A Diplomatic Meeting
Reagan, Thatcher, and the Art of Summitry
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
Sales Date: 02/22/2022
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 framework for understanding the development and nature of the special relationship between British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and American president Ronald Reagan, who were known as "political soulmates." James Cooper boldly challenges the popular conflation of the leaders' platforms, and proposes that Reagan and Thatcher's summitry highlighted unique features of domestic policy in their respective countries. Summits, therefore, were a significant opportunity for the two world leaders to further their own domestic agendas. Cooper uses 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 an avenue to explore the fluidity between the domestic and international spheres, a perspective that is underappreciated in existing interpretations of the leaders' relationship and Anglo-American relations and, more broadly, in the field of international affairs.
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
In this engaging, erudite, and very well researched book, James Cooper offers an insightful and fascinating analysis of the summit interactions of the two major leaders of the West as the Cold War reached its culmination. It demonstrates clearly that the public image of the Reagan-Thatcher 'special relationship' was often at variance with the reality of their need to consider differing national interests and the domestic political contexts in which they had to operate.~Iwan Morgan, author of Reagan: An American Icon
James Cooper has already established himself as one of the leading scholars of Anglo-American relations. Now in this fine new study, he cements that reputation with a fresh look at the personal meetings between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Combining incisive analysis with recently released archival material, he shows the ups and downs of the relationship to help us better understand the full complexity of this most consequential of alliances.~Richard Aldous, author of Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship