> Skip to content
  • Published: 31 March 2020
  • ISBN: 9781784705749
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • RRP: $26.00

Appeasing Hitler

Chamberlain, Churchill and the Road to War

This thrilling Sunday Times bestseller is the first major account of the disastrous years of British indecision and infighting that enabled Hitler's domination of Europe

** Sunday Times Bestseller **
'Astonishing' ANTONY BEEVOR
'One of the most promising young historians to enter our field for years' MAX HASTINGS

On a wet afternoon in September 1938, Neville Chamberlain stepped off an aeroplane and announced that his visit to Hitler had averted the greatest crisis in recent memory. It was, he later assured the crowd in Downing Street, 'peace for our time'. Less than a year later, Germany invaded Poland and the Second World War began.

This is a vital new history of the disastrous years of indecision, failed diplomacy and parliamentary infighting that enabled Nazi domination of Europe. Drawing on previously unseen sources, it sweeps from the advent of Hitler in 1933 to the beaches of Dunkirk, and presents an unforgettable portrait of the ministers, aristocrats and amateur diplomats whose actions and inaction had devastating consequences.

'Brilliant and sparkling . . . Reads like a thriller. I couldn't put it down' Peter Frankopan

'Vivid, detailed and utterly fascinating . . . This is political drama at its most compelling' James Holland

'Bouverie skilfully traces each shameful step to war . . . in moving and dramatic detail' Sunday Telegraph

  • Published: 31 March 2020
  • ISBN: 9781784705749
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • RRP: $26.00

About the author

Tim Bouverie

Tim Bouverie read history at Christ Church, Oxford. From 2013-2017 he was a political journalist at Channel 4 News, where he worked alongside Michael Crick, as his producer, and covered all major political events, including both the 2015 and 2017 General Elections and the EU Referendum. He regularly reviews history and politics books, and has written for the Spectator, Observer and Daily Telegraph. He has also for the last five years worked at the Chalke Valley History Festival as an interviewer.

Praise for Appeasing Hitler

Appeasing Hitler is an astonishingly accomplished debut. Bouverie writes with a wonderful clarity and we will no doubt hear a lot more of his voice in future

Antony Beevor

A brilliant and sparkling debut by an outstanding young historian. Tim Bouverie has written an account of the build-up to the Second World War that reads like a thriller. I couldn’t put it down.

Peter Frankopan

This is the debut of an unusually talented writer, one of the most promising young historians to enter our field for years

Max Hastings

Drawing on an impressive and interesting range of sources and characters, Tim Bouverie has written a fascinating and scholarly portrait of a decade when credulity, self-interest and poor judgement prevailed tragically and inexorably over morality and good sense: this is the reporting of history at its best

Caroline Moorehead

Appeasing Hitler is the stunning debut of a major new narrative historian. A riveting and depressing story which has resonance today as the democracies again face dictatorships

Professor Margaret Macmillan

In meticulous detail and with moments of novelty and insight… [Appeasing Hitler] should become a standard text on this inglorious episode… an exceptionally promising debut. He has great narrative abilities and his research has been extensive

Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph

Sparkling and witty... The best account of the subject that I have ever read

Professor Sir Michael Howard

This gripping book is…valuable because it illuminates some eternal truths

Andrew Rawnsley, Observer

Tim Bouverie tells the story of appeasement with skill, verve and panache, using contemporary accounts to great effect in exploring the mentalities that lay behind the political decisions

Ian Kershaw

With enormous flair and confidence, Tim Bouverie has brought his subject to life, elegantly drawing out the historical parallels while also presenting a gripping and well-paced narrative. Lively, nuanced, and full of surprising details, this is a stunning debut

Henry Hemming

With tremendous narrative flair and impeccable judgement, Bouverie illuminates the wishful thinking, the gullibility and the appalling amateurishness that led us to the precipice

Simon Griffith, Mail on Sunday

An eye-opening narrative which makes for exciting but at times uncomfortable reading as one reflects on possible lessons for the present

Antonia Fraser

Truly impressive and enjoyable. Tim Bouverie writes with verve and wit, gives us an often moving and always human angle on the story, and removes the tarnish from the word ‘appeasement’ to make us look anew at one of the most important, and salutary, periods of modern times

Roland Philipps

No previous book on Appeasement has managed to cast such a vivid, detailed and utterly fascinating light on the incredible political machinations that were being played out in the late 1930s. Tim Bouverie has brilliantly brought alive the tension, political brinkmanship and immense drama of those days... This is political drama at its most compelling, and one whose relevance sits with the reader long after the book has been put down. Superb.

James Holland

Tim Bouverie breathes new life into this familiar story. His vivid narrative is compelling, even exciting, as it hurtles towards its tragic conclusion. This is a superb book that deserves to be widely read

Adam Sisman, Literary Review

Vivid, engaging... pacy, personality driven

Susan Pedersen, Guardian

Bouverie… retells [the story of appeasement] with gusto

Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

Bouverie gives a lucid account… [and] skilfully traces each shameful step to war… which he describes in moving and dramatic detail

Lewis Jones, Sunday Telegraph

Gripping.. Bouverie has written a searching, wide-ranging, and above all readable chronology of a shameful era of British history… a very cautionary tale

Nigel Jones, Spectator

[An] impressive and very readable account

Tony Rennell, Daily Mail

Tim Bouverie’s first historical work… is a well-argued, lucid case for the prosecution of the appeasers

David Aaronovitch, The Times, *Book of the Week*

So assured is Bouverie’s writing, and so sound his judgments, that it is hard to believe that Appeasing Hitler is his first book. It is a wonderful debut that marks the arrival of a young historian to watch

Saul David, Evening Standard, *Book of the Week*

[An] accomplished and lucid account

Josh Ireland, Prospect

Bouverie’s well-written Appeasing Hitler aims to provide a timeless lesson on the challenges of standing up to aggression.

Jo Johnson, Financial Times

Bouverie has mined an impressive range of sources and quotes from them judiciously. His narrative is lucid, his prose efficient, his put-downs witty… [he] tells an important story well.

Lucy Hughes-Hallett, New Statesman

The skill with which Tim Bouverie navigates here through the worlds of politics, officialdom and diplomacy is quite exemplary… his explanations of complex issues are always lucid; his narrative style is thoughtful, unshowy and always a pleasure to read… This is, quite simply, the best book ever to have appeared on this whole subject

Noel Malcolm, Oldie

Bouverie’s Appeasing Hitler provides a meticulous picture of a Britain that faced very different problems from our own

Thelma Lovell, Catholic Herald

Scrupulously fair, [and a] readable account… [an] excellent book

Marcus Tanner, Tablet

Appeasing Hitler…is a staggeringly good account of the build-up to the Second World War… gripping, dramatic and revelatory

Christian May, City AM

Bouverie’s prose is fluent and assured throughout. Those in search of an entertaining read will find one… an admirable retelling of traditional history

Robert Crowcroft, History Today

An enthralling, nuanced tale… the narrative is absolutely compelling

Times Literary Supplement

An elegantly written account by a rising young historian

The Times, *Summer reads of 2019*

This is a gripping account of the wishful thinking that led us to the precipice

Neil Armstrong and Hephzibah Anderson, Mail on Sunday, *Summer reads of 2019*

There is a sure command of narrative and judgment in faultlessly lucid prose, with subtexts of pathos

Bruce Anderson, Spectator

A fascinating narrative on the politics of wishful thinking and the law of unintended consequences in international relations

Ali Ansari, History Today, *Books of the Year*

[A] finely researched and well-argued book

Daily Mail, *Books of the Year*

[A] phenomenal book

William Keegan, Observer


Andrew Roberts, Wall Street Journal

Excellent and compelling

William Leith, Evening Standard

Related titles