PMH Bell's famous book is a comprehensive study of the period and debates surrounding the European origins of the Second World War. He approaches the subject from three different angles: describing the various explanations that have been offered for the war and the historiographical debates that have arisen from them, analysing the ideological, economic and strategic forces at work in Europe during the 1930s, and tracing the course of events from peace in 1932, via the initial outbreak of hostilities in 1939, through to the climactic German attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 which marked the descent into general conflict. Written in a lucid, accessible style, this is an indispensable guide to the complex origins of the Second World War.
Exploring the reasons why the Second World War broke out in September 1939 and why a European conflict developed into a war that spanned the globe, The Origins of the Second World War argues that this was not just ‘Hitler’s War’ but one that had its roots and origins in the decline of the old empires of Britain and France and the rise of ambitious new powers in Germany, Italy and Japan who wanted large empires of their own. This fourth edition has been revised throughout, covering the origins of the war from its background in the First World War to its expansion to embrace the Soviet Union, Japan and the United States by the end of 1941. Creating a comprehensive and analytical narrative while remaining a succinct overview of the subject, this book takes a thematic approach to the complex range of events that culminated in global warfare, discussing factors such as economic rivalry, rearmament and domestic politics and emphasising that any explanation of the outbreak of hostilities must be global in scope. Containing updated references and primary source documents alongside a glossary, a chronology of key events and a Who’s Who of important figures, this book is an invaluable introduction for any student of this fascinating period.
In this accessible account Victor Rothwell examines the origins of the Second Word War, from the flawed peace settlement of 1919 to the start of the true world war at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Reflecting current historical understanding of the subject, the author discusses, within a chronological framework, the underlying issues, such as the clash between 'have' and 'have not' states, as well as their relative military and economic strengths. Did the cause of peace advance in the 1920s, only to be stopped in its tracks and threatened with reversal by the economic depression that began with the Wall Street crash in 1929? What was the nature of Nazi thinking about war, foreign policy and the (primarily British) policy of appeasement, which sought to accommodate the Third Reich? Why did Britain itself for long prefer appeasement to collective security? Furthermore, the events in the Far East are examined and a contrast is drawn between the greater interest of the United States in that region than in Europe throughout the 1930s. Lastly, the complex process by which European war, starting in September 1939, became world war is treated as much more than an epilogue to what happened during the preceding decade.
When A.J.P. Taylor's The Origins of the Second World War appeared in 1961 it made a profound impact. The book became a classic and a central point of reference in all discussion on the Second World War. The second edition of this distinguished collection, written by leading experts in the field, is designed to bring the state of the argument up to date. The issues discussed include: * the legacy of the Treaty of Versailles * Hitlers foreign policy * Appeasement * AJP Taylor and the Russians * the treatment of the crises leading up to war including the Anschluss, Danzig, Abysinnian crises and the Spanish Civil War. This second edition will ensure that The Origins of the Second World War will remain a high priority student and scholarly reading lists.
From the Back Cover: From the moment of its publication in 1961, A.J.P. Taylor's seminal work caused a storm of praise and controversy, and it has since been recognized as a classic: the first book ever to examine exclusively and in depth the causes of the Second World War and to apportion the responsibility among Allies and Germans alike. With crisp, clear prose and brilliant analysis, Taylor established that the war, "far from being premeditated, was a mistake, the result on both sides of diplomatic blunders." He argued that Hitler was more an opportunist than an ideologue who owed his successes to Great Britain's and France's tacking between resistance and appeasement, and to an American policy akin to "the significant episode of the dog in the night, to which Sherlock Holmes once drew attention. When Watson objected: 'But the dog did nothing in the night," Holmes answered: 'That was the significant episode.' "The Times Literary Supplement called The Origins of the Second World War "simple, devastating, superlatively readable, and deeply disturbing," and it remains so now-a groundbreaking book of enduring importance.
Drawing on recently opened archives from the former Soviet Union as well as on existing research largely unavailable in English, distinguished authorities from eight countries provide new insight into the origins of the Cold War and into the Europe that has been molded by it. David Reynolds and his fellow essayists have made a truly valuable contribution toward the reinterpretation of Cold War origins that is sure to follow the opening of documents in Europe and the former Soviet Union. Viewing the Cold War as international history does make a difference, and this volume is one of the first to show why.-John Lewis Gaddis, Professor of History, Ohio University An outstanding collection of essays.-Jacob Heilbrunn, The New Republic A welcome addition to the still-burgeoning literature on the origins of the Cold War.-Foreign Affairs Students of American affairs will find the U.S. chapter in itself an excellent historiographical guide, but far more important for them is the opportunity provided by the rest of the book to place U.S. policies in a wider European context.-D.K. Adams, American Studies This is a valuable book.It reminds American, British, and Soviet historians that, as Wiebes and Zeeman write, the 'Cold War was not a bi- or even tri-lateral affair'. Indeed, this book might provoke historians to publish broader international histories of the Cold War in Europe.-Terry Anderson, The Journal of American History A contribution towards objectifying discussion of the cold war...To be appreciated.-Wilfried Loth, The International History Review A handy introduction to the historiography of Cold War origins in Europe. The book's usefulness as a reference work is enhanced by maps, a chronology of events and a table of key appointees in post-war governments.-John Wilson Young, English Historical Review
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
The true nature of Mussolini's foreign policy during the late interwar period has been the subject of considerable controversy. Was Mussolini in reality pro-British, even as late as June 1940; or was his international policy more sinister and based on conquering a Fascist empire in North Africa and the Middle East? Robert Mallett makes use of much new archival evidence in order to answer this riddle of interwar history. Mallett argues that Mussolini had harboured imperial designs in the Mediterranean and Red Sea from as early as 1919, but that not until 1933, with the rise of Hitler, was it possible for Fascist Italy to pursue a programme of territorial expansion. Previously unpublished material also casts new light on the Nazi-Fascist relationship, revealing it to be at times paranoid, acrimonious and duplicitous on both sides. Although the book focuses on Italian policy, it provides an important reassessment of the Ethiopian Crisis, the Spanish Civil War, the Austro-German Anschluss, Munich and the run up to the Second World War. Mallett shows that it is erroneous to place excessive emphasis on the role of Adolf Hitler in subverting the interwar international order, and demonstrates that Mussolini was heavily implicated in the global conflict that erupted in September 1939.
In her analysis of the reasons for the outbreak of the Second World War, one of the most controversial of all historical topics, Ruth Henig: · considers the long-term factors that led to the war · assess the effect of British appeasement policies · explains the significance of American isolation · examines the ambitions of Italy, Japan and Russia.