THE GREATEST TREASON by Laurence Thompson


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In this reinterpretation of the Munich Agreement of 1938, the author contends that Britain didn't simply write off Czechoslovakia; the Czechs weren't simply innocent victims of Hitler; and Hitler's September speech at Nuremberg did not signal a Sudeten rising which misfired. The book begins on the eve of Austria's incorporation and ends with Chamberlain's return from Munich. Thompson stresses Hitler's view of Czechoslovakia as a potential Russian base; French hesitation and U.S. isolationism; the Western governments' fear that Communists would turn war into class war-, and especially the British public's growing terror of a ""knockout blow"" from the air. In this context, the Prime Minister appears as an earnest pacifist, far from soft on fascism, but naive about the Nazi definition of ""negotiation."" Thompson claims that Chamberlain showed moral strength in trying to avert Czech bloodshed and promote Sudeten German self-determination. He concludes (like the young JFK) that ""appeasement"" delayed an inevitable war, giving Britain time to rearm. The style is Jauntily opinionated; the book is for specialists and comprehensive history collections, where its thorough research on Czech and Sudeten German maneuvers fills a conspicuous gap.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1967
Publisher: Morrow