Try looking on Google or Wikipedia to see if any mention is made of Nazi/Fascist sympathies for most of those named in this book. Apart from the usual suspects, William Joyce, Oswald Mosley, Unity Mitford, you will struggle to find any reference. Tracks are well covered, libel lawyers well briefed.
Mr Griffiths' aim is not to produce yet another book on Appeasement nor a review of British foreign policy in the 1930's. His aim is to look at 'ordinary' British apologists or enthusiasts for Nazi Germany and by implication the concomitant 'astonishing extent' of anti-French feeling. Here lies one of his main problems, how is 'ordinary' defined when so much of the source material originates from The Times' Letters Page.
For many of the individuals or organisations Fascism in the form of Mussolini's Italy seems to have been the gateway drug. Some drew the line there, others progressed to be pro-Nazi through the years of the occupation of the Rhineland and the Berlin Olympics.
Anti-communism seems to have been an overwhelming motivator to the extent that the Fascist dictator Franco was seen as preferable by the 'fellow travellers' to the democratically elected Government of Spain. This seems to have also contributed to anti-French feeling with the election of the Popular Front.
A fascinating and often troubling read. One is never quite sure of the breadth and depth of pro-Nazi feeling. At times it can be reassuring to see the small membership of The English Mistery, then one blanches at the familiar Establishment names.
Many on the Right have covered their tracks with post-war 'diaries' and autobiographies. The author manfully tries to maintain balance, holding back from fully 'naming and shaming' all bar a few, but he does 'name' many more for posterity.
I bought this book when it was first published in the mid-80s and I read it again every couple of years; it's an outstanding summary of how British attitudes towards Germany adapted and changed in the period from 1933 to the outbreak of war in 1939. It remains relevant today.
The author breaks the content into three specific segments; 1933-1935, from Hitler's election as Chancellor, 1936-1937, the height of enthusiasm for the new regime, with the 1936 Olympics at its centre and 1938-1939 when it became obvious where Hitler was taking Europe. Each section looks at how and why British attitudes changed in that period, together with an overview of the key players and motivations driving them.
I re-read this book recently, in part driven by the recent rise of Donald Trump and the self congratulatory tendency of many Europeans to view him as a purely American form of lunacy. These things never happen in a vacuum - there are similar tendencies elsewhere and pretending it's 'just the Yanks' is very dangerous. Reading this book makes that point; many of the ideas adopted by the Hitler regime as state policy were reflected elsewhere.
We often overlook the fact that the Nazis started off as just another authoritarian government in a Europe dominated by them - not just Mussolini but Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary, Romania etc. Politicians in many countries pondered whether Democracy could or should survive; the powers granted to Roosevelt in the 1930s were almost dictatorial in nature (and for any American readers, even those paled into insignificance in comparison to the ones granted Wilson when the US entered the war in 1917).
Nazi racial theories, the mystical link between blood and soil and the idea of a Darwinistic struggle between races were mirrored in many other countries. Eugenics was a widely held belief and commonly practiced in the US (a recent study by Gregory Rutecki estimates that 25% of Native Americans were forcibly sterilized between 1974-76 and there is a current legal case relating to alleged sterilization of inmates in the California penal system carried out between 2006 - 2010). Marie Stopes, the founder of planned parenthood in the UK, did so to 'reduce the number of low value breeding stock' (she disinherited her own son for marrying a girl who wore glasses). Henry Williamson (the author of Tarka the Ottter) shared Nazi blood and soil beliefs - he remained an apologist for Nazi policies until his death in 1977. TE Lawrence was another of that circle but his early death saved him from making the same mistakes as contemporaries like Oswald Moseley.
This shouldn't be overstated; these beliefs were restricted to a relatively limited circle and even then, not everyone was fooled. Political groups like the British Union of Fascists never really gained a foothold and by 1937, many people tacitly accepted that a showdown was inevitable. However, objections to Nazi 'beastliness' were very different from the assumption that it was a moral duty to confront it; the attitude 'it won't work here but up to them, not our problem' was a widely held belief.
Which is why this book remains relevant today, because you will hear similar statements in relation to many other topics eg Syria, Palestine, Russia etc.