Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 3, Supplement 1, pp 1–5 | Cite as

The ‘Special’ Anglo-American Special Relationship1 ‘A Fatter, Larger Underwater Cable’

  • Warren F. Kimball


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  1. 1.
    It is hard not to repeat myself on this issue, even though historians are masters at saying the same thing under various guises. So if I may offer a truth-in-advertising disclaimer, much of what I will say here has been or will be presented in print elsewhere. For starters, see my “‘Fighting With Allies’: The Hand Care and Feeding of the Anglo-American Special Relationship — from WWII to the Falklands War,” Harmon Memorial Lecture No. 41 (U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, 1998); published in revised form in Architects of the American Century: Individuals and Institutions in Twentieth-Century U.S. Foreign Policymaking, David Schmitz and T. Christopher Jespersen, eds. (Chicago: Imprint, 2000), 29–45; in Future Wars: Coalition Operations in Global Strategy, Dennis E. Showalter, ed. (Chicago: Imprint, 2000), 89–105; and as “The Anglo-American Relationship: Still Special after All these Years,” in The “Special Relationship “: La “relation spéciale” entre le Royaume-Uni et les États-Unis, eds. Antoine Capet and Aïssatou Sy-Wonyu (Rouen, France: C.É.L.C.L. A/University of Rouen, 2003), 207–24. See also “The Incredible Shrinking War: The Second World War—Not (Just) the Origins of the Cold War,” Diplomatic History 25:3 (summer 2001 ), 347–365, and various of my reviews in the Times Literary Supplement.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Interview with Sir John Coles, 6 May 1998 (London, England). Coles was seconded from the Foreign Office as a personal private secretary to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Interview with Antony Acland, 20 May 1998 (Eton College, Slough, England). Acland held the top career foreign service position, permanent undersecretary in the Foreign Office (1982–86), before becoming Ambassador to the United States (1986–91).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alex Danchev, On Specialness: Essays in Anglo-American Relations (Houndmills: Mac millan, 1998), ix.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    See, for example, James Kurth, “America’s Identity and American Foreign Policy,” and the other articles gathered under the rubric “British America in the World” in Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs 49:1 (winter 2005). The phrase “British America” when applied to current (2005) politics, which is the stated purpose of Orbis, is a remarkable example of Victorian/Churchillian thinking carried to its illogical extreme. Depending on your perspective, it insults either the United States or Great BritaiGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963, Robert Rhodes James, ed. (v. VII; New York & London: Chelsea House, 1974), 7289.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ibid., 7244.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    John Charmley, Churchill’s Grand Alliance: The Anglo-American Special Relationship 1940–57, (London: Hoder & Stoughton, 1995) 5–7, 46.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    The original of the cartoon, by Ed Asher, hangs on my study wall. It was published in The New Yorker in late summer 1984.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    I leave the precise definition of “biffing” to Alex Danchev, for whom it is a favorite word; see his On Specialness, chapter 3.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    I have borrowed the quoted phrases from the titles of books by Louise Richardson and David Reynolds.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Board of the Journal of Transatlantic Studies 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warren F. Kimball
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

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