In The Eleventh Hour, critically acclaimed author L. Douglas Keeney explores FDR's covert conferences on the battleship and provides stunning insight into the formerly secret, behind-the-scenes transcripts from the meetings in Tehran. Brilliantly chronicling the three days of aggressive debates between the heads-of-state, Keeney demonstrates that Tehran, although remembered as a diplomatic conference with a well-known outcome, was in reality chaotic, conflicted, and subject to numerous heated, closed-door sessions--with a petulant, irritable Churchill; a strikingly reserved, detached Roosevelt; and an assertive but unexpectedly diplomatic and even charming Stalin, winning over his guest, President Roosevelt, whose quarters were bugged by the Soviets.
Seamlessly stitching together the private papers, diaries, meeting notes, and letters home of those on board, The Eleventh Hour narrates declassified transcripts, exposes surprising secrets, and illuminates how the debates of three men would ultimately end WWII.
- ISBN-13: 9781118269862
- ISBN-10: 1118269861
- Publisher: Wiley
- Publish Date: March 2015
- Page Count: 272
- Dimensions: 9.7 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Military historian Kenney (Lost in the Pacific) examines an impasse between the U.S. and U.K. over military strategy during WWII that was resolved at the autumn 1943 Tehran Conference—attended by F.D.R., Churchill, and Stalin—when the Soviets sided with the Americans. The U.S. wanted to focus on Operation Overlord, the planned May 1944 invasion of France, while the British, fearful of troop idleness, advocated for an equal emphasis on attacking the Germans in Italy, the Aegean, and the Balkans. Keeney recounts the discussions in depth and provides fine profiles of F.D.R. and his military leaders. Though Keeney reveals a number of fascinating anecdotes, he also gets a few important facts wrong, as when he writes that soldiers in France's northern half fought the Germans in the spring of 1940 while those in the southern half signed an armistice. Also, he writes too little about the British military leadership and the military context at the time, barely addressing the 1943 North African and Italian campaigns in two short paragraphs, and ignoring altogether the monumental 1943 Soviet–German tank battle at Kursk. While these flaws mar Keeney's briskly-narrated work, it still should appeal to those interested in WWII's military and diplomatic history. (Mar.)