** Sunday Times Bestseller **
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL BOOK WRITING 2020
‘Astonishing’ ANTONY BEEVOR
‘One of the most promising young historians to enter our field for years’ MAX HASTINGS
On a wet afternoon in September 1938, Neville Chamberlain stepped off an aeroplane and announced that his visit to Hitler had averted the greatest crisis in recent memory. It was, he later assured the crowd in Downing Street, ‘peace for our time’. Less than a year later, Germany invaded Poland and the Second World War began.
This is a vital new history of the disastrous years of indecision, failed diplomacy and parliamentary infighting that enabled Nazi domination of Europe. Drawing on previously unseen sources, it sweeps from the advent of Hitler in 1933 to the beaches of Dunkirk, and presents an unforgettable portrait of the ministers, aristocrats and amateur diplomats whose actions and inaction had devastating consequences.
‘Brilliant and sparkling . . . Reads like a thriller. I couldn’t put it down’ Peter Frankopan
‘Vivid, detailed and utterly fascinating . . . This is political drama at its most compelling’ James Holland
‘Bouverie skilfully traces each shameful step to war . . . in moving and dramatic detail’ Sunday Telegraph