- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Cardinal Books; New edition edition (20 Nov. 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0747407282
- ISBN-13: 978-0747407287
- Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.4 x 2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 556,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
1940: Myth and Reality Paperback – 20 Nov 1990
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Required reading for anyone with a serious interest in World War II.--William L. O'Neill, Professor of History, Rutgers University; author of "Coming Apart" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Clive Ponting, formerly in the British civil service, specializes in British politics and contemporary history. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Pontings book has the relationship between the United States and Britain as its central theme and identifies the second half of 1940 as the point when Britain essentially became a client state of the U.S. for the duration of the war and beyond. It's to Churchill's credit that he took that course when other voices preached for an accommodation with Nazi Germany. It is hardly surprising that the British Government should dress this up as an equal and (to quote Churchill) "unsordid" relationship for the duration of the war. What is less reasonable is that the mythical story of 1940 was able to echo on right through the post-war era, and though it is a little more threadbare today it still has a bit of life in it yet.Read more ›
Churchill was not well trusted in the run-up to 1940, as I have read in many accounts, and although his own account is so widely accepted as 'the whole truth', the light shed by the quotations from the Cabinet papers of the period is fascinating.
In balance, he was the right man for the period of May to August 1940, and the failure of the Luftwaffe to destroy the RAF enabled his administration to survive long enough, for his version of the direction of the war to be seen later as inevitable.The mythology around Churchill deserves to be viewed as that, freed of the brilliance of his own account. He stayed in charge too long, through vanity. If Neville Chamberlin had
not died so early, and had survived in the coalition, and if the Americans had stayed aloof a little longer, who knows what the myth would be then.
It is telling that some minutes of the Cabinet papers for this period remained closed in 1989/90 when Ponting wrote this account ('to remain closed until 2016') Some of these appear to relate to the various 'peace feelers' made by the British government in that period, which according to the 'standard account' were never made or entertained! Are they still closed, I wonder?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First read this book many years ago.Excellent reference book from someone who had access to much original source material.Published 19 months ago by david davidson
Facts..By the end of 1940, the British had:
* Wiped out a most of the German surface feet in Norway.
* Wiped out large parts of the Italian fleet. Read more
This excellent book presents some rather unpalletable facts about the reality of what happened both in the run up to 1940 and afterwards which Britain has conveniently forgotten. Read morePublished on 28 Dec. 2008 by roydosan
An excellent book from a true jack-of-all-trades historian. Superbly researched and with a sharp, witty writing style to match. Read morePublished on 3 Dec. 2004
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