Eight Days at Yalta: How Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin Shaped the Post-War World

Atlantic Monthly. Feb. 2020. 416p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780802147653. $28. HIST
During the Yalta Conference, held February 4-11, 1945, during World War II, the “Big Three” Allied leaders—Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin D. Roosevelt—met to discuss the fate of post-war Europe. In a straightforward narrative, historian and author Preston (A Higher Form of Killing) details issues the leaders discussed: the creation of the United Nations, the Soviet occupation of Germany, the borders of Poland, and the entry of the Soviets into war against Japan. Preston also considers the impact of what was referred to as the spheres of influence in Central and Eastern Europe. Using memoirs, personal letters, and official correspondence from the three leaders, Preston considers their personalities and interactions. The author details the planning that went into the Yalta Conference, as well as its longstanding impact on the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union. This book can be compared to Yalta: The Price of Peace (2010) by S. M. Plokhy and The Allies (2018) by Winston Groom.
VERDICT This examination into the Yalta conference is a solid choice for readers of popular history who want to understand the lessons and legacy of Yalta: as important now as ever.

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