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My Dear Mr. Stalin

My Dear Mr. Stalin: The Complete Correspondence of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph V. Stalin

Edited, with Commentary, by Susan Butler
Foreword by Arthur M. Schlesinger
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 384
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  • Book Info
    My Dear Mr. Stalin
    Book Description:

    My Dear Mr. Stalinis 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.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-12954-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xvi)
    Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

    It is a curiosity of scholarship that the full correspondence between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph V. Stalin was never published during the Cold War. That correspondence consisted of more than three hundred hot-war letters, beginning with Hitler’s surprise attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 and ending with FDR’s surprise death in 1945. History owes a debt to Susan Butler for the collection and annotation of these exchanges.

    Roosevelt and Stalin met only twice—in Tehran in November 1943 and in Yalta in February 1945. They met each time with the third of the Big Three, British Prime Minister...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  5. A Note on the Text
    (pp. xix-xx)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-32)

    For sixty years the wartime correspondence between Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin has languished in obscurity. The correspondence was secret at the time—its existence known only to Roosevelt, Stalin, and their closest advisers—and it was extensive: just over three hundred messages. The messages were sent by cable and often paraphrased to ensure secrecy, although occasionally one of the world leaders would choose an important official such as Harry Hopkins to present a message to the other in person.

    No accurate and complete record of this correspondence has ever been published. In 1957 the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs...

  7. Correspondence
    (pp. 33-326)

    In the spring of 1941 , as German forces began massing for an attack on his country, Stalin refused to believe the reports confirming Hitler’s intention even though messages were pouring in from intelligence sources all over the world and it was plain to everyone else in his immediate circle. Under pressure from his generals he did allow the mobilization of 500,000 reserves in May, but when informed of German reconnaissance flights, he commented, “I’m not sure Hitler knows about those flights.”¹ One report that crossed his desk in early June from Richard Sorge, a Soviet spy in Tokyo accredited...

  8. Appendix
    (pp. 327-330)
  9. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. 331-332)
  10. Notes
    (pp. 333-340)
  11. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 341-344)
  12. Document Source Notes
    (pp. 345-348)
  13. Index
    (pp. 349-361)