Buchanan's (Not So) Controversial New Book?

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jun 02, 2008 3:20 PM
I've been surprised that little has been made of Pat Buchanan's new book, Hitler, and The Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost an Empire and the West Lost the World.  After all, the title, alone, is controversial.

Perhaps it's because the McClellan book has effectively, "sucked up all the oxygen" -- maybe it's because many of the WWII generation are now gone -- or perhaps it's because this is merely the latest Buchanan book to make controversial claims about WWII? 

Either way, the book has (so far) made surprisingly few waves. 

Before I comment on the book, let me begin with this caveat:  I have not fully read the book.  I have read the introduction and the first chapter.  I've also read his articles about the book.  And lastly, I also watched his interview about the book on "Morning Joe".  

However, based on what I've read and heard, it seems clear that Buchanan buys into the theory that Hitler merely wanted to take back territory, such as Danzig, that had been taken from Germany as part of the reparations included in the Treaty of Versailles.  Though Buchanan's theory that Communism was potentially a greater threat to America's self interest than Nazism is not patently absurd, the presumption that Hitler merely wanted to re-take German territory -- and that he did not really want to dominate Europe (and the world) -- seems, at best, naive. 

What is more, he appears to blame Churchill more than Hitler:
In "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War': How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World," published today, this writer will argue that it was colossal blunders of British statesmen, Winston Churchill foremost among them, that turned two European wars into world wars that may yet prove the mortal wounds of the West.
I'll save the major criticisms and compliments for other reviewers.  My main observation here is that I'm surprised Buchanan's arguments have not aroused more controversy.

...Note:  Though the book has aroused surprisingly little controversy, a few writers have chimed in.  Dan Flynn has a good run-down of who is writing about the book.