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January 2021

'The origins of WWII'

by A.J.P  Taylor


The book 'The Origins of WWII' was published in 1961, and, therefore, is one of the oldest books that I have read. This feature sometimes shows, for example, when the author refers to the European's colonies as if they still exist. However, the book has aged well and is very interesting. It starts from the peace settlement in 1919 and ends with the start of the war in the year 1939. Interesting and recurring themes are the decline of France as a great power, and the fact that Hitler had not planned the war. The book also talks about the Czech and Polish crisis, the Locarno treaty, German disarmament, the Anschluss (the act of joining Austria and Germany), the reoccupation of the Ruhr and many other important events which led to the Second World War. The book also contains the very interesting fact, which I did not previously know, that the British did to some extent agree with Germany on the matter of Danzig and the Sudeten Germans. During the time I read the book, it became apparent to me that works on the interwar period are of great importance and that the short summaries often provided are not sufficient.


My copy

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