In Between The Wars Mr Somervell examines those twenty-one years of uneasy peace which elapsed between the First and Second World Wars, and analyses the gradual deterioration in international relations which marked the period.
The victorious, all-powerful Allies of 1919, by founding the League of Nations with its prospects of open diplomacy and its machinery for negotiation, hoped to set up new standards of behaviour between sovereign states and eliminated war as a method of settling disputes. How were these good intentions thwarted? Why did a second catastrophe engulf Europe in 1939?
Mr Somervell ranges widely over world events of the inter-war years in his search for answers to these questions. He shows how in most countries democracy, that form of Government which the creators of the Versailles Treaty fervently hoped to secure in the world, seldom imposed a rational will on its statesmen; on the contrary, public opinion inclined to the extremes of apathy and hysteria. He also demonstrates how the discoverers of misapplied science offered tempting new weapons to fanatical dictators avid for world power.
We have just lived through the war that resulted from that epoch of muddle and drift; now is the moment for us to examine it critically as a chapter of history. Mr Somervill offers us valuable help in his detached and lucid survey.
Preface I Paris II The Uphill Road, 1920-29 III National Histories IV The Downward Slope, 1930-39 V The Far East Appendix Bibliography Index
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