||Through a study of six historically important meetings between heads of state--beginning with Chamberlain and Hitler at Yalta in 1938 through Gorbachev and Reagan at Geneva in 1985--historian David Reynolds provides a fresh reading of key events of the 20th century, as he argues that summit meetings can be a compellingly important means of diplomacy--but that they can succeed or fail for reasons that he explores. ||Reynolds brings out the dramatic elements in each summit, with portraits of the participants and play-by-play commentary on the strategies of personal diplomacy both in those that failed--such the 1961 Kennedy-Khrushchev summit in Vienna--and those that were somewhat successful--such as Camp David 1968 with Sadat, Begin, and Carter. Reynolds's six case studies highlight a somewhat neglected aspect of international relations, and they reveal how decisions were arrived by human participants caught up in, and making, history.
||The Cold War dominated world history for nearly half a century, locking two superpowers in a global rivalry that only ended with the Soviet collapse. The most decisive moments of twentieth-century diplomacy occurred when world leaders met face to face—from the mishandled summit in Munich, 1938, which brought on the Second World War, to Ronald Reagan’s remarkable chemistry with Mikhail Gorbachev at Geneva in 1985. In Summits, eminent diplomatic historian David Reynolds takes us alongside the statesmen who stood, if only briefly, on top of the world, offering valuable lessons as we find ourselves confronting once again a war without end.