When World War II ended in Europe, the continent lay in tatters. Tens of millions of people had been killed. Ancient cities had been demolished. The economic, financial and commercial foundations of Europe were in shambles. Western Europe's Communist parties -- feeding off people's want and despair -- were flourishing as, to the east, Stalin's Soviet Union emerged as the sole superpower on the continent.
The Marshall Plan was a four-year, $13 billion (more than $100 billion in today's dollars) plan to provide assistance for Europe's economic recovery. More than an aid program, it sought to modernize Western Europe's economies and launch them on a path to prosperity and integration; to restore Western Europe's faith in democracy and capitalism; to enmesh the region firmly in a Western economic association and eventually a military alliance. It was the linchpin of America's strategy to meet the Soviet threat. It helped to trigger the Cold War and, eventually, to win it.
Through detailed and exhaustive research, Behrman brings this vital and dramatic epoch to life and animates the personalities that shaped it. The narrative follows the six extraordinary American statesmen -- George Marshall, Will Clayton, Arthur Vandenberg, Richard Bissell, Paul Hoffman and W. Averell Harriman -- who devised and implemented the Plan, as well as some of the century's most important personalities -- Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin, Joseph McCarthy -- who are also central players in the drama told here.
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Starred Review. "Even if the work lacks a strong enough authorial voice and distinctive style, it's unlikely Behrman's narrative force could be surpassed or that the discovery of further archives would materially alter the author's gripping tale." - PW.
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reg Behrman is the founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of NationSwell. NationSwell is a digital media company focused on American renewal. The team identifies the new American innovators and pioneers who are doing the most creative and impactful things to move our country forward, produces great stories about them, and drives social action in support of their efforts.
He was formerly the Henry Kissinger Fellow at The Aspen Institute and was also a Fellow at The Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard University. In between college and graduate school, he worked for two years at Goldman, Sachs & Co in the firm's private equity group.
He is the author of The Invisible People: How the U.S. Has Slept Trough the Global AIDS Pandemic, The Greatest Humanitarian Catastrophe of Our Time (2004)...
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