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Appeasing Hitler

Chamberlain, Churchill and the Road to War
Narrated by: John Sessions
Length: 22 hrs and 4 mins
Categories: History, Military
4 out of 5 stars (71 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Appeasing Hitler by Tim Bouverie, read by John Sessions.

On a wet afternoon in September 1938, Neville Chamberlain stepped off an aeroplane and announced that his visit to Hitler had averted the greatest crisis in recent memory. It was, he later assured the crowd in Downing Street, ‘peace for our time’. Less than a year later, Germany invaded Poland and the Second World War began.

Appeasing Hitler is a compelling new narrative history of the disastrous years of indecision, failed diplomacy and parliamentary infighting that enabled Nazi domination of Europe. Beginning with the advent of Hitler in 1933, it sweeps from the early days of the Third Reich to the beaches of Dunkirk. Bouverie takes us into the backrooms of 10 Downing Street and Parliament, where a small group of rebellious MPs, including the indomitable Winston Churchill, were among the few to realise that the only choice was between ‘war now or war later’. And we enter the drawing rooms and dining clubs of fading imperial Britain, where Hitler enjoyed surprising support among the ruling class and even some members of the Royal Family.

Drawing on deep archival research, including previously unseen sources, this is an unforgettable portrait of the ministers, aristocrats and amateur diplomats who, through their actions and inaction, shaped their country's policy and determined the fate of Europe. 

Both sweeping and intimate, Appeasing Hitler is not only eye-opening history but a timeless lesson on the challenges of standing up to aggression and authoritarianism - and the calamity that results from failing to do so.

©2019 Tim Bouverie (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Appeasing Hitler is an astonishingly accomplished debut. Bouverie writes with a wonderful clarity and we will no doubt hear a lot more of his voice in future." (Antony Beevor)

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Shouting narrator ruins it!

What a disappointment this book is. I was really looking forward to listening to what would be a great story but John Sessions shouting narrative simply ruined it. I cannot understand the mentality of the audible producers who hire poor and totally inappropriate narrators. The clue is in the fact that it's an audible book and as such the audio quality of the narrator is everything, I stuck Sessions shouting for an hour but have now returned this book with regret!

15 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Poor reading ruins the text

I found the narration very irritating and patronising; as if he were a reading for a particularly childish listener. Gave the impression of little understanding of the text; arbitrary emphasis makes nonsense of otherwise interesting content.

13 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Probably the worst reader ever

the narration is appalling. every emphasis and there is a lot of it is in the wrong place and very hammy. if he was sobre when he read it then the production team could not have been. i persevered for three chapters but had to return it. do not touch this narration, sorry.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating story let down by the narration

The narrator, John Sessions, sounds drunk. All his sentences start very loud and fade out towards the end into a whisper, not only that but he introduces unexpected loud, dramatic emphases at various unexpected places. All this makes it very difficult to adjust the volume - particularly using earphones. I am hugely disappointed as I was really looking forward to the book.
I am returning the book as unlistenable...........

Can you arrange for another plain, straightforward reading without all the unnecessary dramatic nonsense introduced by Sessions?

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Ruined by poor narration

This is an excellent study of British foreign policy in the 1930s. I have been looking forward to its release for some time but am enormously disappointed by the final product. Audible have, once again, chosen a entirely inappropriate narrator. He reads in an overly dramatic fashion, with unusual emphasis and ponderous pace. I had to play the audiobook at x1.15 speed. Worse still, the narrator adopts some highly unusual and distracting pronunciations. For example, Mussolini becomes 'Myou-solini (who has ever pronounced his name this way??) and de jure become 'du jour'. I could go on, but you get the idea. My advice - buy the book and forget about the audiobook.

8 people found this helpful

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A Terrific Book spoilt by a poor narrator

I bought this book because the subject matter is of great interest to me. I bought this book in the face of a bad review of the narrator. I persevered and purchased in spite of the warning. I wish I had not. The narrator was so loud and indeed was shouting so much of the time, if that was supposed to be drama or emphasis, it was not. I tried lowering the volume and I so want to listen to this fascinating book, but I soon tired of the noisy narrator.I intend to return it and I have a library of over 500 Audible Books from the Audible UK.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Dreadful narration

Extraordinary delivery by the narrator. It was almost as if he thought it was his role to add theatricality to the text. Endured it for about an hour then had to stop ... simply unbearable. Such a shame - the authors "words" seemed interesting but the narration completely distracted from the story. Not the first time Audible have done this, they have some great narrators why not stick with them?

2 people found this helpful

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Potentially fine book ruined by narration

I am afraid I couldn’t stick with this possibly fascinating book because the narration - a ponderous combination actor manqué and Chateau Thames Embankment - became unbearable. I’ve learnt from years of Audible experience to be wary of famous name actors reading books.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Jackanory

Peculiar narration. All the tone, frivolity and tempo of a 1970s Jackanory presenter. Unfortunate, as the material is fascinating.

5 people found this helpful

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  • MR
  • 22-10-19

fascinating account. weird reader.

great insight into the period and into enduring British political attitudes to Europe which continue to this day.

unfortunately the reader was quite odd and I completed the book despite the reader.

1 person found this helpful