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Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of My Time by Clive James

By Clive James

'One stupendous starburst of untamed brilliance' SIMON SCHAMA 'Aphoristic and acutely provocative: a crash path in civilization' J. M. COETZEE geared up from A via Z, and containing over a hundred essays, Cultural Amnesia is the last word consultant to the 20th century. 'This is a gorgeous publication. James proves himself not just to be in ownership of a towering mind, yet a novel skill to speak his passions' Observer 'Witty, insightful and unashamedly erudite, the e-book is an excellent miscellany of 20th-century cultural and political subjects' The Sunday occasions 'Over the earlier 40 years James has been scribbling notes within the margins of the books he has learn ...and this can be the end result. shrewdpermanent, contentious and funny' dad or mum 'An eclectic trip during the twentieth century, as Clive James explores the careers of luminaries corresponding to Charles de Gaulle and Charlie

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Cripps courted the Russian leaders with hints that Britain might approve Stalin's recent annexation of the three Baltic states and even, though this was unauthorized, territorial acquisitions at Poland's expense. These gestures were also ignored in Moscow. In early 1941 Churchill turned to a policy of sober restraint. He vetoed a suggestion that Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden visit Moscow, He told Eden, "A mere visit would do no good. They might simply trade it off to Germany. " He did warn Stalin of the impending German invasion.

He enthusiastically sponsored plans to help Finland during the short Russo-Finnish "winter war" of 1939-40. And he personally inspired plans for action in Norway to stop shipments of iron ore to Germany that might also have brought war between Britain and the Soviet Union. 29 The German conquest of France in the summer of 1940, together with his appointment as Prime Minister in May, quickly returned Churchill to his more coolheaded 1936-39 approach. " Stalin did not bother to reply. Churchill then sent Stafford Cripps, a prominent pro-Soviet Labour politician, as ambassador to Moscow.

At last, on August 23, the announcement came of the Nazi-Soviet pact. The door was now closed. " This was characteristic. The crisis excited him and inspired optimism. He now returned to the more congenial coherence of all-out anti-Sovietism. Ideological hostility came to the fore again. " Churchill was active in promoting Anglo-French schemes for action to curtail Soviet oil shipments to Germany by bombing Baku, on the Caspian, and by sending submarines to the Black Sea. He enthusiastically sponsored plans to help Finland during the short Russo-Finnish "winter war" of 1939-40.

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