Edited by Gabriel Gorodetsky 

Sir Stafford Cripps served as the British ambassador in Moscow from May 1940 until January 1942. His appointment to Moscow has puzzled both contemporaries and historians. A militant left-winger, Cripps was expelled from the Labour Party in June 1939 for advocating a united front against fascism. In 1942 he returned from Moscow resting on the laurels of the Russian resistance and received a seat in the War Cabinet. The diary detects his transformation in Moscow. While Bevin and Attlee elaborated the future social policies of the Labour Government, Cripps laid the foundation for Labour’s postwar foreign policy. The papers expose his visionary ideas which were contrasted with a sharply realistic approach deriving from his long career as one of Britain’s leading lawyers.

 The documents selected and annotated by Gabriel Gorodetsky, the author of Cripps’ Mission to Moscow, are based in the first place on diary-letters written by Cripps while in Moscow which is here unveiled for the first time. There are meticulous daily entries accompanied by Cripps’s revealing letters to his daughters, his correspondence with his trusted friend in London, Sir Walter Monckton, and excerpts from Lady Cripps’s diary. The collection further includes a diary which Cripps kept of his fact-finding tour to the Far East and Moscow in winter 1939-40, a tour of Turkey in March 1941, and a selection of letters from the family archives. Further documents are derived from Monckton Papers, Eden Papers, Churchill’s Papers, Foreign Office papers and papers from the archives of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which are published for the first time.

Gabriel Gorodetsky is The Samuel Rubin Chair of Russian and East European History and Civilization and Director of the Cummings Center at Tel Aviv University. Among numerous volumes on the history of the Second World War and Soviet foreign policy, he is the author of Grande Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia, The Precarious Truce: Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1924-27 and Sir Stafford Cripps’s Mission to Moscow, 1940-42.


c250 pages 2005
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0 7146   paper £/$TBA