surprise encounter between Cortés and Moctezuma to the intricacies negotiated by Metternich and Talleyrand at the Congress of Vienna; from the ironies of Wilson, Clemenceau and Lloyd George's summit at the Paris Peace Conference to the unintended consequences of Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt's gathering at Yalta; and finally to Gorbachev's desperate appeal to the G7 nations in London to be included in their powerful club.

Mee peeks through the curtains of diplomacy to reveal the hidden agendas and the glorious personalities at work. Taken together, these seven fateful moments are bracing and humbling reminders of the enormous complexity and mystery of human affairs.
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About the author

Charles L. Mee Jr., is the author of a dozen books of history, on such subjects as the origins of the Cold War, summit diplomacy, and the American Constitutional Convention. He was for some years the editor-in-chief of Horizon, a magazine of history, literature, and the arts. In recent years, he has written several dozen plays, which have been produced in New York, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Istanbul, and southern India, among other places around the world. Among his many honors, he has received the award for lifetime achievement in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
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Additional Information

Publisher
New Word City
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Published on
Sep 16, 2015
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Pages
461
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ISBN
9781612309064
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
Biography & Autobiography / Presidents & Heads of State
Biography & Autobiography / Royalty
History / Ancient / General
History / Modern / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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For two weeks in the summer of 1945, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, and Josef Stalin gathered to reconstruct the world out of the ruins of World War II. They met "only a few miles," as President Truman noted, "from the war-shattered seat of Nazi power" - around a baize-covered table in the Cecilienhof Palace at Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin.

The Allied powers had met twice before, engaging in the cordial horse-trading of properties and promises, to perpetuate a united military front against Germany. Potsdam, however, was different. With Germany defeated, the Allies knew victory in the Far East was imminent. The objective was no longer how to unite for victory, but how instead to divide the spoils and create a new balance of power. In The Deal, Charles L. Mee Jr. demonstrates how, with national self-interest the primary motivation, peace was destined to be sacrificed to deliberate discord. If Allied harmony would stand in the way of expanding "spheres of influence," then it would become necessary to maintain the political expedient of aggression. What did each power want and were these objectives of sufficient importance to warrant forfeiting peace? Would the outcome have been different had Churchill's rhetoric been less powerfully disruptive, had Stalin been surer of domestic calm, had Truman been more open? Would the history of the last seventy years have been the same?

Through logbooks, eyewitness accounts, and conference transcripts, Mee vividly reconstructs this moment in history, when three men came together to forge a peace and a new face for Western Europe and left with a tri-partite declaration of the Cold War.
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