Catherine Hynes is a graduate of University College Dublin. Her research interests include twentieth-century British history and the history of international relations, particularly Anglo-American relations.
'We thought we were tapping the idealistic tradition of the democracies when we put forward the Year of Europe', explained Henry Kissinger, National Security Advisor in the Nixon White House. 'We did not know what we were letting ourselves in for'. President Richard Nixon's claim during his second inaugural address that 'we stand on the threshold of a new era of peace in the world' reflected his relief at the formal conclusion of the war between the United States and North Viet Nam. Freed from the trauma of this conflict, the Administration's attentions could now be redirected to the deteriorating transatlantic alliance. In a self-conscious attempt to echo the heady days of the Marshall Plan, Kissinger persuaded a reluctant President that now was the perfect opportunity to initiate a comprehensive reassessment of the alliance. The new initiative, called the Year of Europe, quickly became a central part of Nixon's second-term public relations campaign. Drawing on recently declassified documents from both the British and American National Archives, Hynes examines how the Year of Europe became a pivotal year in British foreign policy - for all the wrong reasons.Set against the turbulent world climate of the early 1970s, it provides a vivid insight into the bizarre diplomatic modus operandi of the Nixon-Kissinger White House. It also offers a fresh interpretation of the difficulties faced by British Prime Minister Edward Heath as he sought to rebuff Kissinger's overtures and reorientate Britain's foreign policy towards Europe.
A Game of Chicken in Reverse
- June 1970-November 1971
Maintaining the Bermuda Spirit
- November 1971-August 1972
On the Front Burner
- September 1972-January 1973
A Man in a Hurry
- February 1973-April 1973
Putting Flesh on its Bones
- April 1973-May 1973
A Dialogue of the Deaf
- May 1973-July 1973. An Earnest of Good Intention
- July 1973-August 1973
An All-Time Low
- August 1973-October 1973
The Party is Over
- October 1973-January 1974
"In my view Catherine Hynes has dissected the self-delusions of Heath and his Heathmen with wit and care. Her meticulous scholarship will be an enormous boon to our understanding of Britain in the early 1970s."
University of Glasgow
"Expecting to wind up the war in Vietnam soon, Richard Nixon, persuaded by Kissinger, began 1974 with a new initiative to re-stabilise the North Atlantic alliance by a rapprochement with Europe and duly declared it to be the Year of Europe … Hynes examines this failed initiative in some detail, giving revealing insights into how Nixon and Kissinger operated, and why Heath sought to scupper the American initiative. Ultimately she is critical of Heath, seeing him as deluded and self-deceiving in his hopes of leading an independent European foreign policy. This is a well written and lucid account of a largely forgotten aspect of Nixon’s presidency and Heath’s premiership."
'This book does rather more than the title suggests. Although it becomes more detailed as its chronological analysis of the period proceeds, it actually provides a study of Anglo-American relations throughout the Conservative government of 1970–1974, led by Edward Heath. … To anyone interested in the Heath government, twentieth century British foreign policy or Anglo-American relations, this book should be an essential reading, a significant contribution to the debate surrounding British policy towards the United States at a key turning point in post-war history. Aside from the masterly grasp of detail, its intelligent analysis of events and personalities and its balanced judgements on how they interconnected, it is – especially for a book that has grown out of a doctoral dissertation – remarkably lucid in style. The author even makes ‘what one clerk said to another’ sound interesting. The publishers, too, deserve praise for producing the book so handsomely.'
John W. Young
University of Nottingham
Contemporary British History
‘…what is likely to be considered the definitive study of US-British relations during the early 1970s…
Hynes expertly frames the sources of these trans-Atlantic tensions, highlighting the combination of apparent relative decline on the part of the United States and the economic imperatives pushing the British toward a closer relationship with the EEC. Moreover, in her most important contribution, Hynes stresses the uniquely psychological and emotional context of US-British relations. Indeed, her account is suffused with the language of emotion, hurt, and mutual resentment, as she shows that policy makers do not simply respond to the dictates of the balance of power, or even act with respect to strategic doctrines. Instead, emotional states often prefigure their strategic calculations and ideological commitments.
Hynes’s account is essential reading for anyone interested in postwar Anglo-American relations, offering a meticulously researched, tightly focused, and persistently engaging analysis of the interplay of power and personality in postwar US-British relations.’ Journal of British Studies Autumn 2010 ‘The failure of American efforts to initiate a comprehensive reassessment of the US-European alliance in the early 1970s is assessed in remarkable detail by Catherine Hynes. … this study provides valuable insights into the new political challenges of the 1970s for Britain as a European power with a strong transatlantic link, and is a readable account of a fascinating low point in the history of the special relationship.’
Political Studies Review Journal Vol 9 No 1