Neville Chamberlain was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940, and is identified with the policy of ‘appeasement’ towards Adolf Hitler’s Germany in the period preceding World War II. In this new study Dr Andrew Elsby assesses the different explanations of appeasement, taking into account evidence as to its causes. He rejects the revisionist case, and develops a counter-revisionism, establishing a more comprehensive assessment of the causes of British foreign policy during the period, using minutes of Foreign Policy Committee and Cabinet meetings, Chamberlain’s personal papers, and in addition literature on the theory of foreign-policy decision-making apropos of the British political system. Stress is laid on the effect of attitudinal and motivational factors and individual influence, not least that of the Prime Minister himself. Conclusions reached by this new study are timely, and are of relevance now, vis-à-vis the UK and its relationship with Europe.
Andrew Elsby was born in Sierra Leone in 1951. He attended schools in Ghana, Singapore, and the United States as well as various parts of England and Scotland. He took a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from the Open University and, after retiring from a career as an insurance executive, gained an MA and a PhD in History from Sussex University. His first book, The Burghers of Ceylon, was published by CentreHouse Press in 2014. Chamberlain and Appeasement is his second book.