Churchill's Cold War Revisited | Wilson Center

Churchill's Cold War Revisited

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Winston Churchill's 1946 "iron curtain" speech was the opening shot in the Cold War for Stalin, Khrushchev, and most other Soviet leaders. Churchill's summit diplomacy of the years 1953–55, however, called for German unification on the basis of neutrality and the peaceful end of the East-West conflict. How can this apparent contradiction be explained? What were Churchill's motives? Klaus Larres revisits these issues and argues that Churchill's policies were coherent and made contributions toward possible solutions in a creative way.

Klaus Larres is professor of history and international affairs at the University of Ulster. At present he is a visiting professor at Yale University and a senior research fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Larres has been selected as a fellow of the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), the UK's Royal Historical Society, the American Academy of Political Science, and the IDEAS Centre for International Affairs, Diplomacy and Strategy at the London School of Economics (LSE).

Previously, Larres was a professor in international relations at the University of London, the Jean Monnet professor at Queen's University Belfast, and held the Henry A. Kissinger chair in foreign policy and international relations at the Library of Congress.

Larres is an expert on transatlantic relations and on American, German and British foreign policies in comparative perspective. Larres' work focuses on the repercussions of U.S. driven globalization on the political, economic and cultural transformation processes in Europe and elsewhere on the geo-strategic developments in the post-Cold War world and also on the history, politics and economics of European integration.

Among Larres' numerous publications include: Churchill's Cold War; The Politics of Personal Diplomacy; Blackwell Companion to Europe since 1945; and The U.S. Secretaries of State and Transatlantic Relations. Currently, Larres is working on his latest book entitled Enlightened Self-Interest: The United States and the 'Unity of Europe' from Truman to Obama.


  • Klaus Larres

    Public Policy Scholar
    Richard M Krasno Distinguished Professor in History and International Affairs at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill
  • Christian F. Ostermann

    Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
    Woodrow Wilson Center