In This Review

The Fascist Challenge and the Policy of Appeasement
The Fascist Challenge and the Policy of Appeasement
Edited by Wolfgang J. Mommsen and Lothar Kettenacker
Allen & Unwin, 1983, 436 pp

Discrete essays by expert scholars on various aspects of appeasement, focusing not on diplomatic action but on the wider context of that still ambiguous policy. New material and new perspectives, concentrating on Britain, but including France and the British dominions, all of whom favored appeasement for their own reasons. The U.S., both as actor and as the object of the appeasers' apprehension, is analyzed, while Lord Beloff argues that the Soviet Union, regardless of rhetoric, pursued its own appeasement policy. These essays, all too briefly introduced by one of the editors, suggest that appeasement was not moral blindness but the sum total of powerful forces in the West that made any other policy almost impossible to execute. A valuable work, a major contribution to a later synthesis.