Chamberlain - Guilty Man or National Saviour?

Frank McDonough reviews the debate over Neville Chamberlain's appeasement policy.

Neville Chamberlain stands, with his umbrella, on Horse Guards Parade, off Whitehall, London, 18 March 1940. Neville Chamberlain is popularly remembered as the man who believed a Second World War could be prevented by peaceful negotiations through a policy known as appeasement. The policy prevented a war over Czechoslovakia in September 1938, but not over Poland in September 1939. Ever since then Neville Chamberlain and the policy of appeasement have been enshrined in historic folklore as the epitome of failure, cowardice and illusion. Yet within the historical debate over the role of British foreign policy and the origins of the Second World War the reputation of Neville Chamberlain has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent times. The Guilty Man has been rehabilitated by a host of revisionist. historians into something of a national saviour.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email if you have any problems.