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  "Munich, the False Peace",

a review by Carroll Quigley

of a book:

Munich, ou la drôle de paix,

by Henri Nogučres.

XXX: Paris, 1963


"Munich, the False Peace"

Munich, ou la drôle de paix 

By Henri Nogučres (Paris, 1963)


   This is a straightforward and well-informed account of the Czechoslovak crisis of 1938 from the occupation of Austria on 12 March to the Munich agreement of 29 September 1938. It is a little pedestrian but is logically developed and easily followed. It is based on a wide reading in secondary accounts and some superficial sampling of the primary printed materials, notably the Nuremberg trials, but has taken nothing from the captured German Foreign Ministry documents or from the published papers of the British Foreign Office.  However, the interpretation is fair and well-established and would not be much modified by wider research from the sources now available.  

   The chief value of the book is its accounts of the French and the Czech sides of these events which are generally ignored in books from the English side. Of the existing accounts of this crisis we now have those of Winston Churchill, the older and just re-published volume of J.W. Wheeler-Bennett (Munich, Prologue to Tragedy. Macmillan: London, 1963), and the new book of Martin Gilbert and Richard Gott: The Appeasers (Houghton Mifflin: Boston, 1963).  

   The last of these will provided the real competition to this volume, if it is published in English. The Gilbert-Gott is more scholarly and better written, but it covers the whole period 1933-40, and is done strictly from the English point of view, lacking all the dramatic anguish of the Czech experience or the complex intrigue which went on in Paris.  For these two things, which are not so well known as the preambulations of Neville Chamberlain, it would probably be worth-while to publish this book.    

   The chance of making any real money out of this book seems slight, and it would be no great loss if it did not appear in English. If it is published, it might gain some slight advantage over the Gilbert-Gott volume if it were offered under the title, Munich, the False Peace in order to attract attention from those who will claim that the Kennedy agreements with the Soviet Union will lead to a “Munich.” The title of the Gilbert-Gott is not attractive, implying biographical studies of men already dead rather than an analysis of a problem of continuing concern.

-- Carroll Quigley


Scan of original review



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