Much of the scholarship concerning the Cold War is understandably focused on the deterioration of diplomatic relations between the two main WWII victors, the USA and USSR. But a parallel debate among historians has stressed the role of UK Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin who adopted a hard-line anti-Soviet policy, even before the Americans themselves. Appalled by Soviet behaviour in Eastern Europe, including the coup in Prague, the multiple show trials, and the violation of the 4 power Berlin agreement, which necessitated the 1948 Air Lift, Bevin actively encouraged US President Truman to respond with both diplomatic and military measures. In this way Bevin prompted the Truman Doctrine in 1947 and the creation of NATO in 1949. This talk evaluates Bevin’s influence on these momentous events.
This lecture is part of the 'Controversies in UK Foreign Policy: Diplomacy or Military Force?' lecture series, taking place on Fridays from 20 October to 24 November 2023. You may either register for individual lectures or you may choose to register for the entire lecture series at a reduced price.
Please note: this lecture will close to enrolments at at 23:59 BST on 24 October 2023.