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November 1943: World War II teetered in the balance. The Nazis controlled nearly all of the European continent. Japan dominated the Pacific. Allied successes at Sicily and Guadalcanal had gained modest ground but at an extraordinary cost. On the Eastern Front, the Soviets had already lost millions of lives.
That same month in Tehran, with the fate of the world in question, the “Big Three” — Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin — secretly met for the first time to chart a strategy for defeating Hitler. Over three days, this trio — strange bedfellows united by their mutual responsibility as heads of the Allied powers — made essential decisions that would direct the final years of the war and its aftermath. Meanwhile, looming over the covert meeting was the possible threat of a Nazi assassination plot nicknamed “Operation Long Jump,” heightening the already dramatic stakes.
Before they left Tehran, the three leaders agreed to open a second front in the West, spearheaded by an invasion of France at Normandy the following June. They also discussed what might come after the war, including dividing Germany and establishing the United Nations — plans that laid the groundwork for the postwar world order and the Cold War.
Bret Baier’s new epic history Three Days at the Brink centers on these crucial days in Tehran, the medieval Persian city on the edge of the desert. Baier makes clear the importance of Roosevelt, who stood apart as the sole leader of a democracy, recognizing him as the lead strategist for the globe’s future — the one man who could ultimately allow or deny the others their place in history. With new details found in rarely seen transcripts, oral histories, and declassified State Department and presidential documents from the FDR Library, Baier illuminates the complex character of Roosevelt, revealing a man who grew into his role and accepted the greatest calling of the last century.