Churchill and Chamberlain, 14 March 1935
In this episode of History Fireside Chats, we discuss the Downfall of Chamberlain and the rise of Winston Churchill and we explore how neither was as inevitable as we often think.
As always, this is only a cursory chat. The events preceding the downfall of Chamberlain were incredibly complicated and nuanced. Thankfully, Neville Chamberlain has been the subject of many detailed histories and biographies, and Winston Churchill’s Premiership is one of the most well covered political events in history. There are too many to list but I would recommend the following:
- Iain Macleod, Neville Chamberlain (London, 1961). A sympathetic, if problematic, account of Chamberlain’s life written by a British Conservative minister that explores in detail Chamberlain’s early reforms.
- Frank McDonough, Neville Chamberlain, Appeasement and the British Road to War (Manchester, 1998). A classic account of Chamberlain and his political career. It presents a very different view of Chamberlain to Macleod.
- Peter Neville, Neville Chamberlain: A Study in Failure? (1992). Peter Neville’s book a short but enticing introduction to Chamberlain’s life and is particularly suited for A-Level students. At the end of each chapter, Neville offers a series of exercises designed to explain some of the issues Chamberlain faced.
- Jonathan Schneer, Ministers at War: Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet (London, 2015). With enviable style, Schneer produces a history of high politics that reads at times like a well-written political thriller and he brings to life many of the rich personalities that clashed so frequently during the war.
Of course, Churchill’s own account of events is worth reading (even if it requires a slight pinch of salt). For his account see his The Second World War: Volume II: Their Finest Hour (1951)
Please excuse the more-than-usual nasally voice which is due to a mild cold. Apologies and I will try to re-record it when when I fully recovered.
History Fireside Chats are produced, recorded and researched by Dr Kristopher Lovell. The audio was recorded using the Samson G-Track Pro: https://amzn.to/2YU2cit
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