• 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 (459 ratings)

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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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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.

5 people found this helpful

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refreshing view of history

certainly a very shocking view at history and the 2 horror wars.... regardless of whether this vision is right... I really think many people should listen to it! it puts a lot in perspective...

5 people found this helpful

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Correction not revision

To be clear this is not a revisionist history. Instead Buchanan offers a needed correction to faulty perceptions on the Great War. He particularly targets the inflated views of Churchill. More could be said on the diplomatic failures, outrageous pride and terrible destruction of that era but Buchanan gives a very good start. The book is a bit redundant with some repeated phrasing - though this is not unwelcome when trying to remember historical detail. At first I found the narrator an unnatural fit for Buchanan's voice but I quickly became accustomed and conclude it was a good performance (though I would have welcomed the author reading). The book is easily accessible but well referenced. It is applicable not only as history but as cautionary tale, as we are want to go down similar paths.

4 people found this helpful

  • 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.

56 people found this helpful

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Eye Opening

Quite an amazing book filled with information never taught in school or college. Simply stunned me and enlightened me also.

2 people found this helpful

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Everything you’re taught is a lie

I thought I knew a lot about the world wars and what led up to them. I was taught that Churchill is nothing less than a saint and that democracy stepped up and saved the world in the 20th century. All lies addressed by Buchanan with facts and sources. This book is a must read for Anyone looking for the truth about the 20th century and why over a 100 million people died in some of the most barbaric wars and genocides in history

2 people found this helpful

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    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.

8 people found this helpful

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A well written compelling analysis

Buchanan recounts recent history from a perspective quite different from what I held for many years. Although I had long appreciated the sins of revanche there it much more to consider. He sets out facts and credible interpretations. I have both read and listed to the book and highly recommend both versions.

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Great listen

In a world polluted by conformity and party line this book sheds a different point of view on leaders and government. It is not for the faint of heart. At the least should create dissonance or worse.

1 person found this helpful

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    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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Peter
  • 09-11-20

A mind-blowing exposure of Churchill

An excellent revision of WWI and WWII and Churchill's role in both. Narration was fantastic, with excellent pace in reading and clear.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anon
  • 10-24-20

Excellent interpretation

The reader does an excellent job. This is easy to listen too with no attempt to act out a drama. Though the content deals with dramatic stuff what we hear is historical interpretation.
It is pretty obvious at times Buchanan is politically on the right wing of American conservatism, eg his views on communism and fascism in the post war era show a blindness to how weak the former is in the USA and how strong the later is today and then.
However he sees the subject matter in a more objective manner and sustains his arguments well. In a nutshell Hitler did not want a world war in the late thirties and early forties but Churchill did. Hitler would have ended the war early if he could have found a way out. Churchill was determined to carry on at terrible costs if necessary. Churchill thought the British Empire could win (with a little help from it's friends). Hitler new Germany could not. The whole thing was avoidable and the consequence of the errors on all sides and much less to do with German aggression than is often claimed. Yes he makes it clear Hitler was a monster and Nazism is evil, but also shows Churchill as an amoral manipulator with poor judgment, a war monger with contempt for neutrality and an imperialist willing to use the clothes of a democrat as the disguise that would help get him the aid he needed from the USA. Czech and Polish stupidity contributed to their own downfalls. I'm British but see that the British politicians do not come out of this well but nobody else does either. German, Czech, Polish, French, American, Italian Politicians, and others all make serious errors
If you swallow your politics and national bias, and make allowances for Buchanan's you will find this book factually well sustained and thought provoking.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-30-19

Excellent read/listen

If you want to listen to a history book that deviates off the well known ‘sanitised’ versions that are written, then I highly recommend this book. As an Englishman I am filled with an overwhelming feeling of sadness at how England in particular, and the West as a whole, have declined due to catastrophic decisions being made by the past leaders of our Nations.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-01-21

At least we're not speaking German....

This really succinctly, without normie short circuiting (you know what I mean), how it really went down...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tony
  • 10-03-21

The Churchill cult

A valuable book. It would be better without the occassional paragraphs which contradict the central argument. They read as if they were inserted grudgingly, maybe at the insistence of the publisher.

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  • René Korsbæk
  • 04-19-18

Eye opening!

The book answers many questions you never asked and some you never thought of.

Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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  • ZMS
  • 02-21-18

Good listen, I recommend.

Good to listen to something different than the narrative we're fed on this topic. I recommend anyone with an interest in the (modern) history of Europe listen/read this book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Brendan
  • 10-02-10

interesting in spots but ultimately unconvincing

This is a revisionist polemic rather than a balanced work of historical research. Buchanan begins with a premise and then doggedly and relentlessly sets out to prove it, marshalling an impressive but selective array of quotations along the way. His premise is that Britain had no real need to participate in either World War and that by doing so transformed each war into a world-wide rather than a contained European conflict. Britain?s actions (largely brought about by the demonic influence of Winston Churchill in both instances) led to the deaths of millions, the destruction of the British Empire, and the Cold War between the two super-powers left standing after the shooting had stopped.

The book has some interesting sections. The detailed criticism of the iniquities of the post-World War I Versailles Treaty is particularly devastating, and is probably the best part of the book. Buchanan comes across as a passionate captain of a debating team who is only interested in advancing his own arguments while minimizing or suppressing the counter-arguments of his opponents. As a result, the book ultimately fails to convince.

There is no original research and all sources are secondary, i.e. borrowings from the works of others, and selected borrowings at that. Among the writers cited are Barbara Tuchman, George Kennan, Churchill himself, William Shirer, Neil Ferguson, Richard Evans, Ian Kershaw, and several dozen others. A visit to some of the works of the historians cited will show that their authors came up with conclusions rather at odds with those of Buchanan. Oh well, never mind. As a former speechwriter for others and then a politician in his own right, Buchanan probably enjoyed himself tremendously while writing this book. Since he merely had a bash at the Brits (primarily Churchill) and didn?t do anything really dangerous such as denying the Holocaust, he will probably get away with it. The bad part is that some gullible people might actually believe him!

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • niall martin
  • 04-19-10

Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War

From the moment I read the provocative cover, until I finished listening..I was completely spellbound. I had not connected the author as the hard right american presidential nominee who opened Bushs(senior)'92 republican congress. I thought I was listening to a Leon Trotsky refusniks analysis,. Hindsight is 20/20 vision but that does not mean we shouldn't take a cold hard look. Spanning both conflgrations the depth and breadth of the scholarship is impressive but the conclusions incendiary! Most hagiographies of Churchill concede his love of cordite and gunsmoke at the expense of a more measured strategic response. Buchanan asserts the heresy that Churchill was the wrong man at at the wrong time. Buchanan makes the argument that it could all have been different if Hitler (as the Soviet union was post WW2) could have been contained and his eastern expansion would have been checked by that other monster Stalin at great expense to both tyrants. Most standard WW2 histories will acknowledge the irony that the democracies were saved by communisms mercilous prosicution of the eastern war. Buchanan asserts that the war in the west was the wrong war at the wrong time for the western democracies. Britain went to war for Poland, and subsequently abandonded her to a monstrous communist regime (the Katyn forest, to mention one maasacre) under the guise of realpolitik (which wiould have been better employed in '39. Buchanan's analysis of Hitlers designs on Checkoslovakia and Danzig and Memel in will surprise many and were regarded at the time as reasonable territorial claims(though not the methods). Listen, be infuriated, perplexed, the starkness of the heresy and its legacies to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Uncomfortable, fascinating, illuminating, unmissable.

7 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 01-16-22

Fascinating

The most insightful book on the background of both world wars. Addresses and brings to light facts which are not taught or ever mentioned in academia. This book reinforces the saying "history is written by the victors"

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-09-22

A must read

The learnings of the mistakes of those that come before us are much more palatable than to blindly repeat them. A fascinating take on the politics of the world wars.

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  • Steve
  • 01-12-22

Well argued but not totally convincing

This book was well written, well argued, but I don’t entirely agree with all the assumptions. Namely that Churchill was naive in regards to Stalin, I think history shows that it was Roosevelt that was naive to Stalin, Churchill wanted to protect Poland and Stalin mocked him in front of Roosevelt who also mocked Churchill. Also the assumption that the US didn’t involve themselves and overseas wars was conveniently forgotten a.k.a. Vietnam. And as an Australian and friend of America I see the great threat to American democracy now is in the Republican Party. Some of the nutcase politicians they have following Trump are frankly an embarrassment to democracy and it’s a party that needs to get back to its basics and its Conservative roots rather than radical extremism. The author also spoke about the US not making the British mistake of defeating one monster only to allow another one to go free. Oh what happened in Russia is the Cold War ended quickly but allowed criminals to take charge in the Soviet or former Soviet Union and most of its countries. As a Russian person said to me, 5% of people are rich and I criminals the rest of us are poor. Is that worse than what communism was I don’t know and of course Marxism is not dead in China which are also presenting a threat, admittedly the author does mention this.

Having said all of that though I do recommend people read the book because the historical analysis around Hitler in the 1930s and what Germany‘s intentions truly were is very good and worth hearing.