Churchill and the Anglo-American Special Relationship edited by Alan P. Dobson and Steve Marsh consists of nine essays on the British prime minister’s building and shaping of the relationship with the United States. The nine chapters in the volume, which is part of Routledge’s Cold War History series, are “Strategic Culture’ on the Road to (and from) Fulton: Institutionalism, Emotionalism, and the Anglo-American Special Relationship,” by David G. Haglund (Queen’s University); “Churchill’s Fulton Speech and the Context of Shared Values in a World of Dangers,” by Alan P. Dobson (Swansea University); “Manipulating the Anglo-American Civilizational Identity in the Era of Churchill,” by Robert M. Hendershot (Grand Rapids Community College); “The Fulton Address as Racial Discourse,” by Srjdan Vucetic (University of Ottawa); “Personal Diplomacy at the Summit,” by Steve Marsh (Cardiff University); “Churchill’s Ambassadors – from Fulton to Suez,” by Tony McCulloch (UCL Institute of the Americas); “Churchill’s inter-subjective special relationship: a corpus-assisted discourse approach,” by Anna Marchi (Bologna University), Nuria Lorenzo-Dus (Swansea University) and Steve Marsh; “The Architecture of a Myth: Constructing and Commemorating Churchill’s Special Relationship, c. 1919-69,” by Sam Edwards (Manchester Metropolitan University); and “Curtains, Culture and ‘Collective’ Memory,” by David Ryan (University College Cork).
The scholarly essays provide interesting and detailed observations into the post-war special relationship from various viewpoints. Marsh in his essay on personal diplomacy writes that Churchill “set the mould whereby British officials would seek to guide ‘the unwieldy barge’ that was America” and the “pinnacle” of this “ambition” was “for the prime minister to establish and manipulate a close relationship with his American counterpart.” In his survey of the British ambassadors in Washington from 1939 to 1957, McCulloch concludes that the “Potomac Charter of June 1954 was in many ways the fulfilment of Churchill’s mission to revive the Anglo-American ‘special relationship,” and also includes the observation that Lord Halifax in his farewell speech as ambassador in 1946 “rivalled Churchill in his devotion to the Anglo-American ideal.”
As the editors acknowledge that “it was in the war that the Anglo-American relationship became truly special” and Warren Kimball writes in the prologue that the special relationship “cannot be understood without a firm grounding in the alliance politics of the Second World War,” the volume would have benefited from the inclusion of an essay addressing aspects of the special relationship during the war.
Churchill and the Anglo-American Special Relationship provides an insightful and original addition to the study of Winston Churchill.