Cambridge University Press has just published David Mayers’s book, FDR’s Ambassadors and the Diplomacy of Crisis

in Uncategorized
December 3rd, 2012


This book constitutes an investigation into the part played by personality and circumstance in US foreign policy during World War II. This account of US envoys residing in the major belligerent countries–Japan, Germany, Italy, China, France, Great Britain, USSR–highlights the fascinating role assumed by such diplomats as Joseph Grew, William Dodd, William Bullitt, Joseph Kennedy, John Winant, and W. Averell Harriman. Between Hitler’s 1933 ascent to power and the 1945 bombing of Nagasaki, US ambassadors sculpted formal policy–occasionally deliberately, other times inadvertently–giving shape and meaning not always intended by FDR or predicted by his principal advisors. From appeasement to the Holocaust and the onset of the Cold War, Mayers examines the complicated interaction between policy, as conceived in Washington, and implementation on the ground in Europe and Asia. By so doing, he also sheds light on the fragility, ambiguities, and enduring urgency of diplomacy and its crucial function in international politics.

In addition, David Mayers will be a Visiting Fellow in spring 2013 at Clare Hall, Cambridge University. While there he will work on his book-in-progress, After Armageddon: The United States and International Society, 1945-1955. He also hopes to explore Cambridge with Andrew David, History Ph.D. student par excellence, who will reside at Clare College (first cousin to Clare Hall) during the same  spring months.