A Perfidious Distortion of History

A Perfidious Distortion of History : the Versailles Peace Treaty and the success of the Nazis

3.61 (21 ratings by Goodreads)
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An Irish Independent book of the year.

A controversial and important work of revisionist history that rebuts the accepted version of the role of the Versailles Peace Treaty in the rise of Nazism and the unleashing of World War II.

The Versailles Peace Treaty, the pact that ended World War I between the German empire and the Allies, has not enjoyed a positive reputation since its signing in June 1919. Conventional wisdom has it that the treaty's requirements for massive reparation payments crippled the economy of the Weimar Republic and destabilised its political life. Ultimately, it is argued, the treaty prevented the seeds of democracy sown in the aftermath of the Great War from flourishing, and drove the German people into the arms of Adolf Hitler.

In this authoritative book, Jurgen Tampke disputes this commonplace view. He argues that Germany got away with its responsibility for World War I and its behaviour during it; that the treaty was nowhere near as punitive as has been long felt; that the German hyper-inflation of the 1920s was at least partly a deliberate policy to minimise the cost of paying reparations; and that World War II was a continuation of Germany's longstanding war aims.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 328 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 32mm | 656g
  • Carlton North, Australia
  • English
  • 1925228959
  • 9781925228953
  • 321,881

Review quote

`This is an excellent book, which argues it case well. It should be widely read in the lead up to the centenary of the Armistice and peace settlement.' * NZ International Review * `An interesting perspective on the rise of the Nazis and World War II ... A fascinating read.' * Irish Examiner * `This is a fascinating and provocative re-assessment of one of the great conventional wisdoms of recent history, made all the more compelling by the Australian-based author's forceful and often witty delivery.' -- Eamon Delaney * Irish Independent * `Gamely confronts the now-prevailing orthodoxy ... deserves to be read.' -- Roger Moorhouse * The Times * `An intriguing and persuasive account by an experienced historian of the much-maligned Treaty of Versailles. This new book provides a fresh and often provocative account of a tangled story. It should help put to rest the persisting myth about the 1919 peace with Germany.' -- Emeritus Professor David Walker `In this highly readable account Jurgen Tampke tackles the much-debated and perennially fascinating question of whether the Treaty of Versailles caused the Second World War. He comes down firmly on the No side and produces a wealth of evidence and careful analysis to back his arguments. Anyone who is interested in what remains one of modern history's most important debates will want to read this.' -- Margaret MacMillan
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About Jurgen Tampke

Jurgen Tampke was born 1944 in Brandenburg, Germany, and migrated to Australia in 1964. He graduated with first-class honours from Macquarie University in 1971 and with a PhD from the Australian National University in 1975. Jurgen occupied the position of associate professor at the School of History, University of New South Wales, before his retirement. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Weimar and Nazi Germany and Czech-German Relations and the Politics of Eastern Europe.
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Rating details

21 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 19% (4)
4 43% (9)
3 29% (6)
2 0% (0)
1 10% (2)
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