A strained partnership?

US–UK relations in the era of détente, 1969–77

By Thomas Robb

A strained partnership?

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9175-9
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: May 2014
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / International relations, International relations, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Humanities / Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000, Politics


This is the first monograph-length study that charts the coercive diplomacy of the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford as practised against their British ally in order to persuade Edward Heath's government to follow a more amenable course throughout the 'Year of Europe' and to convince Harold Wilson's governments to lessen the severity of proposed defence cuts. Such diplomacy proved effective against Heath but rather less so against Wilson. It is argued that relations between the two sides were often strained, indeed, to the extent that the most 'special' elements of the relationship, that of intelligence and nuclear co-operation, were suspended. Yet, the relationship also witnessed considerable co-operation. This book offers new perspectives on US and UK policy towards British membership of the European Economic Community; demonstrates how US détente policies created strain in the 'special relationship'; reveals the temporary shutdown of US-UK intelligence and nuclear co-operation; provides new insights in US-UK defence co-operation, and re-evaluates the US-UK relationship throughout the IMF Crisis.


1. Re-assessing foreign policy, 1969-72
2. A year of discord, 1973-74
3. Wilson returns, 1974-76
4. All out of money, 1976-77
Select Bibliography


Thomas Robb is Senior Lecturer in History at Oxford Brookes University

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