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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Neiberg Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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After Germany’s defeat in World War II, Europe lay in tatters. Millions of refugees were dispersed across the continent. Food and fuel were scarce. Britain was bankrupt, while Germany had been reduced to rubble. In July of 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin gathered in a quiet suburb of Berlin to negotiate a lasting peace—a peace that would finally put an end to the conflagration that had started in 1914, a peace under which Europe could be rebuilt.

Award-winning historian Michael Neiberg brings the turbulent Potsdam conference to life, vividly capturing the delegates’ personalities: Truman, trying to escape from the shadow of Franklin Roosevelt, who had died only months before; Churchill, bombastic and seemingly out of touch; Stalin, cunning and meticulous. For the first week, negotiations progressed relatively smoothly. But when the delegates took a recess for the British elections, Churchill was replaced—both as prime minster and as Britain’s representative at the conference—in an unforeseen upset by Clement Attlee, a man Churchill disparagingly described as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing.” When the conference reconvened, the power dynamic had shifted dramatically, and the delegates struggled to find a new balance. Stalin took advantage of his strong position to demand control of Eastern Europe as recompense for the suffering experienced by the Soviet people and armies. The final resolutions of the Potsdam Conference, notably the division of Germany and the Soviet annexation of Poland, reflected the uneasy geopolitical equilibrium between East and West that would come to dominate the twentieth century.

As Neiberg expertly shows, the delegates arrived at Potsdam determined to learn from the mistakes their predecessors made in the Treaty of Versailles. But, riven by tensions and dramatic debates over how to end the most recent war, they only dimly understood that their discussions of peace were giving birth to a new global conflict.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In July 1945, three Allied leaders—Harry S. Truman, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill—met at the Potsdam Conference in Germany to establish the structure of a postwar world order…Neiberg points out that WWII did not lead to a third world war and that Stalin’s concentration on politics over economics at the conference eventually doomed the Soviet Union. Neiberg’s insightful history makes a case that Potsdam worked much better than Versailles had in 1919.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Arthur Morey gives a solid narration of this account of the post V-E Day conference that shaped Eastern Europe and set in place the course of the Cold War…this well-written account is an appealing blend of academic and popular style, and Morey’s voice is a good match. His baritone voice is pleasing to the ear, steady in delivery, and subtly expressive.”

    AudioFile

  • “An intriguing and readable book about a conference that still has a huge impact on today’s world but has been relegated to footnotes for much too long. A must-have account for everyone from students of world history at the undergraduate and graduate levels to knowledgeable recreational readers.”

    Library Journal

  • “A first rate account of a meeting that played a key role in defining the postwar world. Scholarly, thoughtful, and well written.”

    Jeremy Black, author of Rethinking World War Two

  • “A military historian analyzes the significance of the final conference of the World War II allies…A solid account of the conference, concisely summarizing its results and significance without excessive indulgence in entertaining personal anecdotes. Fills a hitherto surprisingly empty niche in the World War II library.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Michael Neiberg is a professor of history and the Stimson Chair of the Department of National Security and Strategy at the US Army War College. The author of several award-winning books, he lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.