• Churchill, Hitler, and 'The Unnecessary War'

  • How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World
  • By: Patrick J. Buchanan
  • Narrated by: Don Leslie
  • Length: 15 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (517 ratings)

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Churchill, Hitler, and 'The Unnecessary War'

By: Patrick J. Buchanan
Narrated by: Don Leslie
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Publisher's summary

Were World Wars I and II - which can now be seen as a 30-year paroxysm of slaughter and destruction - inevitable? Were they necessary wars? Were the bloodiest and most devastating conflicts ever suffered by mankind fated by forces beyond man’s control? Or were they products of calamitous failures of judgment? In this monumental and provocative history, Patrick Buchanan makes the case that, if not for the blunders of British statesmen - Winston Churchill first among them - the horrors of two world wars and the Holocaust might have been avoided and the British Empire might never have collapsed into ruins. 

Half a century of murderous oppression of scores of millions under the iron boot of Communist tyranny might never have happened, and Europe’s central role in world affairs might have been sustained for many generations. 

Among the British and Churchillian blunders were:

  • The vengeful Treaty of Versailles that mutilated Germany, leaving her bitter, betrayed, and receptive to the appeal of Adolf Hitler 
  • Britain’s capitulation, at Churchill’s urging, to American pressure to sever the Anglo-Japanese alliance, insulting and isolating Japan 
  • The greatest blunder in British history: the unsolicited war guarantee to Poland of March 1939 - that guaranteed the Second World War

Certain to create controversy and spirited argument, Churchill, Hitler and 'the Unnecessary War' is a grand and bold insight into the historic failures of judgment that ended centuries of European rule and guaranteed a future that no one who lived in that vanished world could ever have envisioned. 

©2008 Patrick J. Buchanan (P)2008 Books on Tape
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Churchill, Hitler, and 'The Unnecessary War'

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A classic of history books

This book took quite some courage for me to listen to, because I am an admirer of Winston Churchill. And I simply was not looking forward to a tirade on Churchill, or tolerating another typical doggone liberal revisionist "history." I was born in Britain a long, long time ago, I should explain, so I have a deep prejudice in Winston's favor.

Mr. Buchanan has written a kind of meta-analysis of World Wars I and II that should be a milestone history of the World Wars of the 20th century, where 50,000,000 people died. By meta-analysis, I mean he summarizes histories by, yes, Winston Churchill, Barbara Tuchman, AJP Taylor, George Kenon, and quotes Churchill's contemporaries so they do not seem quite the dolts that Churchill and his biographers characterize them as.

In fact, if I were a history major again, I would never accept a professor who had not read this book and who claimed it was "nothing." Because this book shows that the history books on these wars were written upside down.

I cannot begin to summarize this book (it has 1300 citations, by the way). But Churchill's part in these wars (understanding WW I got us WWII) began with a secret agreement to bring England to war in defense of France (so secret in fact that only Edward Grey knew of it on England's side). Winston usurped his own government's prerogative! (Sorry for the excitement.) To simplify, thus World War.

This book is an eye opener. I recommend it. You might be shocked when you listen to/read this book. Read some of the reviews on Amazon.com.

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57 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

An incoherent narrative of Churchill's role

In this account of the tragedies of the first and second world wars, Buchanan tries to point blame at Churchill and ends up confusing the reader. Below I list some examples of this:
1) The title of the book, in part, 'The Unnecessary War' is a reference of Churchill's assessment given to WWII. In covering Churchill, who was the First Lord of the Admiralty in WWI, the back drop of this book is both wars.
2) Churchill is implicitly found culpable for WWI because he is in a happy state of affairs during this time. This is an annoying point especially when you think of George Patton or Robert E. Lee in the American Civil War, to only name a couple.
3) Whenever Buchanan is on the verge of making a so-called courageous point of the guilt of Churchill, he backs down and quotes notables such as Barbara Tuchman or John Keegan, often siting the evils of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany, or Hitler - in other words, coming to no conclusion at all.
4) Buchanan is unable to keep Churchill at the center of his narrative and pulls in Gray, the members of the house of commons, and England herself so that he confuses the reader on the point he is attempting to make, rendering sections of his book incoherent.
5) In the context of this narrative, Hitler's name in the title is irrelevant and may as well have been the Kaiser, or the Nazi, etc.

I enjoy fresh perspectives on 20th century events, the characters, and the tragic consequences but believe that in terms of an historical account this book is not salvageable. There are simply too many events, too many factors, too many people involved in the first and second world wars to point the finger at anyone person (although I would admit you could get away with this in blaming Hitler for WW2 and Germany's bizaare desire for a pure race). This account was too trivial and unfair, and it did not add anything to my understanding of the tragedies which befell mankind during this hellish period in our history.

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21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

terrible history

This is almost an unbelievably twisted view of history. It is almost a pure apologist book for German actions that led to war and makes it seems like they were forced into the war by Allied actions(Hitler's contention, of course) This is David Irving at his worse. He picks and chooses aspects of history that only show the German view. His denigration of Churchill,Roosevelt,the UK and the US is shameful.I think it was written just to be contentious and to sell more books that way. Even David Irving is a deeply knowledgeable historian, Pat Buchanan is a joke as an historian.

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good book well read

I like contemporary history especially when the author uses letters and quotes from other historical figures close to the subject.

This book is not only an interesting subject but the whole book is a setup for the last chapter that unfortunately explains how we are repeating the same mistakes made in earlier times by other governments.

The reader is one of the best I have heard and communicates the book in a clear and pleasant manner.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

red pil

Red pill your family and friends about the truth of Churchill with this book. honestly it is such an amazing book if you like being told the truth about history and not the Victor's truth of history.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Churchill, Hitler etc

A lengthy and modern discourse on the history of modern Europe leading into WW2. It is said that the victors of any war write the history as they want it remembered and certainly the allies did that after both world wars. Buchanan is prepared to contend with British propaganda and thank Heaven for that. However he does not go as far as he ought. He discusses causes in terms of political cowardice, dishonesty and hype but he fails to consider the imperatives of oil, economics and finance that interested Churchill. Nor does he question the role of Churchill and his allies in white anting Chamberlain and his accord with Hitler, making it impossible for the accord to work. There is still a great deal more history to be disclosed. Nevertheless, Buchanen gives us a good and wide ranging discussion that is very easy on the ear and enriches the stories we already know by his willingness to bark at sacred cows.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good history

Well documented and interesting listen. It gives a different perspective on the causes and backgound of WW II.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Beware, be very beware

The one thing to take away from this book is to be very aware that articulate politicians are not the best thinkers or leaders.

For Buchanan to accuse Churchill of being a raceist is interesting. Perhaps Buchanan should look at his own words, and his website.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lots of sense, beautifully researched

Buchanan at his best. While I dont agree with all the conclusions, I have learned a lot. A great guide for the future also.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent

Very accurate and well referenced alternative to the constant war propaganda that is normally fed to the ignorant masses.
You may not agree with all of Buchanan's conclusions, but his historical facts are unimpeachable.

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6 people found this helpful