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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically-grounded approaches to enduring geopolitical problems.
Hitler's American Gamble

As we prepare to commemorate the eightieth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, it remains etched in the public memory as the moment that ended America’s isolationism and led inevitably to the Axis defeat. In fact, as Brendan Simms and Charlie Laderman’s new book Hitler’s American Gamble. Pearl Harbor and Germany’s March to Global War shows, the Japanese assault initially did nothing of the sort. Across the world, the “day of infamy” brought uncertainty rather than clarity, plunging America into a new, separate war in the Pacific and threatening to leave Britain and the Soviet Union at the mercy of Hitler’s Germany.

Hitler’s American Gamble shows that the five days from December 7 – 11 were the most exciting and consequential of early 20th century diplomatic history. It provides hour-by-hour, often minute-by-minute, accounts of the worldwide scramble to assess the impact of and response to Pearl Harbor. The authors show that the attack was not the turning point of World War II; they argue instead that it was Hitler’s declaration of war on the United States – occurring four days later on December 11, 1941 – that clinched the convergence of two struggles into a united global conflict and changed the course of the war.

Speaker and author: Brendan Simms is a Professor in the History of European International Relations and a Fellow at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of many books, including Europe and Hitler. He lives in Cambridge, UK.

Speaker and author: Charlie Laderman is Senior Lecturer in International History at King’s College, London. He is the author of books on US-UK foreign policy, including Sharing the Burden. He lives in London, UK.

Moderator:  Jonathan Dimbleby

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You can purchase your copy in the UK here

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Wednesday, 24 November, 2021 - 17:00 to 18:00
Event location: 
Online - registration coming soon