The United States would not enter the war until after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. But by the spring of 1941 Congress had approved the Lend Lease program, and the aid Roosevelt had promised at Charlottesville had begun to flow to Great Britain, where Winston Churchill was now prime minister. In July 1941, Roosevelt and Churchill met for the first time in Argentia Bay off Newfoundland, to issue a joint declaration on the purposes of the war against fascism. Just as Wilson's Fourteen Points delineated the first war, so the Atlantic Charter provided the criteria for the second.
Originally the Soviet Union, which had been attacked by Germany the month before, was to sign the charter as well. But the notion of "one world," in which nations abandoned their traditional beliefs in and reliance upon military alliances and spheres of influence, did not appeal to Joseph Stalin, and, in fact, neither was Churchill particularly thrilled. On...