By Norman Stone
In The Atlantic and Its Enemies, prize-winning historian Norman Stone assesses the years among global struggle II and the cave in of the Iron Curtain. He vividly demonstrates that for each Atlantic good fortune there appeared to be a dozen Communist or 3rd global triumphs. Then, abruptly and opposed to all odds, the Atlantic won—economically, ideologically, and militarily—with amazing velocity and finality.
An stylish and path-breaking background, The Atlantic and Its Enemies is a monument to the substantial agony and clash of the 20th century, and an illuminating exploration of the way the Atlantic triumphed over its enemies at last.
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Additional info for The Atlantic and Its Enemies, A Personal History of the Cold War
In the Old Schools in Benet Street, you were confronted with an examination, beautifully printed, which read, ‘For translation into French’. The passage would read: ‘choppingly, the blades flashing in the wan sunlight, the queen’s skiff moved through a brisk north-easterly towards the port of Leith (A. Fraser)’. In those days there was an interesting battle between the examiners and the schoolmasters, and I had an enormous advantage, in that I had been taught by the siege-master extraordinary, Christopher Varley, at Glasgow Academy, who had no thoughts at all - he read Balzac for the vocabulary, a siege-engine of some power, which enabled you to turn the tables on the interviewers, who would be lost as you trotted out words such as balivot, or is it baliveau, meaning a tree marked one year to be cut down the next, in English, ‘staddle’.
But there was an original sin at the centre of the Palestinian question, and it lay in the context of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which had offered the Jews a national home in what was then Arab (or Ottoman) territory: the aim being essentially to keep the French away from the Suez Canal. The British then found themselves responsible for keeping order in a small area claimed by both sides, and there was a further problem, in so far as the native Palestinians were themselves very divided. Partition was an obvious solution, and even then the transfer of Palestine to Jordan would have made sense, but there were vast problems as regards Jerusalem.
In 1945 class resentment was strong, at least in the big cities, and it affected even many solidly middle-class figures themselves. Labour drew its strength from the trade unions, but there was an important element made up from men who had a background in grand schools or at Oxford (or, more rarely, Cambridge, which was less politically minded). They resented the sheer inefficiencies that the class problem entailed. Woodrow Wyatt, with an Oxford background and a good war behind him, was typical of such men, largely because he believed that fairness and efficiency could be combined.
The Atlantic and Its Enemies, A Personal History of the Cold War by Norman Stone