I am a massive fan of Robert Harris, which means I may be biased to this book – just a warning. I do find it a little frustrating that authors like Robert are not praised more and some people get a bit “sniffy” about these types of books. In my view, does it matter is it not the point that someone is telling a great story the main issue.
In Munich we follow the political ranglings to the lead up to World War II. Two former friends who are on opposite sides meet when they are aware the world is about to change with threats of war on the horizon. We trail behind Chamberlain and the “cat and mouse” political meetings being held between some of the great names of that time to negotiate peace. It is clear from the outset that each of these leaders have different ideas and wishes and beliefs which do not necessarily mean peace is on the horizon.
You feel the tension and Chamberlain being out of his depth and in a crisis about how to lead his country. Chamberlain does not want the United Kingdom to enter into war again as it has barely recovered from the first war, but you get the sense from Chamberlain that talking is over and no other option, he has lost control and other leaders do not want to listen to him anymore.
Robert pitched the story with tension and left you thinking whether negotiations and talks could have perhaps been conducted in a different manner which would have meant a different outcome. He also reflects how, despite being on the opposition people can still share the same outcome but it is just how can you both meet in the middle.
I always find these stories fascinating and in hindsight you can see so many mistakes leaders made and what could have been done differently and Robert embraces these characters whole heartedly which means it could lead to an uncomfortable read.
Another great story told by an amazing writer.
About the Book
Munich, September 1938
Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace.
They will meet in a city which forever afterwards will be known for what is about to take place.
As Chamberlain’s plane judders over the Channel and the Fuhrer’s train steams south, two young men travel with their leaders. Former friends from a more peaceful time, they are now on opposting sides.
As Europe’s darkest hour approaches, the fate of millions could depend on them – and the secrets they’re hiding.
Munich is published by Arrow Books
“I would like you to hold yourselves in readiness to brief senior ministers later today. In the meantime, we should avoid doing or saying anything that contribbutes to a mood of public panic, or forces Hitler into a position from which he cannot backdown, even at the eleventh hour.”