The Phoney Victory
The World War II Illusion
I.B. Tauris 2018
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in British StudiesNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Military HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network December 12, 2018 Charles Coutinho
Was World War II really the ‘Good War’? In the years since the declaration of peace in 1945 many myths have sprung up around the conflict in the victorious nations, especially the United Kingdom. In his newest book, The Phoney Victory: The World War II Illusion (I.B. Tauris, 2018), writer and journalist, Peter Hitchens, past winner of the Orwell Prize and regular columnist for the Mail on Sunday, takes on the myth of World War II as the ‘good war’, and in the process he deconstructs the many fables which have become associated with this highly popular historical narrative. Whilst not per se arguing against the idea that at some point in time Hitler’s Germany had to be defeated, Hitchens queries the need to have commenced that war in September 1939. Along the way, Hitchens queries and or attacks various other myths such as Anglo-American solidarity and the so-called ‘Special Relationship’; that the Battle of Britain was an important turning point in the war, or that British and American involvement were the key aspect to the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany. By turns, erudite, unorthodox and even funny, Hitchens book is a must read for anyone who is interested in the run-up to World War II and the way in which that conflict was fought.
Charles Coutinho holds a doctorate in history from New York University. Where he studied with Tony Judt, Stewart Stehlin and McGeorge Bundy. His Ph. D. dissertation was on Anglo-American relations in the run-up to the Suez Crisis of 1956. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. It you have a recent title to suggest for a podcast, please send an e-mail to Charlescoutinho@aol.com.