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Picture of The Diarists of 1940

The Diarists of 1940

An Annus Mirabilis

Author(s): Andrew Sangster

Book Description

This book examines the integrity of diary keeping and selects seven major diarists from Germany, Italy and Britain who wrote their diaries as the events of 1940 unfolded. They wrote without the benefit of hindsight, and any additional notes a few of them added later are ignored here unless critical. The volume explores how these people understood what was happening in this critical year as it occurred. A few other diarists are quoted, but the seven chosen have been selected for their importance, namely von Hassell (a German diplomat and anti-Nazi); Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister (and Mussolini’s son-in-law); Göbbels, the Nazi propaganda chief; Brooke a rising British General of the day responsible for Home Defence; Colville, Secretary to Chamberlain and Churchill (and privy to the inner sanctums); George Orwell, the famous writer; and Klemperer a German academic Jew barely surviving in Dresden. The diarists provide important insights into what people thought at the time as events unfolded, and each chapter is supported by relevant historical data.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-4380-5
ISBN-10: 1-5275-4380-3
Date of Publication: 01/02/2020
Pages / Size: 414 / A5
Price: £67.99


The Revd Dr Andrew Sangster is the author of several history books and magazine articles, and he co-authored a book with an Italian historian. His publications include Pathway to Establishment and Nazi Thug to British Mayor. He has written several biographies including Field Marshal Kesselring, Göbbels, Himmler, Göring, and Franco. He is also the author of a history of France from 1936 to 1946, entitled The Agony of France, and an Analytical Diary of 1939-40. In his book Two and a Half Deserters, he studied the events leading up to desertion in the Italian campaign through the eyes of three nationalities. Of this last book, Sir Michael Howard wrote “I have seldom read anything that deals so well with the ‘underside of war.’” Although ordained as a priest, he has spent half of his working life in education at secondary and tertiary levels, and he holds a doctorate in Modern European History, as well as degrees in Law, Theology, English and History.