Neville Chamberlain, Appeasment and the British Road to War

Overview

In this controversial re-evaluation of Neville Chamberlain and appeasement, Frank McDonough draws on a fascinating range of primary and secondary sources to make his case. He argues that Chamberlain believed a Second World War would be disastrous for Britain, and focussed all his energies to avoid it. In doing so, he used and abused the 'mood of his age', which favoured a collective international drive o preserve peace, and not nationally self-interested policy which Chamberlain...
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Overview

In this controversial re-evaluation of Neville Chamberlain and appeasement, Frank McDonough draws on a fascinating range of primary and secondary sources to make his case. He argues that Chamberlain believed a Second World War would be disastrous for Britain, and focussed all his energies to avoid it. In doing so, he used and abused the 'mood of his age', which favoured a collective international drive o preserve peace, and not nationally self-interested policy which Chamberlain followed.

It was Hitler's entry into Prague in March 1939 which exposed appeasement as a fantasy and forced Chamberlain, under pressure from national opinion, to make a half-hearted and muddled attempt to stand up to the dictator. It was a task to which Chamberlain's flawed political judgement was even more ill-suited and which ultimately led to the outbreak of war in September 1939.

The book differs from other studies of the subject by setting Chamberlain's actions within a wider chronological framework and by taking a fresh look at the underlying influences on the policy of appeasement within British society.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Argues that the British Prime Minister believed a second world war would be disastrous for his country and focused all his energies on preventing it. Draws evidence from primary and secondary sources that he used the then-popular notion of a collective international movement for peace rather than take a position of national self-interest as Churchill did. Finds that his flawed political judgement led to his ill-suited response to the obvious failure of appeasement in 1939, which in turn led to the outbreak of war. Distributed in the US by St. Martin's Press. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719048326
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Series: New Frontiers in History Series
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of abbreviations
1 Introduction: the changing debate 1
Pt. I Appeasement and British government 1918-1939
2 British foreign policy 1918-1937 13
3 National defence 33
4 Chamberlain's new direction, May 1937-February 1938 45
5 The road to Munich, March-September 1938 57
6 The approach of war, October 1938-September 1939 72
Pt. II Appeasement and British society 1918-1939
7 Appeasers and anti-appeasers 95
8 The mass media, public opinion and appeasement 114
9 Economic appeasement 133
10 Conclusion 153
Selected documents 162
Select bibliography 176
Index 186
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