Robert Self is a specialist in interwar British and international history with extensive experience in historical archives (both private papers and government collections) on both sides of the Atlantic. Among his most recent publications are an edited volume of The Austen Chamberlain Diary Letters to his sisters, and four volumes of The Neville Chamberlain Diary Letters - the latter also published by Ashgate.
Neville Chamberlain: A Biographyby Robert Self
History has not looked kindly upon Neville Chamberlain. Despite a long and distinguished political career, his trip to Munich in 1938 and the 'appeasement' of Hitler have forever overshadowed his many other achievements and blighted his reputation, his name now synonymous with the futility of trying to reason with dictators and bullies. Yet, as this biography shows, there is much more to this complex and intriguing character than is generally supposed, and even the infamous events of 1938 are open to more charitable interpretations than is usually the case. Appeasement brought the British government crucial time in which to rearm, and in particular allowed the RAF to drastically increase the number of fighter aircraft it could muster for the Battle of Britain during the summer of 1940. Based on the study of over 150 collections of private papers on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as exhaustive exploration of British government records held in the National Archives, it is no exaggeration to say that the author has surveyed virtually all the existing archival material written by or to Chamberlain, as well as a high proportion of that referring to him. As such, this volume will no doubt establish itself as the definitive account of Chamberlain's life and career, and provide a much fuller and fairer picture of his actions than has hitherto been the case.
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