FACING THE DICTATORS by Anthony Elen

FACING THE DICTATORS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Former British Prime Minister Anthony Eden has drawn on official and private sources for his extensive, intimate, two volume account of diplomatic negotiations during the late 1920's and 1930's. The first part of these detailed memoirs opens with Eden's election as Conservative Member of Parliament in 1923 (a seat he held for over 33 years) and covers his early Foreign Office career. He describes his experiences at the disarmament conferences at Geneva; his meetings with men such as Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini, and he manages both to recount his reactions at that time and to offer his present-day reflections on those uneasy years. Volume I closes in 1935 when he becomes Secretary. Volume II covers the slow decline of the League of Nations while Eden was Foreign Secretary and reveals the inadequacy of concerted international action in its failure to meet such crises as the Spanish Civil War and prevent expansionist land-grabbing by Germany and Italy. These memoirs close with Eden's resignation in 1938 due to his government's appeasement policy towards these two countries. While outside the general reader's experience and interest, this is a significant and well-written account of the tortuous diplomatic negotiations which succeeded the first World War and drifted into the second, by a Foreign Secretary of great integrity whose prophecies of militant German aims were so tragically discounted by his government.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1962
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin