Fiona Maxwell is a wife, mother and professional musing over her first novel
When Chamberlain returned from his meeting with Hitler in 1938 and declared "Peace in our Time', the appeasers felt vindicated and the country heaved a sigh of relief. There would not be war. How then did the British Government move in just a few months from peace to a guarantee of Polish Independence. This book takes an interesting angle of examining how the press was reporting during this time. It provides a real insight into Europe in the months after Munich, and it becomes clear that Europe as a whole was juggling for position. It wasn't just Germany and even Poland was prepared to take advantage of German aggression in certain areas. The examination of the Daily Mail, the Manchester Guardian and the Times shows that anti-semitism was rife, particularly in Eastern Europe, witnessed in particular by the stand-off between Germany and Poland over the Jews who were being removed from Germany, Poland refusing to take them, leaving many stateless persons.
The book takes the reader through the reporting of events in Europe, showing the change in the perception of events in Europe, culminating in the Polish Guarantee, which made war almost inevitable.
The book, originally written as a Master's thesis, shows the writer's knowledge and understanding of both Britain and Poland. It is written in a comfortable style that it is easy to read which is not always true of academic works. It also gives a new perspective on events in Europe at that time and how they were viewed in the British Media. For anyone with an interest in this period of 20th Century history it is a must.
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