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Munich, 1938: Appeasement and World War II
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Munich, 1938: Appeasement and World War II

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  15 reviews
On September 30, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew back to London from his meeting in Munich with German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. As he disembarked from the aircraft, he held aloft a piece of paper, which contained the promise that Britain and Germany would never go to war with one another again. He had returned bringing “Peace with honour—Peace ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Simon & Schuster (first published September 1st 2008)
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Armen
This is an excellent history of the policy of appeasement as practiced by the British and French in the years before WWII. Faber does an excellent job of taking us through the years after WWI to set up both the rise of Hitler and the coming to power of Neville Chamberlain. He goes into greater detail as his narrative gets into 1938. Perhaps one of the best features of this book is that it makes you very interested in a subject and time period that, if you have picked up this book, you probably t ...more
Ben
History has judged Neville Chamberlain quite harshly. Anytime a politician wants to attack his opponent for being soft on foreign policy, he'll usually invoke the coded language of Chamberlain and "appeasement". If only Churchill and the hardliners had been in charge from the start, some say, England and the Allies could have nipped Hitler in the bud long before he became a major threat.

What this book highlights, however, is that Chamberlain and his policies were well in line with public sentime
...more
Emmanuel Gustin
The agreement of Munich in 1938 has remained in people memories as one of the most painful and disgraceful events in the troubled period before the war. Even today, its memory remains in use as a political weapon. It is the great merit of Faber's account to move us beyond the cartoonish caricatures, and try to explain the actions of the politicians in their historic context. He focuses on the enigmatic personality of Neville Chamberlain, the man who went to unprecedented lengths to avoid war wit ...more
Ray
I had long felt that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was considered a weak and ineffective leader whose policy of appeasement with Adolph Hitler not only sacrificed the Czech nation to a German takeover, but also emboldened Hitler's further territorial expansions into east-central Europe. So rather than preventing an outbreak of war in Europe in 1938, the Chamberlain's appeasement policy only served to further strengthen Hitler politically and militarily. Many had expressed the belief ...more
Converse
In September 1938 the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, in conjunction with the French Premeir Daladier, met Adolf Hitler and agreed that Germany should take over an area of Czechoslovakia, the Sudentenland, largely populated by ethnic Germans. The democratic government of Czechoslovakia was not represented at this or the proceeding talks. The British and French governments pressured Czechoslovakia into accepting the transfer peacefully, which required about 800,000 ethnic Czechs to l ...more
Tony
This is a superb, behind-the-scenes history. Very well told. Chamberlain and Hitler are drawn in classic (read: Dickensian ) detail. Hitler's manic declarations are related with accompanied fist pounding and rhythmic heel stomping. We learn well Chamberlain's 'breathtaking conceit and naivete.' Faber has a novelist's touch. Yet, he also writes with such confidence in his research and detail that it seems he was there. I especially appreciate when he lets us know who is lying and why. Chamberlai ...more
Bryan
This was a fantastic look into the behind-the-scenes negotiations between British prime minister Neville Chamberlain and Adolph Hitler. Chamberlain's goal was to appease Hitler and prevent another European war. Hitler's of course, was to dominate Europe. I found myself frustrated especially by Britain's and France's policy of appeasement. Couldn't they see that every inch they gave Hitler, he consistently took a mile? Unbelievable.

GREAT historical account for anyone interested in this period in
...more
Maryellen
Very well written book about a painful episode in British diplomacy. It was difficult reading about the pig-headedness of Chamberlain and the browbeating that Benes was forced to endure from Chamberlain, France and Hitler. A complicated and difficult situation that Faber does a good job of keeping straight. It left you wondering what would have happened if Chamberlain had stood up to Hitler and called his bluff. Probably really wouldn't have made any difference.
B Kevin
Of course, we have all heard of Nevil Chamberlain and his piece of paper granting 'Peace in our time' but about the background leading up to that, the personalities involved and the issues? Well researched and detailed, this book takes you back to that time, giving you a feel for the hopes and fears of those involved. Fascinating hearing contemporary accounts of Munich, in hindsight of what was to happen.
Stephen Dearden
I think this book is great if you want to know about appeasement and how both sides felt about it. I was very impressed how Faber gave both Britain and Germany's perspectives on the negotiations. You have to be careful though because some of the quotes the author uses are very explicit. That's why this book didn't get five stars.
Jim
This is an extremely thorough book; the author tells a painstakingly detailed story of the events in Germany and to a lesser extent, England and France, leading up to the Munich Conference in September, 1938. Perhaps, though, this book had the wrong title--it should have been titled Hitler and the German Army, 1937-38.
Margaret Sankey
AKA the World's most high-stakes and disastrous poker game. It should have been a bad sign that Neville went off with a hamper full of grouse pate and quoting twee phrases from Henry IV.
Beth Ranson
A little too dry in places, but very interesting insight into the Munich Conference and the build up to it.
Amy Khoudari
Offers great insights into Chamberlin and the motivations behind the Munich appeasement.
Doug
Well told story, focusing on diplomacy and bureaucratic politics.
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