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One Christmas in Washington Hardcover – November 3, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
A subtitle to this book could have been `How to get your new partner to enter the war'. The American side is initially confused and disorganized at the start of these meetings. Towards the end of the meetings in January General Marshall sets a stronger organizational or management style platform for future operations. The structure is set for war production and allocation and for increasing the size of the merchant fleet. Transportation was required to bring all these supplies across the treacherous Atlantic to England and North Africa to bring the Americans directly into the war. The Americans knew in the long run that they would be providing most of the materiel and troops, so they began to take a more aggressive role to set-up the structure that met their requirements. The results of this conference, called `Arcadia', set the pattern for Anglo-American cooperation for the rest of the war.
Churchill may not have succeeded in getting all he wanted - he was hoping for a bigger role for British planning and direction; but he did succeed in his overall aim which was to apply the main focus on the destruction of Nazi Germany first ( Japan being secondary). Although Churchill is eloquent and flamboyant, Roosevelt is seen as having a greater world vision.Read more ›
I feel I must comment about one thing I found very disconcerting: apparently no one proofread or spellchecked this manuscript. I saw numerous, jarring typos and several places where words were left out, so that I had to reread the sentence several times to try to make out what was being said. Very sloppy in such a heavily researched and scholarly book; did they rush it to the publisher in order to meet a deadline?
Both leaders were at their prime, and both needed the other. Both had staffs that were, at the best, distrustful of the abilities of the other country. Some like Admiral King, Chief of Naval Operations were very anti-British. The result of the conference was to form the 'Grand Alliance' or the 'Special Relationship' between England and the United States that has continued until this day.
This book draws a very good balance between the personal touches that remind us that there were people, and the broader implications of the decisions they were making.
Even if you are not a WW II history afficianado, you can't help but appreciate this book.
Although his visit was an imposition, Roosevelt new that it was essential that they meet face to face to iron out the details for the future.
It is fascinating to see how the tenure of the meetings changed over the course of the days and how the British and americans gained respect for on another.
I couldn't put it down and after it was over I wanted more.
The bulk of One Christmas in Washington takes place in Washington, DC. Americans were still stunned by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and were rather unorganized and unprepared to fight a war with Japan and Germany. Churchill planned to visit the White House despite the objections of almost all staff members on both sides of the pond. Most of what I read previously about this meeting involves funny stories and anecdotes--mostly about Churchill. He was a very demanding houseguest and liked things just a certain way (sherry with breakfast, scotch with lunch, champagne and brandy before bed, etc.). He also sparred verbally with Eleanor. But what I found so fascinating about this secret meeting (which became known as the Arcadia Conference) were the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that occurred during this 3 week span of time.
While Churchill and FDR were meeting, so did their staffs (both military and civilian). There was intense distrust and even dislike between the two camps. At the beginning, the Americans thought that the British were "arrogant know-it-alls" who "were only interested in poaching as much U.S. military hardware and troops as they could get." They also thought the Brits were selfish and untrustworthy. The British thought the Americans were "unorganized, bureaucratic, ignorant of the realities or the war.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful history off a WWII with the war underway and Roosevelt as president, Churchill arrives just before Christmas and some surprising long held state secrets of great... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Thomas A. Kernan
This work is terribly dry, though it presents a thorough introduction to the characters of Roosevelt and FDR while also narrating the US introduction to the Second World War and... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Ryan Mease
I lived near D.C. much of my life (though not in 1941), so reading this book was almost like reading about my home town. Read morePublished on January 3, 2014 by Karl G. Larew
The moment he heard the news about Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill knew that at long last the Americans were in the war. Read morePublished on March 9, 2010 by Thomas Grover
For anyone who is into WWII history, this makes a very good read. An interesting look behind the scenes to some of the most important decisions during that time. An excellent read.Published on September 12, 2009 by S. Winsor
Christmas 1941 was in an era before jet travel. In that era no World Leader traveled more than Winston Churchill. Read morePublished on July 27, 2008 by Richard C. Geschke
This book is a gem. It gives a fascinating behind the scenes
insight into the little known ARCADIA conference just after Pearl Harbor. Read more
David Bercuson and Holger Herwig examine the secret meeting between FDR and Churchill in ONE CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON: THE SECRET MEETING BETWEEN ROOSEVELT AND CHURCHILL THAT... Read morePublished on May 2, 2006 by R. DelParto
Two Canadian professors have written a generally entertaining work on the significant post Pearl Harbor trip made by Winston Churchill and his key military staff to the New World. Read morePublished on April 15, 2006 by Christian Schlect