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The Lost Peace: Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope, 1945-1953 Paperback – December 5, 2011
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“A perceptive work. . . . Veteran historian Dallek delivers a shrewd analysis of why world leaders failed to deliver a better world.” -- Publishers Weekly
“Bound to provoke debate, Dallek’s tome should engage the readership for world politics.” -- Booklist
“Robert Dallek brings to this majestic work a profound understanding of history, a deep engagement in foreign policy, and a lifetime of studying leadership. This seminal work deserves widespread attention.” -- Doris Kearns Goodwin
From the Back Cover
Provocative, illuminating, and based on a lifetime of research, The Lost Peace is a penetrating look at the misjudgments that caused enormous strife and suffering during a most critical period in history: from the closing months of World War II through the early years of the Cold War. The men who led the world—principally Churchill, Stalin, de Gaulle, Mao, Truman, Syngman Rhee, and Kim Il Sung—executed astonishingly unwise actions that propelled the nuclear arms race. The decisions of these great men, for better and often for worse, had profound consequences for the following decades, influencing relations and conflicts in China, Korea, the Middle East, and elsewhere around the globe.
Robert Dallek’s striking reinterpretation of the postwar years, The Lost Peace is a cautionary tale that considers what might have been done differently to avoid the tumult of the mid-twentieth century and the grave difficulties that plagued strong and weak nations alike in a time of fear, mistrust, and uncertainty.
- Publisher : Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (December 5, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061628670
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061628672
- Item Weight : 1.04 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.08 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #980,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I purchased both the Kindle and audiobook and read and listened simultaneously. The audiobook is faithful to the written text and is clearly narrated. The Kindle has footnotes not available on the audiobook.
In terms of a product, how one feels about this book may depend on what one is looking for within. Obviously many volumes can be, and have been written on the subjects within this book. By necessity a book of this length on this timeframe must be an overview. If one is unfamiliar with this timeframe, this book is a very good introduction. For a student of history this book may provide a basis for further study. This is especially true for the Kindle or hard copy with footnotes. As an amateur history student generally familiar with this time, I found the actual events accurately depicted and I still learned some facts. If you are highly familiar with the history of this period, you may find much of this work a rehash of what you already know. That was my personal experience.
In summary I liked this book and feel it is a high quality product. The audiobook is clearly narrated and faithful to the hard copy. This is a high quality summary and overview. I feel it provides a good foundation for further study. Thank You...
The why is bound up in a complex mixture of human personalities and ideology. Roosevelt and Stalin had a unique relationship that could not be matched by Truman and Stalin for example. Even nations that were in alliance had different priorities as the postwar world formed. Ideology is the second piece of the puzzle. The two prisms of liberal democracy and communism led leaders to view their counterparts’ actions through the lenses of ideology. When one can’t look beyond ideology, misperceptions result and those misperceptions can give us a war no one wants.
A really rich and detail oriented history with an ultimate lesson that world leaders would be wise to listen to.
These are significant flaws, but then Dallek, on balance, does better than most writers in handling this subject and on that basis I would not hesitate to recommend this book highly. However, readers should be aware of the need to draw the appropriate conclusions from the evidence Dallek amply provides even when he shies away from doing so himself.