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Making Friends with Hitler: Lord Londonderry, the Nazis & the Road to War

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  94 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Chas Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry, was born to power. Scion of an aristocratic family, Churchill's cousin, royal confidant, owner of vast coal fields & landed estates, wed to the doyenne of London society, he was an ornament to his class, the .1% who still owned 30% of England's wealth as late as '30. But history hasn't been kind to ' ...more
Hardcover, 1st American, 512 pages
Published November 4th 2004 by Penguin Press (NY) (first published September 24th 1998)
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Maryann MJS1228
Readers will be excused if they mistake Making Friends With Hitler for a self-help book designed to assist us all in dealing with the despots in our lives. This is not a how-to, rather it's more of a "why did anyone bother in the first place." Specifically, this is an exploration of the not uncommon view circa 1935 that Britain should seek some sort of accommodation with Hitler rather than oppose him.

The idea of making friends was born in part of a belief that Germany's Versailles grievances wer
...more
Yooperprof
Apr 13, 2013 Yooperprof rated it it was ok
I can't believe I'm awarding only two stars to a book written by Ian Kershaw, who is a great historian of Nazi Germany, an excellent researcher and writer. But this book too often illustrates the cliché of "beating a dead horse." There's really no reason for a 350 page book about a minor British political figure of the early 1930s who by general agreement had only a very minimal impact upon his colleagues.

About half of the book is made up of Kershaw's interpretation of the general causes and co
...more
Amy
Feb 17, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
I am always interested in the side stories of major historic events, and I read this book thinking this would be that kind of story. Sadly, Lord Londonderry was an unsympathetic character, and his arrogant clinging to a past where his kind ruled all, took over what should have been the most interesting part of this book - which is was there any way to avoid war with Hitler? Kershaw finally tackles this topic in the final 15 pages of the book in the Epilogue. Londonderry was not compelling enough ...more
Kris
Mar 27, 2010 Kris rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not a bad book, and I suspect my frustrations stemmed from simply not knowing enough about that period of British history to appreciate the significance of some of the narrative. There was an awful lot of, "And then Lord So-and-so wrote a rather disapproving letter to Lord What Not about this subject,which caused Sir This-and-That to write an a letter to Lord Thingmummy reiterating his ambivalence about Lord So-and-So's estimate of Germany's air power." Which I did not fully get, but probably wa ...more
Erik Graff
Oct 21, 2010 Erik Graff rated it liked it
Recommends it for: the English
Recommended to Erik by: Scott Magis
Shelves: history
This book is about the sole British cabinet member who actively attempted to ally his government's interests with those of Germany before WWII. But this book is not just about Lord Londonderry. It is about class, class interest and the extent of upper class interest in Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement.
False
May 01, 2012 False rated it liked it
It's amazing how many books I've read about WWII, and Germany and Hitler...and there's always more to learn. Recommended for understanding the mindset of those Brits who courted Germany in the mid to late 1930's, trying to find a solution in avoiding another World War. They backed the wrong horse.
Joe Paulk
Mar 31, 2008 Joe Paulk rated it liked it
Shelves: have-read
To be cliche, hindsight is 20-20. This needs to be put in mind when reading about the actions of Lord Londonderry. This allows the reader to at least partially sympathize with his ideals for the first half of the text. The second half, however, shows a lack of thought that is difficult to sympathize with. The author did well in trying to create a balanced approach.
Danielle Freriks
Nov 07, 2011 Danielle Freriks rated it it was ok



Kershaw is an accomplished writer but a bit too wordy to qualify as storyteller. This shouldn't surprise anyone- the man is a scientist before he is a writer. He portrays Londonderry as a schmuck who happens into wrong choices. But lovingly.
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Professor Sir Ian Kershaw is a British historian, noted for his biographies of Adolf Hitler.
Ian Kershaw studied at Liverpool (BA) and Oxford (D. Phil). He was a lecturer first in medieval, then in modern, history at the University of Manchester. In 1983-4 he was Visiting Professor of Modern History at the Ruhr University in Bochum, West Germany. From 1987 to 1989 he was Professor of Modern Histor
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