Synopses & Reviews
My Dear Mr. Stalin
is the first publication that contains the complete correspondence between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph V. Stalin. This collection of more than three hundred hot-war messages, never before fully available in any language, is an invaluable primary source for understanding the relationship that developed between these two great world leaders during a time of supreme world crisis.
The correspondence, secret at the time, begins with a letter Roosevelt wrote to Stalin offering aid to the Soviet Union following Hitler's surprise attack in 1941. It ends with a message that was an attempt to minimize the differences between the two leaders, approved by Roosevelt only minutes before his death in 1945. The book traces the evolution of their unique relationship, revealing the statesmanship of the two men and their thinking about the grave events of their time. An informative introduction to the volume and generous annotations set the letters in context.
"This collection is a history junkie's delight. Many of the letters the final one was approved by Roosevelt only minutes before his death in 1945 are filled with understanding and praise for the sufferings that the U.S.S.R. is going through. Roosevelt expresses this sympathy repeatedly (and understandably, given the wartime miseries of the Soviet Union): 'We are filled with admiration for your magnificent resistance,' he wrote in August 1942. More interesting, perhaps, are the maneuverings over their differences, most of which are known to students of the war: Stalin's desire for a second front against the Nazis; debates over how to deal with the wartime Polish government and the postwar borders with Poland. There are no big surprises, but the correspondence shows how the groundwork for what would become the Cold War was already in place even when the United States and the U.S.S.R. were allies. Butler's introduction and explanatory text help thread the messages together. Those who read this will gain a firsthand look into the minds of two world leaders thrown together by Hitler and the contingencies of war." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The letters depict a relationship more nuanced than is usually indicated by secondary sources....Historians should find the letters especially useful." Library Journal
"My Dear Mr. Stalin
, the first complete collection of the correspondence between the American leader and the Soviet leader, pays tribute to wartime humanity's hopeful dream except that Susan Butler, the book's editor and commentator, does not treat it as a dream. She believes that the opportunity for a bright future genuinely existed. Unfortunately, in her rather simplistic view, all of it was undone by Roosevelt's heirs." István Deák, The New Republic
(read the entire New Republic review
In the midst of the crises of the Second World War, Roosevelt and Stalin secretly exchanged three hundred letters, published together now for the first time.
About the Author
Susan Butler is the author of East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart.