The Origins of the Second World War

Finney, Patrick
Date published: 
June 1997

Our understanding of the origins of the Second World War has been transformed in recent decades. The opening of the archives of the major combatant powers, together with the reorientation of international history itself away from a narrow preoccupation with diplomacy, have resulted in a more rounded conception of war, embracing also the study of economics, strategy, propaganda, and intelligence. This volume provides a clear and accessible guide to these changes, and to the current state of debate. Presenting some of the most important contributions in the field, it addresses key issues and controversies; the roles of the democratic and revisionist powers; issues of economics, strategy and opinion; and the road to war itself. Each section is supported by an editorial introduction, explaining the significance of the material selected and, in particular, the light thrown on what continues to be at stake in debates about the origins of the war.