The Daughters of Yalta by Catherine Grace Katz

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for The Daughters of Yalta:

It all makes for very complicated dinner parties.

Quick synopsis:

The story of the Yalta Conference near the end of World War II through the eyes of Sarah Churchill, Anna Roosevelt, and Kathleen Harriman.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:

Franklin D. Roosevelt never knew what he was dying from. He went to the doctor and got diagnosed, but never asked for what was found.

Fun Fact for History Nerds:

It continues to be utterly baffling that Churchill and Roosevelt (especially Roosevelt) did not realize what Stalin would ultimately do. Churchill at least had an inkling.

My Take on the Daughters of Yalta:

Conferences can be super boring. They can also be quite stressful if the status of the free world is being discussed. In 1945 Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt decided to have a little get together to figure out how this whole World War II thing was going to turn out.

Katz looks at the conference from the point of view of the daughters of Roosevelt, Churchill, and the American ambassador to the USSR, Averell Harriman. I really liked this added wrinkle because instead of just recapping a conference, you learn about three people in the background and what makes them tick. They each have very different stories and it livens up what could be a boring situation to read through.

Which isn’t to say the conference itself isn’t ever interesting. The sheer amount of whining, jockeying for position, and ridiculous formalities add another wrinkle to the story. I liked it!


A new look at a conference which is often overlooked itself. Good for someone who has no idea about this part of history. Buy it here!

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The Daughters of Yalta by Catherine Grace Katz
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