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NATO 1948: The Birth of the Transatlantic Alliance Paperback – June 21, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0742539174 ISBN-10: 0742539172

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Editorial Reviews


Kaplan starts with the worsening of relations between the Soviet Union and the Western nations, and follows the twists and turns in the difficult negotiations that led to a treaty marking a radical change in US foreign policy. . . . Highly recommended. (CHOICE)

This meticulously researched and well-written analysis builds on Kaplan's extensive earlier research on NATO's importance in the Cold War. . . . Its richly detailed analysis makes a significant contribution to the historical record. This judicious appraisal will be of interest to students of diplomatic history and international relations alike. (Meena Bose, Hofstra University Journal of American History)

Larry Kaplan’s book brings back to life the unique period in 1948–1949 that witnessed the birth of America’s first 'entangling alliance.' His is an exceptionally lively, richly documented, and always enthralling study of the events that led to the greatest transformation of American diplomacy, of the men who made it happen, and of the challenges they had to overcome. (Pierre Melandri, Sciences Po)

Lawrence Kaplan, a foremost specialist in the history of NATO, has written an insightful account of its birth. The relationship between the United States and Europe has suffered in recent years, making this book an especially timely reminder to a wider readership of just how much effort the past generation put into making the North Atlantic Alliance a reality in the aftermath of the Second World War. Elegantly written and cogent, the book should be read by all students of NATO, European affairs, and U.S. foreign policy on both sides of the Atlantic. (Saki R. Dockrill, King's College London)

There is no better team than Lawrence Kaplan together with Morris Honick to recall the events that led to the creation of the West’s chief Cold War instrument in opposing the Soviet Union. It is easy, in these post–Cold War days, not to acknowledge the difficulties that surrounded the creation of the international political-military institutions that are still in use today. Although constantly adapting to a changing international political environment, their basic functions of reinforcing common interests and denying 'divide and conquer' opportunities to actual or potential enemies, are still with us. It is also easy to forget the extreme reluctance on the American side to become 'entangled' in matters of European defense. For these reasons the detailed exposition of the debates and related considerations that underlay the formation of an anti-Soviet 'West' is a welcome addition to the extensive literature, most of it out of necessity based on secondary sources, that chronicles this vital period of our history. (Robert S. Jordan, University of New Orleans)

About the Author

Lawrence S. Kaplan is University Professor Emeritus at Kent State University, where he was director of the Lemnitzer Center for NATO Studies for many years, and adjunct professor of history at Georgetown University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (June 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742539172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742539174
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,480,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Barry on February 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
NATO, to the Defense establishment-minded means North Atlantic Treaty Organization. But if you you live in the United States, own a movie theatre or produce commercial films, you might define NATO as the National Association of Theatre Owners. If you are Mr. Sumner Redstone, you are thinking of the latter. If you are Dr. Lawrence Kaplan or Mr. Morris Honick, you are thinking of the former.
You probably won't belive me, but really....I know all three. As a young man in school in the late 1960's, I worked for Sumner Redstone and his brother Eddy Redstone in Boston, MA when they opened the Cleveland Circle Theatre & showcase Cinema. Sumner is a past president of NATO.
I joined the USAF and for 19 of my 24 years on active duty, I was an AFRTS broadcaster. One of my assignments was AFN Shape at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe at Mons, Belgium. Morris Honick is a friend of mine. He was the long-time head of the Historical Section of SHAPE Headquarters for over 30 years. He introduced me to his associate, Dr. Lawrence Kaplan, director of the Lemnitzer Center for NATO Studies at Kent State University. I conducted radio interviews with both men. Between them, I can't think of 2 more knowledgable men who have a better grasp or understanding of what this great global alliance is all about. They know how it came about, how it functions and how is fosters cohession, friendship and mutual trust among some of the great nations in the world we live in today. The book they have written is a repository of knowledge and understanding that formed the great compromise that has blossumed into the primer defense organization that is NATO today, from its early beginnings over 60 years ago to what it has become.
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By Joseph J. Honick on October 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Outstanding text by Professor Kaplan who graciously takes note of his assistant and my older brother Morris Honick
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