This compelling history brings to life the watershed year of 1948, when the United States reversed its long-standing position of political and military isolation from Europe and agreed to an "entangling alliance" with ten European nations. The historic North Atlantic Treaty was signed on April 4, 1949, but the often-contentious negotiations stretched throughout the preceding year. Lawrence S. Kaplan, the leading historian of NATO, traces the tortuous and dramatic process, which struggled to reconcile the conflicting concerns on the part of the future partners. He brings to life the colorful diplomats and politicians arrayed on both sides of the debate. The end result was a remarkably durable treaty and alliance that has linked the fortunes of America and Europe for over fifty years. Kaplan's detailed and lively account draws on a wealth of primary sources-newspapers, memoirs, and diplomatic documents-to illuminate how the United States came to assume international obligations it had scrupulously avoided for the previous 150 years.
Lawrence S. Kaplan is University Professor Emeritus at Kent State University, where he was director of the Lemnitzer Center for NATO Studies for many years, and adjunct professor of history at Georgetown University.
Chapter 1: Introduction: The Isolationist Tradition, 1800-1947 Chapter 2: The "Speech": January 22, 1948 Chapter 3: The Brussels Pact: March 17, 1948 Chapter 4: The Vandenberg Resolution: June 11, 1948 Chapter 5: The "Exploratory" Talks: July-September 1948 Chapter 6: The Western Union Defense Organization: 1948-1949 Chapter 7: The Hiatus: September-December 1948 Chapter 8: The Treaty of Washington: April 4, 1949 Chapter 9: In Retrospect: The Relevance of NATO Today (or in the Post-Cold War Era)