Your Loving Daughter,
So much for more talk about the Comet this week! (After a planned week off from work collapsed due to labour churn, before which it was going to be April, 1952, I, possibly with Flight and Fortune.)
Economists talk funny and never agree about anything, so you can probably just ignore them and watch Demi Moore do a full-bikini strip tease to the Eurythmics, "Money Can't Buy It," instead. If only the real world worked like that. It's kind of like how no-one explores what impact the tens of thousands of British military in the Canal Zone might have had on the citizens of Cairo in discussing the events of 1952. Apparently all that rioting and guerilla warfare was motivated by "nationalism" and "fanaticism," and the fact that the Sweet Water/Ismaili Canal, in spite of being the main source of drinking water for Canal Zone cities, was deemed to polluted to drink, isn't worth having a serious conversation about.
Per Wikipedia: Derek Leebaert is an American technology executive and management consultant who writes books on history and politics, which evoke insights on leadership. He is the winner of the biennial 2020 Truman Book Award and also one of the founders of the National Museum of the United States Army.
I'll admit to being a bit surprised. I was alerted to Leebaert's 2018 Grand Improvisation: America Confronts the British Superpower, 1945–1957, by a highly positive review on H-Net last month, and have been picking my way through the book, which is peppered with references leaving me with the impression of a long-time foreign relations specialist putting a book together from an eclectic selection of notes the author no longer has time to check. (In particular, many references to articles in Time are surely taken from clippings rather than a skim of the 650 issues covering the period from the end of WWII to the Suez Crisis, easy enough to do in a library or online.
With that and a few other petty caveats, and after the de rigeur jurisdiction policing (it's okay for historians to invade technology and archaeology and linguistics, but the favour is not to be returned!), I will endorse the H-Net reviewer, and, apparently, the New York Times, this is a pretty good, if not always convincing book. Okay, there I go with the caveats again, but I honestly do not think that John Snyder was the eminence grise of the Truman Administration and single-handed architect of the postwar order. I just don't.
Leebaert's main argument is directed at the "rise of the American empire," which he wants to postpone from 1945 to 1957. Inter alia, that requires arguing that Britain was a much more significant presence on the world stage in this period than most accounts allow. To get even more specific, he has a brief with Peter Clarke's "last thousand days of the British Empire" thesis that brings the curtain down, not with Indian independence, but with the financial shenanigans of the next year. Without going so far as to actually read Clarke (the horror!), I'm going to guess that he is using "thousand days" loosely. Whatever. The key point is a call to re-evaluate the "end of the Great Siege" waged by Germany against Britain, to see its end at Suez rather than the 19 September 1949 reduction of the exchange rate of pound sterling from 4.08 USD to the pound, to 2.80.