Former Whitehall insider Gill Bennett unravels the story of six crucial British foreign policy challenges since the Second World War, from the Korean War to the Falklands conflict, offering an inside account of episodes that shaped Britain's position in the world for decades to come - and in some cases still arouse controversy to this day. Lifting the lid on the making of British foreign policy from Clement Attlee to Margaret Thatcher, Bennett reveals each decision in a way that has never been done before: telling the story from the inside out and without hindsight. The result is a book that explains not just why these controversial decisions were taken, but one that shows us how history is actually made - and also just how difficult these big decisions really were. Gill Bennett considers exactly what ministers knew at the time; how personal experience, relationships, past events and prevailing circumstance influenced the decision-making process; and how the balance of history was tipped in each case: by argument, moral imperative, obligation - or even sheer force of personality.
Gill Bennett, MA, OBE was Chief Historian of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from 1995-2005, and Senior Editor of the UK's official history of British foreign policy, Documents on British Policy Overseas. As a historian working in government for over thirty years, she offered historical advice to twelve Foreign Secretaries under six Prime Ministers. A specialist in the history of secret intelligence, she was part of the research team working on the official history of the Secret Intelligence Service, written by Professor Keith Jeffery and published in 2010. She is now involved in a range of research, writing and training projects for various government departments.
Introduction ; 1. Challenging Communism: Britain sends land forces to Korea, July 1950 ; 2. Challenging Nasser: the Suez crisis, July 1956 ; 3. Challenging de Gaulle: Britain applies to join the EEC, July 1961 ; 4. Challenging Britain's world role: the decision to withdraw from East of Suez, January 1968 ; 5. Challenging the KGB: Operation FOOT, September 1971 ; 6. Challenging the Argentines: The decision to send a Task Force to the Falklands, April 1982 ; Conclusion ; Notes ; Bibliography ; Index