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Peter Clarke's book is the first to analyse in detail the losing hand that Britain was dealt in the last year of World War Two, and then to see how that hand was played over the next two years by Churchill's successors. It makes superb use of the copious letters and diaries now available of the major participants and many involved observers, to show how decisions were taken and received. Not least, it analyses dispassionately the role of the USA: how Roosevelt and his successors were determined that Britain must be sustained both during the war and after, but that the British Empire must not. The book thus also describes the short pivotal period when American influence finally took over from the British in world politics.