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  1. Review: 'Roosevelt and Stalin: Portrait of a Partnership,' by Susan Butler -
  2. Roosevelt and Stalin: Portrait of a Partnership
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  4. The Impostor. Javier Cercas. Conversations with Casanova. Derek Parker. James Beidler. A Brotherhood of Spies. Wilson's high-minded idealism had failed where pragmatic politicking could have succeeded. Returning to politics after polio left him a paraplegic, Roosevelt served a term as governor of New York and then easily won the presidency in Fighting the Depression kept him busy with domestic politics. It also gave him years of experience in wheeling and dealing with the countless power centres of American government: the Senate, the House, the Supreme Court, the states, corporations and trade unions and a rapidly growing civil service.

    He understood his country better than most presidents before or since. One of Roosevelt's early moves as president was to recognize the Soviet Union in The Soviets had been international pariahs until then, though they were eager to establish foreign trade ties. Many of his own advisers and foreign-service experts were scandalized. Wilson's moralistic foreign policy had reflected a deep current in American culture: as the exceptional nation, the land of the free and the home of the brave, recognition of a communist dictatorship gave undeserved status to that dictatorship.

    As a pragmatic realist, however, Roosevelt saw only trouble in moralizing about the U. He wanted them locked into the international system. He had no illusions about the Soviets, warning the first U. As a guest in the Soviet Embassy during the Tehran summit, he baffled his hosts by seeming to speak freely to his staff -- even though the Soviets knew he was aware of their countless hidden microphones.

    Roosevelt treated the bugs as an amusing game. Diplomatic recognition won him some cautious respect from Stalin. Butler argues that good relations with the U. Even by , American industrial and military power impressed and frightened the powers of Europe and Asia, and the Soviets were eager to buy whatever American expertise they could and steal what they could as well.

    Stick-handling his way politically through the late s and early s, Roosevelt realized war with the Nazis was inevitable, regardless of the isolationists in Congress. Lend-lease gave the British access to American weapons without violating American neutrality.

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    After Hitler invaded the U. After Pearl Harbor Roosevelt could pull out all the stops and send enormous quantities of war materiel to help Stalin: guns, tanks, trucks, airplanes. In the process he built up a mutually respectful relationship with Stalin, first through messages and intermediaries and then through face-to-face summits in Teheran and Yalta. Strikingly, Butler shows Winston Churchill as the odd man out in this relationship. Churchill had been a lifelong reactionary, who in the s had argued for using poison gas on annoying Iraqi tribesmen.

    Now he hoped to get Britain through this new war with its empire intact -- as if he'd failed to notice the collapse of four empires in the last war. Roosevelt, by contrast, was typically American in his distrust of the Brits and the French and their colonialist arrogance. He shared the general American dislike of corrupt, feckless Europe. The British had dreaded the arrival of the Americans in the First World War precisely because they knew it would mean the end of their supremacy, but Churchill by was desperate for American involvement in the new war. Roosevelt handled Churchill as smoothly as he did Stalin, soothing his anxieties and sometimes, at summit meetings, letting Churchill's tantrums about saving the Empire go on until the prime minister had discredited himself.

    Review: 'Roosevelt and Stalin: Portrait of a Partnership,' by Susan Butler -

    The president's astonishing ability to understand people, and to manipulate them, was one part of his political genius. He was a kind of improv artist, riffing on the mood around him and changing it to suit himself. Churchill and Stalin, two of the most powerful and arrogant men the world has ever seen, deferred to him -- not just because he controlled access to the war materiel they needed to survive, but because he seemed to be always in harmony with their own goals. What's even more surprising is that Roosevelt used this quick-witted, improvisational charm in service of a breathtakingly long-range goal: the creation of a postwar United Nations that would both create the conditions for a long peace but provide the police to enforce it.

    The police force would be the U. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to listen online or offline wherever you are.

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    Amazingly, the account of this atrocity was denied by the Japanese government. The Rape of Nanking tells the story from three perspectives: that of the Japanese soldiers who performed it, that of the Chinese civilians who endured it, and finally, that of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved almost , Chinese. World War Two: History in an Hour. Rupert Colley. Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour. Know your stuff: read about World War Two in just one hour.

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    Roosevelt and Stalin: Portrait of a Partnership

    Forging separate alliances with warlords, Taliban dissidents, and Pakistani intelligence, Grenier defeated the Taliban and put Hamid Karzai in power in eighty-eight days. NOTE: All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the CIA or any other U. Government agency.

    Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.

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    Government authentication of information of Agency endorsement of the author's views. This material has been reviewed by the CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information. The Central Intelligence Agency has not approved, endorsed, or authorized this book or the use of the CIA seal, name, or initials. Jordan Ellenberg. The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned.

    Jared Diamond. Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity. Yet for nearly all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of these things. While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in existence.

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