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Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World [Kindle Edition]

Patrick J. Buchanan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (273 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $20.00
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Were World Wars I and II—which can now be seen as a thirty-year paroxysm of slaughter and destruction—inevitable? Were they necessary wars? Were the bloodiest and most devastating conflicts ever suffered by mankind fated by forces beyond men’s control? Or were they products of calamitous failures of judgment? In this monumental and provocative history, Patrick Buchanan makes the case that, if not for the blunders of British statesmen—Winston Churchill first among them—the horrors of two world wars and the Holocaust might have been avoided and the British Empire might never have collapsed into ruins. Half a century of murderous oppression of scores of millions under the iron boot of Communist tyranny might never have happened, and Europe’s central role in world affairs might have been sustained for many generations.

Among the British and Churchillian blunders were:

• The secret decision of a tiny cabal in the inner Cabinet in 1906 to take Britain straight to war against Germany, should she invade France
• The vengeful Treaty of Versailles that muti- lated Germany, leaving her bitter, betrayed, and receptive to the appeal of Adolf Hitler
• Britain’s capitulation, at Churchill’s urging, to American pressure to sever the Anglo- Japanese alliance, insulting and isolating Japan, pushing her onto the path of militarism and conquest
• The 1935 sanctions that drove Italy straight into the Axis with Hitler
• The greatest blunder in British history: the unsolicited war guarantee to Poland of March 1939—that guaranteed the Second World War
• Churchill’s astonishing blindness to Stalin’s true ambitions.

Certain to create controversy and spirited argument, Churchill, Hitler, and “The Unnecessary War” is a grand and bold insight into the historic failures of judgment that ended centuries of European rule and guaranteed a future no one who lived in that vanished world could ever have envisioned.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Taking his swing at the origins of World War II, conservative pundit Buchanan incorporates the subject into his warnings, expressed in several populist jeremiads (State of Emergency, 2006), of the decline of the West. Certainly World War I, with which Buchanan begins, was a catastrophe for Western civilization whose ramifications continue to be felt. Buchanan’s interpretation generally holds that British and American participation in both WWI and WWII was avoidable if British leaders had recognized that Germany was no threat to the vital interests of the British Empire. Banking his thesis on such supposed benevolence from Wilhelm II and Adolf Hitler, Buchanan criticizes various British policies of the 1920s and 1930s (who doesn’t?), and argues collaterally with Hitler’s statements disclaiming fundamental conflicts with Britain. The weakness in Buchanan’s line of thinking, of course, is that by 1939, Hitler’s international word was worthless; yet Buchanan hinges his case on what might have happened had Britain let Hitler go after Poland in 1939 as it had Czechoslovakia. Speculating a better future had the West permitted Nazi Germany a free hand in Eastern Europe, Buchanan cites the historical costs of Britain and France having at last drawn the line against aggression. Convinced? Controversial as is his wont, Buchanan reminds his large readership that the immediate ignition of WWII can still be disputed. --Gilbert Taylor

About the Author

PATRICK J. BUCHANAN was a senior adviser to three American presidents; ran twice for the Republican presidential nomination, in 1992 and 1996; and was the Reform Party candidate in 2000. The author of nine other books, including the bestsellers Right from the Beginning; A Republic, Not an Empire; The Death of the West; State of Emergency; and Day of Reckoning, Buchanan is a syndicated columnist and founding member of three of America’s foremost public affairs shows: NBC’s The McLaughlin Group and CNN’s The Capital Gang and Crossfire. He is now a senior political analyst for MSNBC.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2357 KB
  • Print Length: 546 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307405168
  • Publisher: Crown (May 27, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0011UGM3W
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,285 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
441 of 512 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Might (Not) Have Been May 27, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Patrick Buchanan has never been shy about taking positions that defy conventional wisdom. He does so again in this extremely well-written and well-documented book (there are over 1300 endnotes). Buchanan argues that both world wars, which constituted a "Civil War of the West", were not necessary and would not have taken place had unwise diplomatic decisions not been made by the major European powers.

In the opening decade of the twentieth century, Germany had a chance to form an alliance with Britain, but let the opportunity pass, as the Kaiser did not believe that England would ever reconcile with France. However, Britain did reconcile with its longtime adversaries, France and Russia, and in 1906 the British secretly agreed to back France should Germany attack. Had the Kaiser known that war with France meant war with Britain, he would have been more conciliatory, as he never wanted war with Britain. On the other hand, had Britain not been pledged to help the French when World War I did come, and had they stayed out of the war, Germany would have defeated France as they had in 1870, but there would have been no Nazi Germany and no Soviet Union as a result the war.

In the interwar years, Britain alienated longtime allies Japan and Italy, who eventually formed an alliance with Nazi Germany.

The Second World War came about, Buchanan believes, as a result of Britain's disastrous guarantee to protect Poland (which it was incapable of doing anyway). Hitler did not want war with Britain, as evidenced by the fact that he never attempted to build a strong navy.
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143 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He stirs the pot! August 16, 2008
Format:Hardcover
From all of the other reviews I have read on this book it is certainly obvious that the author has hit a hot button issue and stirred the pot.

This is the first book I have ever read by Pat Buchanan, and it has a very impressive premise. It is filled with over 1200 notes, and has a vast bibliography. Does the author have a point of view? Obviously, but then what author/historian does not wish to interpret history in their own way.

While many reviewers give much time to WW II, the real issue is WW I and the resultant Treaty of Versailles. Such a pathetic war, such a pathetic treaty, one that was so bad even the US Senate refused to ratify it, and other diplomats knew all the Treaty did was ensure another war in 20 years. The dismantling of the old Empire/Monarchy system led to many of todays bastardized countries. Countries that contain people with no common language, culture or background.

And, if you wish to criticize the premise, just look what recently happened with the Georgian invasion by Russia, and now we have US giving its own "Polish Guarantee" for missle defense. The book definitely shows that there were other views with regard to Churchill and the two World Wars, and Buchanan comes down on the side of those who feel that the wars were unnecessary. It has been over 60 years since the WW II has ended, we have seen the files, seen the paperwork and correspondence from that era, and people are now properly wondering if that war was fought for the wrong reasons. Buchanan certainly points out all the atrocities that Hitler and his Generals ordered to happen, but to me the basic premise was that Hitler could have been avoided had their been a better and more civilized peace to end WW I.
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53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winston Churchill - Destroyer of the Abendland December 21, 2009
Format:Paperback
Patrick Buchanan joins the league of authors who rightfully dethrone the "man of the century", Winston Churchill. Churchill, a man of aristocratic descend, a man of abysmal political judgement, ruthless and reckless, bloodthirsty in his inner soul, was the man who was ultimately responsible for the decline not only of the British Empire, but for the Decline of the Abendland as we witness it today.

This historical review was long overdue.

The German "Kaiser" who had in 25 years of regency not fought one single war, much to the contrary of the haughty later victorious allies, England, France, Russia, and the US, was insidiously dragged into the first World War because England, and foremost Winston Churchill, thought Germany was becoming too strong, economically and politically. While the old empires England and France and the US were morally fully entitled to have their colonies and to rule the seas, Johnny-Come-Lately Germany, was not to have her slice and to leave her merchant fleet at the mercy of the green-eyed British. France and Russia had their own motives to destroy Germany.

Buchanan unfortunately fails to point out that the German speaking regions west of the Rhine "Elsass and Lothringen" had been annexed by the French king Louis XIV in the 17th century when the German principalities were too weak to resist the maroding French armies. After the French-German war of 1870/71, which was declared by the French, France had to cede these German regions to the German Reich. The German conditions for peace in 1871 were mild compared to those which would be imposed onto her by the victorious allies in 1919.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Presents a variety of view points on its characters with ...
Presents a variety of view points on its characters with history and context. Looking back might be 20/20, but it raises several questions to modern myths of Churchill=savior,... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Michael Naaden
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great explanation of why both World Wars happened.

Damn British!
Published 15 days ago by Francis R. Fleming
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS SHOWS A BETTER LIGHT INTO HIS LIFE AND ATTITUDES
AS SOMEONE WHO ALWAYS ADMIRED WINSTON, THIS SHOWS A BETTER LIGHT INTO HIS LIFE AND ATTITUDES, NOT ALWAYS NOBLE OR KIND. A REAL PUZZLE OF A MAN.
Published 19 days ago by joseph stack
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant.
A perspective I had not considered and one that is not taught. Simply brilliant.
Published 19 days ago by steve goodson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Pat gets it right !!
Published 21 days ago by Jack Neidlinger
3.0 out of 5 stars Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War
Buchanan makes some very good points in this interesting `coulda - woulda - shoulda` review of the great and terrible events of the twentieth century. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Erik Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars not an opinionated book like some of his others
A historical book, not an opinionated book like some of his others.
Published 1 month ago by Larry
3.0 out of 5 stars Gems of information clouded by massive distortion of history
There some gems of quotes and factual information in this book clouded by Buchanan's opinion which reflects his lack of knowledge of European history. Read more
Published 1 month ago by PrincessMars09
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
everyone should read, revealing
Published 1 month ago by Sycamore Calvert
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting read, it seems to point out how hopeless diplomatic relations have been in the past.
Published 2 months ago by Michael Spaulding
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