Department of English

The Grand Illusion: Britain and the United States

Geoffrey Wheatcroft (London) presents this week's Faculty Seminar on British Studies.

Fri, April 22, 2011 | Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

2:45 PM

Far from being the equal world power that Churchill fondly supposed in 1946, Englad became what would have appalled him: a client state. Harold Macmillan, Prime Minister 1957–1963, also hoped that the British would be 'Greeks to their Romans,' since the Americans were a 'great big, vulgar, bustling people' who must be guided and mentored as the Roman emperors had been, supposedly, by the Greeks. More recently Tony Blair sent British troops to fight alongside the Americans 'to keep the United States in the international system.' These were curious illusions. In fact, Britain had become a dependency of the United States and George W. Bush's relationship to Blair resembled that of master to servant.

Geoffrey Wheatcroft is a journalist and author. He studied Modern History at New College, Oxford, and joined the Spectator in 1975. He writes regularly for the Spectator, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic Monthly. His books include The Randlords (1995), which was a History Book Club Choice in 1996, The Controversy of Zion (1996), and The Strange Death of Tory England (2005). His most recent book is Yo, Blair! (2006).

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