Cover image for Roosevelt and Churchill : men of secrets
Roosevelt and Churchill : men of secrets
Stafford, David.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Woodstock, N.Y. : Overlook Press, 2000.

Physical Description:
xxiv, 359 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D753 .S68 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The relationship between Roosevelt and Churchill was unique, famously based on interlinked national histories, shared pedigrees, and corresponding worldviews. But above all, it was cemented by shared enemies: Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. On these foundations Roosevelt and Churchill constructed a fighting alliance unlike any other in history.

The two men also developed an extraordinary personal relationship<-communicating almost daily by telegram, telephone, personal meetings, or through intermediaries

Author Notes

David Stafford, "an expert in Britain's wartime intelligence operations" (The Independent), is the author of numerous books. A former diplomat who has written extensively on intelligence history, he is currently Project director at the Center for Second World War Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Stafford (Churchill and Secret Service, etc.) wants nothing to do with the popular view of the great wartime partnership between Churchill and FDR. Not content with the sentimentalized portrait of a warm friendship based on shared pedigrees and world views offered in Doris Kearns Goodwin's No Ordinary Time, Stafford demonstrates that the alliance of these two cunning leaders was the product of need and hard bargaining, not sentiment. He further contendsDquite rightlyDthat the complex relationship between the two was mirrored by the actions of their intelligence operatives. Stafford writes: "The most sensitive touchstone of trust between individuals, as well as nations, is how far they are prepared to share their secrets." When Churchill learned that Hitler had called off his 1940 invasion of Britain, he kept the information from FDR and continued to implore the president to come to England's aid. Five years later, as the war wound to its close, Churchill criticized FDR's intelligence chief, William "Wild Bill" Donovan, for his successful efforts to thwart British plans to restore colonial outposts in Asia. As Stafford shows, similar intelligence clashes occurred throughout the war. Both FDR and Churchill kept much to themselves while at the same time building an often-productive joint intelligence infrastructure. In the end, Stafford's book goes a long way toward proving the truth of an old adage favored in spy circles: "There are no friendly secret services; only the secret services of friendly powers." Strong reviews and the continuing broad interest in WWII and FDR will produce respectable sales, which might be boosted by a major fall focus on FDR as the final volume of Kenneth S. Davis's monumental biography comes out in late November. 8 pages of b&w photos. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The close personal relationship that developed between FDR and Winston Churchill proved essential to the ultimate success of the Allies in World War II, and former diplomat Stafford has produced an exceptional portrayal of their friendship. In this, his most ambitious venture to date, Stafford (Churchill and Secret Service; The Silent Game) brings to bear his vast knowledge of the British secret service during the war and combines it with fresh archival research of the American wartime intelligence services. The author produces a truly remarkable account of the crucial wartime relationship between two statesmen who appreciated the importance of their intelligence-gathering services yet at times also guarded what they knew from each other if they believed it would benefit them politically. Despite occasional disagreements, both leaders never lost sight of their ultimate goalDdefeating the Axis powers. Although the literature is enormous on this popular topic, Stafford's synthesis of new and old sources makes this one of the best works to come out on this well-worn topic in many years. Highly recommended.DEd Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Stafford's Britain and European Resistance, 1940-1945 (1980) quickly established itself as required reading for those interested in the subject. His Churchill and Secret Service (1997) carefully tracked Churchill's career-long fascination with--and use of--intelligence and covert operations. The current volume, clearly written for a general audience, looks at the wartime Anglo-American alliance from an intriguing angle: the attitudes of the president and prime minister toward covert operations and intelligence. The outline of the story will be familiar enough to specialists, but an up-to-date retelling of it with current research, done in a clear and evenhanded fashion for a broader audience, is nonetheless welcome, as many of the myths generated around the subject still have currency. Stafford's account of the bureaucratic struggles in Washington among the military, the FBI, and the OSS prefigure the ongoing turf wars that seem inseparable from the intelligence business. Finally, the mix of cooperation, competition, resentment, and suspicion existing between American and British personnel and agencies--from the top down--faithfully mirrors the complexities of the over-romanticized "special relationship." Stafford has provided a good introduction to a subject of enduring interest and contemporary relevance. R. A. Callahan University of Delaware