R. A. C. Parker Churchill & Appeasement

ISBN 13: 9780333675830

Churchill & Appeasement

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9780333675830: Churchill & Appeasement
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Winston Churchill could have prevented the Second World War . . . If he had controlled British foreign policy, he would have made a 'Grand Alliance' to group other European countries around a strong Anglo-French alliance. The alliance would have pledged defence against any German attacks. It might have stopped Hitler, or cause moderate Germans to stop him. Churchill could have persuaded Stalin that Britain and France would be safer collaborators than Nazi Germany and could have convinced Stalin to accept the independence of Romania, Poland and the Baltic States. It is impossible to imagine that any conceivable alternative chain of events could have been worse than what did happen in 1939-45. Churchill & Appeasement by R. A. C. Parker is a startling and controversial history book.

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Review:

R A C Parker is not a man to mince his words. The opening sentence of this book puts forward the author's belief that Churchill could have prevented the Second World War. This is such a huge statement, so totally at odds with the views of most historians, that you can only sit back and admire his nerve. If, says Parker, Churchill had controlled British foreign policy he could have formed a Grand Alliance with France, around which other European countries could group, which would have provided a robust and effective deterrent to German aggression. He goes on to suggest that such an alliance may have been a more attractive proposition to the Soviet Union than the treaty it went on to make with the Nazis, that ultimately provided the green light for Hitler's invasions of Czechoslovakia and Poland. These are all very big "ifs", which Parker goes on to argue entertainingly if not always completely convincingly. In the early 1930s, Churchill appeared to many as something of a political busted flush--albeit a very dangerous one. He was a part-time politician making a lucrative career as a writer who liked to bark loudly from the sidelines. His right-wing views always made him a potential threat to the more liberal Conservative Party leadership of Baldwin and Chamberlain during the 30s, but the reality was that for the most part he was totally at odds with the mood of the majority of the country. Churchill's advocacy of a rearmament policy looks the obviously rational choice in hindsight, but it must be remembered Churchill was also the man who raised no objections to Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia, who initially sided with the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War and who considered British rule in India to be sacrosanct. In short, his judgments on some issues were highly questionable to say the least. As the 1930s unwound Churchill's position did indeed become a far more sensible proposition, having dumped Franco's fascists and taken a less isolationist and more pro-League of Nations stance. But ultimately his politics sobered up too late to be taken as seriously as he might have been by both the Tory Party and, more importantly, the British public to influence the events of the war. To blame Churchill for the Second World War is to let the real culprits off the hook. But what Parker's elegant treatise eloquently reminds us is that there were precious few politicians in the 1930s who realised just how dangerous Hitler was while there was still time to make a difference, and that those who did were incapable of carrying their government or people with them. --John Crace

Synopsis:

Alastair Parker argues that if Churchill had controlled Britain's foreign policy, he would have made a Grand Alliance to group other European countries around a strong Anglo-French alliance, and thus might have stopped Hitler.

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R. A. C. Parker
Published by Macmillan, London (2000)
ISBN 10: 0333675835 ISBN 13: 9780333675830
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Book Description Macmillan, London, 2000. Hard Cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Book is tight & clean/unmarked, DJ has bright appearance with No price clip-, a mint book !. Seller Inventory # 039041

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