Synopses & Reviews
On September 30, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew back to London from his meeting at Munich with the German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and was greeted with a hero's welcome. As he paused on the aircraft steps, he held aloft the piece of paper, bearing both his and the Fuhrer's signatures, which contained the promise that Britain and Germany would never go to war with each other again. Later that evening, from his upstairs window at 10 Downing Street, he told the ecstatic and thankful crowd that he had returned bringing Peace with honour -- Peace for our time.
In this important reappraisal of the extraordinary events of seventy years ago, acclaimed historian David Faber traces the key incidents leading up to the meeting at Munich and its immediate aftermath. He describes Lord Halifax's ill-fated visit to Hitler; Chamberlain's secret negotiations with Mussolini, followed by the resignation of Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden; and the Berlin scandal that rocked Hitler's regime. Faber takes us to Vienna for the Nazi Anschluss; to the Sudentenland, the mountainous border region of Czechoslovakia, where Hitler's puppets attempted to provide him with a pretext for war by inciting the minority German population to rebellion; and to Prague, where the Czechoslovak government desperately tried to head off the Fuhrer's warlike intentions. In Berlin, we witness Hitler inexorably preparing for war, even in the face of opposition from his own generals; and in London, we watch helplessly as Chamberlain seizes executive control from his own cabinet and makes one supreme effort after another to appease Hitler, culminating in his three remarkable flights to Germany.
Drawing on a wealth of original archival material, including diaries and notes taken by Hitler and Chamberlain's translator, Faber's sweeping reassessment of the events of 1938 resonates with an insider's feel for the political infighting he uncovers. Packed with narrative punch and vivid characters, Munich, 1938 transports us to the war rooms and bunkers, revealing the secret negotiations and scandals upon which the world's fate would rest. It is modern history writing at its best.
"With an encyclopedic grasp of the diplomatic issues at hand, David Faber has written the most thoughtful and well-researched study of the Munich Conference ever written. All the key historical players are brought to life: Hitler, Chamberlain, Lord Halifax, and Mussolini, in particular. Faber's analysis of appeasement is nothing short of brilliant." -- Douglas Brinkley, author of andlt;iandgt;The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for Americaandlt;/iandgt;
"Using archives, diaries and memoirs, David Faber has meticulously reconstructed one of the momentous events of the twentieth century. Moreover, he manages to tell the story of the Munich conference in a manner that grips the reader even though the outcome is a well-known tragedy." -- Joseph S. Nye, Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University, and author of andlt;iandgt;The Powers to Leadandlt;/iandgt;
"David Faber offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how Hitler outwitted the smug and curiously naand#239;ve Chamberlain to win control of much of Czechoslovakia and start down the road to war. Dramatic, exciting, and at times almost unbearably poignant, andlt;iandgt;Munich, 1938 andlt;/iandgt;puts a human face to a key turning point in history and makes it come alive." -- Lynne Olson, author of andlt;iandgt;Troublesome Young Menandlt;/iandgt;
A dramatic, detailed, and essential narrative account of the 1938 Munich appeasement crisis. Modern history writing at its best.
Faber, the author of "Speaking for England," pens a dramatic, detailed, and essential narrative account of the 1938 Munich appeasement crisis.
The dramatic narrative account of the 1938 Munich appeasement conference, in which Britain agreed to Adolf Hitlerand#8217;s annexation of the Sudetenland in return for his promise never to go to war againand#8212;before tumbling inexorably into World War II. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;and#8226; A pivotal chapter in history: When British Prime minister Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler signed an appeasement treaty in 1938, Chamberlain promised that the result would be and#8220;peace in our time.and#8221; David Faber sheds new light on the key incidents leading up to the munich meeting and its aftermath; in Berlin, we witness Hitlerand#8217;s relentless preparations for war, even in the face of opposition from his own party, while in London, we watch helplessly as Chamberlain seizes executive control from his own cabinet, and makes one supreme effort after another to appease the Fand#252;hrer. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;and#8226; A timely, hot-button topic: These days, appeasement is invoked to justify everything from the war in Iraq to the Westand#8217;s response to Putinand#8217;s actions in Georgia. The first major book devoted to the appeasement conference in over thirty years, Munich, 1938 draws tough conclusions sure to stir up controversy. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;and#8226; Impeccable research blended with powerful prose: Drawing on diaries and notes taken by Hitler and Chamberlainand#8217;s translator, Faber brings the events of 1938 alive with an insiderand#8217;s feel for the political infighting he uncovers. Packed with narrative punch and vivid characters, Munich, 1938 exposes readers to the war rooms and bunkers, revealing the secret negotiations and scandals upon which the worldand#8217;s fate would rest. It is modern history writing at its best.
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;David Faberandlt;/bandgt; was educated at Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford University, where he read modern languages. The grandson of former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, Faber served as a Conservative Member of Parliament from 1992 until 2001, and now is a historian and writer. He is author of andlt;iandgt;Speaking for Englandandlt;/iandgt; and lives in London with his wife and their three children.