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THE DRIFT TO WAR by Richard Lamb



by Richard Lamb

Pub Date: June 3rd, 1991
ISBN: 0-312-05858-6
Publisher: St. Martin's

 Here, Lamb, a historian (Montgomery in Europe, 1984--not reviewed) and BBC radio commentator, narrates the salient events of that time of ``peace'' following the Great War that nurtured and finally unleashed the dreaded dogs of war in September 1939. Lamb covers ground familiar to many historians, presenting a richly detailed if rather fact-heavy chronology of the time. He implies that among the main causes of WW II were: French intransigence that demanded ultrastrict enforcement of the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles, placing impossible reparation liabilities on a depleted Germany facing starvation and runaway inflation; America's isolationism and abandonment of the League of Nations; and misguided British diplomacy that bullied early German liberals experimenting with a fragile democratic republic, while later appeasing the revenge-seeking Nazi barbarians. Lamb argues that the Depression brought despair to many Germans, who flocked to the savior Hitler and his promise to restore German pride and prosperity. The lack of vision of the self-seeking governments of Britain and France, Lamb implies, as well as the absence of America's democratic influences, allowed colonial competition to linger in a world made more anarchic by a weak League of Nations. Meticulously researched survey of the period that could have been tied together better by including more interpretive essays.