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The Drift to War 1922-1939 Hardcover – May, 1991


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In details amassed from memoirs, correspondence, interviews and official archives, British historian Lamb ( Montgomery in Europe ) retraces political events from the 1919 Versailles peace treaty to the outbreak of WW II in 1939. In an interesting if dismal chronicle, Lamb reveals Anthony Eden's bickering with Neville Chamberlain and Mussolini's on-and-off friendly overtures to England, occurring as Hitler pronounced reparations demanded of Germany "unpayable," defied the League of Nations and marshaled the Reich to expansion and revenge. England's and France's defensive alliances with Russia and Italy were thwarted by anticommunist sentiment and by Italy's conquest of Ethiopia and military role in Spain. Most important, by Lamb's account, were the pervasive pacifist outlook in the West and resultant political timidity among British leaders, who with French cooperation might have blocked Hitler's bloodless conquests of Austria and Czechoslovakia and driven him from power early on. Photos.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In popular discourse, appeasement is synonymous with cowardice--particularly British pusillanimity. Not surprisingly, English authors repeatedly search for an answer as to why nothing was done to stop the rise of fascism. Conventional wisdom has recourse to the policies of Neville Chamberlain and the effects of the Great Depression. Lamb, however, finds his villains in an earlier period. He indicts the various Anglo-French governments who conspired to destroy the Weimar government and force Italy into an alliance with Germany. It is impossible to say if Italy would have proven an effective counterweight to German expansion, or if the Weimar Republic was a viable alternative to the Third Reich. Lamb raises some interesting questions in this articulate work, but he might do well to consider the international petroleum cartel as a factor in the diplomatic maneuvering of the period. Primarily for academic libraries.
- J.K. Sweeney, South Dakota State Univ., Brookings
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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