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Reynolds, David 1952–

Reynolds, David 1952–

(David J. Reynolds)

PERSONAL: Born February 17, 1952, in Orpington, Kent, England; son of Leslie and Marian (Kay) Reynolds; married Margaret Philpott Ray (an architect), July 23, 1977; children: James Ray. Education: Cambridge University, B.A., 1973, M.A., 1977, Ph.D., 1980.

ADDRESSES: Office—Christ's College, St. Andrew's St., Cambridge CB2 3BU, England. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, research fellow at Gonville and Caius College, 1978–80, 1981–83, fellow at Christ's College, 1983–, professor of history. Visiting fellow at Harvard University, 1980–81, visiting professor, Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan, 1995.

MEMBER: Royal Historical Society (fellow).

AWARDS, HONORS: Bernath Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 1982, for The Creation of the Anglo-American Alliance, 1937–1941: A Study in Competitive Co-operation; U.S. Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award, 1996, for Rich Relations: The American Occupation of Britain, 1942–45; Wolfson History Prize, 2004, for In Command of History: Churchill Writing and Fighting the Second World War.

WRITINGS:

The Creation of the Anglo-American Alliance, 1937–1941: A Study in Competitive Co-operation, Europa (London, England), 1981, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1982.

Lord Lothian and Anglo-American Relations, 1939–1940, American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, PA), 1983.

(With David Dimbleby) An Ocean Apart: The Relationship between Britain and America in the Twentieth Century, Random House (New York, NY), 1988.

Britannia Overruled: British Policy and World Power in the Twentieth Century, Longman (New York, NY), 1991, 2nd edition, 2000.

(Editor, with Warren F. Kimball and A.O. Chubarian) Allies at War: The Soviet, American, and British Experience, 1939–1945, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1994.

(Editor) The Origins of the Cold War in Europe: International Perspectives, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1994.

Rich Relations: The American Occupation of Britain, 1942–1945, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.

One World Divisible: A Global History since 1945, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2000.

From Munich to Pearl Harbor: Roosevelt's America and the Origins of the Second World War, Ivan R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 2001.

In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War, Alan Lane (London, England), 2004, Random House (New York, NY), 2005.

(Editor) Christ's: A Cambridge College over Five Centuries, Macmillan (London, England), 2005.

From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS: British author David Reynolds, a historian affiliated with Cambridge University, has written several studies about the relationship between Great Britain and the United States. Concerned with the twentieth-century developments of the two countries' alliance, Reynolds has focused on the years of and surrounding World War II. His first scholarly volume, The Creation of the Anglo-American Alliance, 1937–1941: A Study in Competitive Co-operation, was published in 1981 and garnered its author the Bernath Prize, awarded by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Reynolds collaborated with David Dimbleby on a 1988 title, An Ocean Apart: The Relationship between Britain and America in the Twentieth Century. This volume accompanied the BBC/PBS television series of the same title for which Reynolds was historical advisor. Despite the boundaries proclaimed by its title, London Times contributor Andrei Navrozov noted that the book ranges "from the Mayflower to the 'remarkable personal alliance' of two leaders who 'had restored their countries' pride'"—U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Reynolds has also edited or coedited historical works, including The Origins of the Cold War in Europe: International Perspectives and Allies at War: The Soviet, American, and British Experience, 1939–1945, a pioneering collaboration between American, British, and Russian historians of World War II. In a slightly different vein, Reynolds also edited Christ's: A Cambridge College over Five Centuries, a collection that includes essays by such famous Christ's College-educated historians as Simon Schama and David Cannadine.

According to Andrew Roberts of the London Evening Standard, Reynolds's 1995 volume, Rich Relations: The American Occupation of Britain, 1942–45, is an "important work" that "looks at the clichéd images arising from having three million Americans pass through the United Kingdom during [World War II], and finds that most of them were based on fact." One such common British cliché was that the American GIs were "over-paid, over-sexed and over here." London Sunday Times contributor Angus Calder remarked that, in addition to offering objective, meticulous information about the actual rates of illegitimate births in the United Kingdom before and after the American "occupation," Reynolds has "established a clear and detailed view of the factors which made the GIs seem 'over-paid.' The truth was that America had been so severely depressed in the 1930s that many were better fed and clothed than they had dreamed possible." In his Washington Post Book World review of Rich Relations, Jonathan Yardley commended the volume, declaring: "Considering that in both England and the United States the study of World War II long ago ascended from mere history into industry, it is astounding that Rich Relations is the first book to treat the 'occupation' with the full seriousness and scope that it deserves…. [Reynolds] is a specialist in Anglo-American relationships who may be uniquely qualified to take on a subject that proves, in his detailed and subtle treatment, considerably more ambiguous and complex than most of us can have imagined." Kenneth Harris, writing for the New York Times Book Review, also offered praise for the work: "Rich Relations is impressive in its authority and scope, yet very readable—a remarkable feat. Many of the quotations are amusing, the comments witty but warm. It is hard to imagine a more comprehensive look at this extremely interesting and important subject." Roberts concluded: "When all the other instant Second World War books cashing in on the fiftieth anniversary hype have been forgotten, this impressive work of scholarship will continue to be read."

In the late 1990s Reynolds took on the daunting task of writing a history of the modern world. The resulting book, One World Divisible: A Global History since 1945, was published as Volume One of Norton's "The Global Century" series, of which numerous volumes are planned. Admitting that such a comprehensive global history is "impossible" to write, Reynolds nevertheless offered a well-received overview of political events, cultural trends, science, medicine, and international relations. "Pulling off this sort of high-wire act takes a world-class synthesist, iconoclast or polemicist," observed Warren Bass in the New York Times Book Review. "Reynolds, a distinguished Cambridge historian with a keen eye and an urbane sense of humor, seems just the person for the job." Although Bass found One World Divisible "wide but not deep," he nevertheless concluded: "Reynolds is an engaging writer, and … he does tackle a staggering range of material. Many of the profiles of world figures are deftly sketched…. The book's best device is to provide enthralling discursions on social, environmental and technological change that break up the central political story." Reviewing the work for the New York Review of Books, Tony Judt praised this work as "unusually well written and remarkably inclusive," also adding that "Reynolds is impressive in his command of the non-Western world, particularly Latin America and the Indian subcontinent." A critic for the Times Literary Supplement lauded Reynolds for "an admirably comprehensive and judicious account of the last half of the twentieth century."

Britain's wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill, once famously said: "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." In Reynold's Wolfson History Prize-winning book In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War, he examines the ways in which Churchill did indeed write history, both literally—Churchill published a six-volume history titled The Second World War—and figuratively. Reynolds demonstrates that Churchill's writings had a profound effect on the way that World War II has been remembered historically, even down to the name "Second World War." He also shows how history influenced Churchill, tracing how the opening days of the Cold War caused Churchill to evaluate World War II in a new light, and how Churchill's desire to return to elective office affected what he wrote. "Reynolds does a masterful job of threading together these separate strands into a story that will interest both the general reader and the specialist," Kevin Matthews commented in History: Review of New Books. A Kirkus Reviews contributor, noting that few other scholars have seriously examined Churchill as a writer, concluded that "Reynolds adds considerably to our understanding of the British leader."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, December 15, 1999, Gilbert Taylor, review of One World Divisible: A Global History Since 1945, p. 754; November 1, 2005, Gilbert Taylor, review of In the Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War, p. 16.

Contemporary Review, June, 2005, review of Christ's: A Cambridge College over Five Centuries, p. 383.

Evening Standard (London, England), March 27, 1995, Andrew Roberts, review of Rich Relations: The American Occupation of Britain, 1942–1945, p. 25.

History Today, August, 2005, "Crying Wolfson," p. 6.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2005, review of In Command of History, p. 1015.

Library Journal, January, 2000, Harry V. Willems, review of One World Divisible, p. 133.

New York Review of Books, September 21, 2000, Tony Judt, review of One World Divisible, pp. 66-69.

New York Times Book Review, February 12, 1995, Kenneth Harris, review of Rich Relations, p. 26; March 12, 2000, Warren Bass, "What Happened."

Publishers Weekly, November 29, 1999, review of One World Divisible, p. 59.

Spectator, April 9, 2005, Charles Saumarez Smith, "God's House with Many Mansions," p. 38.

Sunday Times (London, England), April 2, 1995, Angus Calder, review of Rich Relations, section 7, pp. 1-2.

Times (London, England), April 7, 1988, Andrei Navrozov, review of An Ocean Apart: The Relationship between Britain and America in the Twentieth Century.

Times Literary Supplement, October 6, 2000, review of One World Divisible: A Global History since 1945, pp. 6-7.

Washington Post Book World, January 29, 1995, Jonathan Yardley, review of Rich Relations, p. 3.

ONLINE

University of Cambridge Web site, http://www.cam.ac.uk/ (October 28, 2003).

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