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.
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.
You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.
eReaders and other devices
To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.