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Fighting Churchill, Appeasing Hitler was published in 2019 by Biteback Publishing in the UK and Pegasus Books in the US. It took a radically new look at the vexed question of British diplomacy in the late 1930s, disentangling the web of motivations and miscalculations that produced one of history's most catastrophic foreign policy episodes.
Adrian shows how British decision-making had become dangerously concentrated on just two men: prime minister, Neville Chamberlain and his chief civil service advisor, Sir Horace Wilson. They pursued a strategy of actively seeking friendship with the Fascist dictators. This included a hitherto overlooked attempt to conciliate Hitler by offering him colonies in Africa with millions of inhabitants.
They treated any opposition to the policy as dangerously irresponsible, above all Churchill's correct understanding of Hitler's evil. Wilson and Churchill were enemies of long standing.
Chamberlain and Wilson fought any attempt to face Hitler down. Hitler saw this as nothing more than weakness and fear, which led him to ever more outrageous acts until war became inevitable.
"....a new and fascinating angle on the whole sorry saga of miscalculation and moral surrender that led up to the Second World War… detailed knowledge of how government worked. But this is not dry old stuff. It is full of personalities and political battles,…... a good read from a historian who intimately understands the workings of government, and who tells with a firm and relentless drive of an over-powerful government adviser pursuing a totally mistaken policy." Taylor Downing in Military History Matters (Read the full review)
"This impressive book provides a detailed exposition of the case against appeasement. Written with clarity and verve, it draws on a vast range of unpublished material..." Lord Lexden, Official Historian of the Conservative Party in The House. (Read the full review)
"This fascinating study is a model of historical sleuthing. Vigorously researched, it should appeal widely to history buffs." David Keymer in The Library Journal. (Read the full review)
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