Peter Hitchens

Dec 12, 2018

The Phoney Victory

The World War II Illusion

I.B. Tauris 2018

purchase at 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

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Charles Coutinho

Charles Coutinho, PH. D., Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles.

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