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On March 5, 1946 the then former-prime minister Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Generally considered, both at the time and since, to be a controversial “saber-rattling call” for confrontation with the Soviets, the speech is reinterpreted in the article “Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ Speech in Context: The Attempt to Achieve a ‘Good Understanding on All Points’ with Stalin’s Soviet Union” by Klaus Larres and published by The International History Review (published online 10 March 2017). Larres argues that the speech, which established Churchill as the “Cold Warrior par excellence,” has been “misunderstood.” Beyond the “bellicose” sections the speech had “a malleable and benign part” in which Churchill called for an “understanding” with the Soviets and a negotiated settlement of the issues between the Anglo-Americans and the Soviet Union. Rather than increase tensions the speech, officially titled The Sinews of Peace, was “meant to prevent the escalation of this conflict and avoid the dangerous clash between the world’s greatest powers that soon became known as the Cold War.” The International History Review website is here.

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