A precarious world recuperating from the horrors of WWII and clawing for stability emerges in former BBC producer and author Mosss portrait of Britain and America in the postwar world. While today American dominance may seem an inevitable fact, Moss outlines how a crumbling Great Britain turned over its now-faded world leadership to the United States. With great attention to historical details, Moss (""Klaus Fuchs"") evinces the various American motivations for accepting that position: to limit the Communist threat, which in turn would limit the need for future defense spending; to unite the disparate European nations and secure the American ideal of free institutions; and to maintain European markets for American goods. Moss describes the political and diplomatic give-and-take that led to the Marshall Plan, NATO and other steps that made America a world power. Very informative, this book will also entertain readers with Mosss irreverent metaphors (he compares Ernest Bevins reluctance to become entangled in European alliances to a commitment-phobic man on a date). Its a timely analysis of the development of Americas role in international diplomacy at a time when the worlds balance of power could again shift. Photos. ""(Apr.)"" .