Without resort to hindsight, this study looks at why the world's greatest powers were at war 60 years ago. It aims to recapture the concerns, anxieties and prejudices of the statesmen of the 30s and the people they led.
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Richard Overy is a professor of history at the University of Exeter. A leading expert in World War II history, he has written more than twenty books, including Why the Allies Won, and The Twilight Years.From Library Journal:
This companion to a BBC-TV series is an eminently readable revision of the causes of World War II. Expanding upon earlier revisionist studies such as A.J.P. Taylor's Origins of the Second World War (LJ 4/15/62; Atheneum, 1983. pap.), Overy presents the 1920s and 1930s as perceived by the major powers at the time without the benefit of hindsight. There are no "pure knights" here preparing for the "good war," only paranoid politicians haunted by the effects of World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the Great Depression weaving alliances motivated by an all-pervading social Darwinism. Even Poland is not the "innocent victim" of hindsight; among other things, the idea for resettling Jews in Madagascar was originally Polish. One could fault Overy for playing down Stalin's more sinister machinations, but suspicious as the Western powers were of Bolshevism, they did see Russia as a deterrent to German expansion. A major contribution to renewed interest in the 1930s.
-Robert Stenzel, New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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