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Neville Chamberlain (Routledge Historical Biographies) Paperback – 22 Jul 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (22 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 041545865X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415458658
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,085,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Nick Smart is Lecturer in History at the University of Plymouth.


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Moore-Bridger on 4 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
In the 70th year since ww2 began with the famous words of Neville Chamberlain of "Appeasement" fame ("I amspeaking to you from the cabinet room of 10 Downing St."),we find that the war over his reputation is alive and kicking and still ready to launch 1000 books.!!!
Nick Smart has weighed in with this latest offering ,a kind of short "Biography".
If you read history with a view to disentangling the blow by blow decisions which led up eg. to the world-catastrophe of 1939, or if you want a geopolitical overview of the factors behind policy successes and failures involved,then this is probably not your book.Nor is it if your goal is a kind of personality study of a figure who in some ways occupies a most enigmatic place in the public imagination.
Mr Smart has a different agenda in his biographical study.
In Chamberlains case ,we are in the extraordinary situation of having a vision into the private life of a ststesman virtually throughout his career ,and access via the diary letters he wrote to his sisters,to the private thoughts he held about all the events and figures of the times he lived through.
Mr Smart is aware that the view of Chamberlain fostered by Churchill and by the labour party ,and launched by the famous "Guilty Men" accusations by Michael Foot et al. are actually propaganda designed to get ,especially the left wing anti-rearmament socialists ,off the hook for their stance in the 1930's and to find a scapegoat in the foolish old dodderer with an umbrella.But he is also aware that other views ,based on the diary letters (presumably he has Robert Self's biography in mind mainly
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dirtbike Kid on 2 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
A very enjoyable read. Smart has no real axe to grind as far as Chamberlain is concerned, and simply tells it like it is - the man himself wasn't a particularly likeable person and his ministerial career prior to his accession to PM didn't amount to much. Yet as Smart notes, you don't have to be a revisionist to see that course persued by Chamberlain re Hitler was quite sensible, and it's hard to see what anyone else would have done in the same position, short of declare war. Smart makes the telling point that if Chamberlain had resigned as PM in March 1939, after the occupation of Bohemia-Moravia, history would probably have been a lot kinder to him, seeing him as the man who did everything he could, but ultimatly failed. Instead, he clung onto power, to be ultimatley reviled in "Guilty Men" and set up as the villian to Churchill's hero.
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