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In a decade, between 1940 and 1950, the old world order collapsed, and a new one was created. Old European empires - France, Germany and the United Kingdom - receded, replaced by two new superpowers - the Soviet Union and the United States. Beyond Europe, a swath of new countries was created: India, Communist China, Israel and the modern Arab states, Indonesia, the Koreas. But there were darker shadows too, cast by the onset of the Cold War: the failure to establish international controls on atomic energy, or the growth of the national security state and modern intelligence apparatus. This era also produced some of the most remarkable statesmen of modern times, including leaders such as Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Truman, de Gaulle, Nehru and Mao Tsetung; diplomats like George Marshall, Dean Acheson, Anthony Eden, Ernest Bevin and Robert Schuman; and international fixers, such as Averell Harriman, John Maynard Keynes, or Jean Monnet. Their stories form the core fabric of this book. Richard Crowder examines their shared ambition to rebuild the world, and launch a second age of globalization.