Neville chamberlain and appeasement book
Appeasing Hitler by Tim Bouverie review – how Britain fell for a delusion | Books | The GuardianThe events that followed the appeasement of Germany in the s were so horrific that appeasement has become an unequivocal pejorative — evoking an unholy combination of blind obliviousness and cowardly acquiescence. This sounds like madness now, and it turned out to be madness then. Chamberlain and his fellow appeasers believed that a punitive Treaty of Versailles had driven the Germans into the arms of the Nazis. This is well-paced narrative history: intelligent, lucid, riveting — even while possessing the terrible knowledge of what happened next. When the British first got wind of the new German chancellor, he seemed so vulgar as to be harmless.
Britain and appeasement
September marked the fiftieth anniversary of the infamous Four-Power Pact of the Munich Conference, which ceded the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany and led to the liquidation of Czechoslovakia as an independent state. For the British, it was one in a long series of fifty-year remembrances associated with the inexorable outbreak of the Second World War. It is rather ironic that at the time of Munich the agreement was perceived as a lastditch, even providential, maintenance of the European peace.
Appeasing Hitler by Tim Bouverie review – the road to war
Halifax thought it a success. This was not really the fault of Hitler who barely concealed the murderous character of his regime and his monstrous ambitions. The deception of Halifax, Chamberlain and their many fellow travellers was of the self-induced kind. Appeasement, the fatal delusion that Nazi Germany could be contained by buying it off with concessions, was the most momentous British mistake of the 20th century. All involved had their reputations blighted to the grave and beyond. The alleged lessons have been invoked in many subsequent crises, from the Korean war to the Syrian conflict. Memories of appeasement inform and misinform Brexit arguments.
Chamberlain, Hitler, Churchill, and the Road to War
Three months after Hitler came to power in Germany, the British ambassador in Berlin dispatched a prescient 5,word report to London. To his superiors, Rumbold outlined how the German leader planned to pick off countries one by one, all the while promising that his latest victim would be his last. It highlights the dangers to a democracy of a leader who comes to power knowing little or nothing about foreign policy, yet imagines himself an expert and bypasses the other branches of government to further his aims.
Appeasing Hitler comes garlanded with tributes from almost a dozen distinguished historians and writers. I spent a pointless quarter of an hour trying to come up with a construction that would render this claim true. The more sensible question is: as this is an anything- but-untold story, does Bouverie retell it in an interesting, readable way? The answer is yes. This is a good example of political history of a particularly British kind: pacy, personality-driven, self-consciously writerly and ever so slightly moralistic.