Subscribe now and receive weekly newsletters with educational materials, new courses, interesting posts, popular books, and much more!
By MAX E. HERTWIG
Churchill’s faith in personal diplomacy—solving intractable problems by meetings at the highest level—was famously expressed during his World War II meetings with Stalin and Roosevelt. It surfaced again in 1953-55, when he strove unsuccessfully to promote what he called “a meeting at the summit” with Eisenhower and Stalin’s successors. Less widely known, however, is Churchill’s 1914 proposal for a “conference of sovereigns” or heads of state (including, it seems, French President Raymond Poincaré) in an effort to head-off World War I. The scheme failed, but certainly not for Churchill’s lack of trying.