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Lloyd George and the Appeasement of Germany 1919 - 1945

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posted by Phillip Taylor alias Phillip Taylor MBE on Saturday 28th of May 2011 02:05:00 PM

BOOK REVIEW LLOYD GEORGE AND THE APPEASEMENT OF GERMANY 1919-1945 By Stella Rudman Cambridge Scholars ISBN: 978-1-4438-2657-0 www.csp.co.uk LLOYD GEORGE AN APPEASER? BET YOUR FATHER DIDN’T KNOW THAT… OR YOUR GRANDFATHER EITHER! An Appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers We all know that great men have feet of clay. But, as revealed in this extensively and meticulously researched historical study by Stella Rudman, Lloyd George managed to immerse himself deeper into the mire than many have been led to suppose. Revelations about his womanizing have been legion, but apparently there’s a whole corpus of research material out there which indicates that he was, umm -- how shall we put it -- not entirely unsympathetic to one Adolf Hitler. Readable and absorbing, Rudman’s book focuses on a period in Lloyd George’s life which apparently has been largely overlooked by historians. It does admirably what all doctoral studies should do and that is, explore avenues of enquiry where few if any other observers have ventured before, thus revealing truths hitherto only dimly perceived, or not perceived at all. The book focuses on that peculiar mind-set known as ‘appeasement’, as well as the character and attitudes of Lloyd George himself, who manifestly was an exponent of it. Although he never returned to office after 1922, Lloyd George remained something of a formidable force in British politics for another twenty years until his death in 1945. It does him no credit that he seems to have been only one of many in the British establishment at the time –even up to the outbreak of war in 1939 -- who thought Hitler wasn’t such a bad bloke really…that he had his reasons for his thinking and behaviour…that one could do business with him…etc. etc.ad nauseam. The name of Chamberlain crops up regularly here, as you might expect. All this is brought out in this quite fascinating book which resonates rather uncomfortably with the times in which we live now. The following is literally one of hundreds of examples of the author’s research into her subject which shed light on Lloyd George’s innermost feelings regarding the bizarre and dysfunctional Hitler. ‘I have never doubted the fundamental greatness of Adolf Hitler as a man, even in moments of profound disagreement with his policy.’ Lloyd George wrote in 1937. One wonders here how you can express ‘admiration’ -- Lloyd George’s word-- for someone in such rapturous terms when you are in ‘profound disagreement with his policy’. Through copious research, mainly into original source material as shown in the bibliography -- the author gradually reveals the psychology behind Lloyd George’s appeasement of Germany and examines its consequences during the crucial twenty-six year period of history covered in this book. The results provide important insights into the many factors which can propel nations into war. Whether we learn any lessons from these events of the fairly recent past, only time and historical evaluation will tell!



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  • Published 05.26.22
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