In Churchill, Hitler, and “The Unnecessary War” Pat Buchanan argues that both World Wars could have been avoided. He places a huge amount of culpability on Winston Churchill for both wars. If you follow the link, under product description are six bullet points that list major Churchillian blunders.
I don’t have patience with all the “might have”s posited, as in if Churchill had ignored this, Hitler might have… Anyone can argue from the might haves, but Buchanan really works at backing up his conjectures with facts. Buchanan firmly believes the both the Kaiser and Hitler had no interest in England, that they would have stopped at France in their appetite for land.
The criticism of Churchill that sticks to him – in my mind – is his alliance with Joseph Stalin. Buchanan compares this with Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement with Hitler. Many people are not aware that Stalin was responsible for more considerably more deaths than Hitler was. (Joseph Stalin, Pure Evil – not for squeamish shows videos of labor camps coupled with a gorgeous choral rendition of the Lord’s Prayer). How both the USA and Great Britain could ally themselves to Stalin baffles me. (My husband suggests that Hitler was a greater threat and that we needed Stalin to fight against Hitler. Nothing is clean and tidy in war.)
Having been raised to adore Churchill, it was jarring to hear him so blatantly criticized. To be sure, Churchill made mistakes (who would argue that he didn’t?) but I don’t believe you can pin both wars on him. This book is hands down the best written book and most documented one I’ve read this year. Whatever he is, Buchanan is a wordsmith, par excellence. I listened to an audio version of this book and could follow the complex but cogent arguments without any problem. Hearing the book, my husband inevitable stopped and listened instead of walking away. I only recommend it for those with a working knowledge of both wars.