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A Diplomatic Meeting

Reagan, Thatcher, and the Art of Summitry

They were known as "political soulmates" who shared a "special relationship". Grounded in similar democratic systems, common historical discourses, and sustained military alliance through several of the twentieth century's most contentious conflicts, British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and the American president Ronald Reagan shared a deep respect, admiration, and friendship, as well as similar ideologies. Many analysts and historians recycle a popular conception of the two New Right leaders joined at the hip politically, yet their relationship was more complex and nuanced.

Drawing on a host of recently declassified documents from the Reagan-Thatcher years, A Diplomatic Meeting: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Art of Summitry, provides an innovative basis to understand the development and nature of the relationship between the two leaders. Author James Cooper boldly challenges the popular conflation of the leaders' platforms and proposes that Reagan and Thatcher's summitry demonstrated that foreign policy was not distinct from domestic policy: there was just policy, and the related politics of it. Summits, therefore, were a significant opportunity for world leaders to further their own domestic agenda. Cooper utilizes the relationship between Reagan and Thatcher to demonstrate that summitry politics transcended any distinction between foreign policy and domestic politics—a major objective of Reagan and Thatcher as they sought to consolidate power and implement their domestic economic programs in a parallel quest to reverse notions of their countries' "decline".

This unique and significant study about the making of the Reagan-Thatcher relationship uses their key meetings as avenues of exploration and argues that there is fluidity between the domestic and international spheres, which is underappreciated within existing interpretations of the leaders' relationship, Anglo-American relations and, more broadly, in the realm of international affairs.

Reviews

"James Cooper's A Diplomatic Meeting: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Art of Summitry is so much more than meets the eye. It is a masterful study of big personalities and big ideas, which shows how domestic concerns often drive foreign policy. Cooper reminds us of the importance of diplomacy and how it can play a central role again in an increasingly fractious world looking for leadership."—Luke A. Nichter, Author of The Last Brahmin: Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. and the Making of the Cold War

9780813154305 : a-diplomatic-meeting-cooper
Hardback
January 18, 2022
$45.00 USD
9780813154596 : a-diplomatic-meeting-cooper
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January 18, 2022
$45.00 USD
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January 18, 2022
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Reagan and the World

edited by Bradley Lynn Coleman, Kyle Longley, with contributions byBeth Fischer, foreword by Jack Matlock, Jr., with contributions byJames Graham Wilson, Beth A. Fischer, Ronald Granieri, James R. Locher, III, Archie Brown, James Cooper...
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Reagan and the World

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