Churchill and the Politics of War, 1940-1941

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This is a new examination of the politics of strategy and the background to them during Churchill's first year as Britain's wartime leader. It draws extensively both on official archives and on the private papers of many of the political and military leaders. Among the individual topics considered and reinterpreted are Churchill's relations with Chamberlain and the Conservative Party, the political repercussions of the fall of France and the Battle of Britain, and the emergence of a strategy for the Middle East and Greece that would affect the postwar settlement of Europe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What Lawlor offers is a meticulous description of high politics in the crisis of 1940, based on first-hand accounts by political and military leaders, including Churchill himself." Albion

"It is from this tradition of serious scholarship that Sheila Lawlor's excellent monograph comes...she meticulously describes the debates within the Government between the fall of France and the decision to support Greece...This is the kind of stuff we need." Niall Ferguson, The Sunday Telegraph

" intelligent and completely comprehensive account of how the top-level decisions were taken during that vital year. Every statement of opinion is backed up by evidence." The Times (UK)

" unbiased, well-written and highly intelligent analysis of the high politics of the period when Britain 'stood alone.'" Times Literary Supplement

"This is an ambitious book, based on meticuous research upon formidable range of documentary sources." The International History Review

"Lawlor's case, closely argued and well documented, is that novel thing: a revisionist view that elevates rather than denigrates Churchill's skill and judgement." Max Schoenfeld, Journal of Military History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521466851
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Retrospect; Part I. Churchill, The Conservative Party and the War: 1. The opposition to Churchill and its causes; 2. Events and reactions - (I) the German attack on France and its aftermath; 3. Events and reactions - (II) the Battle of Britain; 4. Chamberlain, Churchill and the conservative party; Part II. The Middle East, Imperial Defence and The Balkans (October to December, 1940): 5. Churchill and the Middle East; 6. Eden and the Middle East; 7. Halifax and the Middle East; 8. The military and the Middle East; Part III. The Greek Decision (January to March, 1941): 9. The Greek decision: the background; 10. Churchill, Eden and the Greek decision, January to February 1941; 11. The military command at home and the Greek decision, January to February 1941; 12. The Middle East command and the Greek decision; 13. The Greek decision, 10th February to early March 1941; General conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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