Sunday, April 29, 2007

Appeasement meant something different then.

Neville Chamberlain -- so seemingly upright and straightlaced in old photographs -- tapped telephones, conducted surveillance and played dirty tricks on opponents within his own party. He reveled in gathering political intelligence against his foes, who were, he boasted, "totally unaware of my knowledge of their proceedings. I [have] continual knowledge of their doings and sayings." In an important by-election in 1938, the Chamberlain machine smeared an anti-appeasement incumbent by sending fake telegrams saying, "Greetings from Moscow." They were signed, "Stalin."
Jon Meachem, "Friends of Wisdom," a review of Lynne Olson, Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England, The New York Times Book Review 15 (April 29, 2007).

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