The Origins of World War Two

The Debate Continues

  • Robert Boyce
  • Joseph A. Maiolo

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Introduction: The Debate Continues

    1. Robert Boyce, Joseph A. Maiolo
      Pages 1-7
  3. The Responsibility of the Powers

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. The Revisionist Powers

      1. Christian Leitz
        Pages 11-31
      2. John Gooch
        Pages 32-51
      3. Antony Best
        Pages 52-69
    3. The Great Enigma

      1. Jonathan Haslam
        Pages 70-85
    4. The Status Quo Powers

      1. Peter Jackson
        Pages 86-110
      2. Williamson Murray
        Pages 111-133
      3. Warren F. Kimball
        Pages 134-154
    5. The Small European Powers and China

      1. Anita J. Prazmowska
        Pages 155-164
      2. Igor Lukes
        Pages 165-175
      3. Neville Wylie
        Pages 176-189
      4. John W. Garver
        Pages 190-203
  4. Themes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 205-205
    2. Robert Jervis
      Pages 207-226
    3. Alan Cassels
      Pages 227-248
    4. Robert Boyce
      Pages 249-272
    5. P. M. H. Bell
      Pages 273-285
    6. Joseph A. Maiolo
      Pages 286-307
    7. John Ferris
      Pages 308-329
    8. Donald Cameron Watt
      Pages 330-341
    9. Philip M. Taylor
      Pages 342-359
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 360-397

About this book


No issue in modern history has been more intensively studied, or subject to wider interpretation, than the origins of the Second World War. A conflict involving three - arguably four - major aggressor Powers, operating simultaneously but largely separately on two continents, inevitably raises complex theories and debates. Each participating power has its own history, and each one must take account of various influences upon the behaviour of its soldiers and statesmen.
His wide-ranging collection of original essays, each by an international expert in their field, covers all aspects of the subject and highlights the controversy that continues to characterise current thinking on the origins of the war. Going beyond the usual Eurocentric approach, Part I examines the roles of all seven of the Great Powers (including Japan and the USA), as well as the parts played by several of the lesser Powers, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland and China. Part II contains chapters which explore key themes that cannot be fully understood within the context of any single country. These themes include the role of ideology, propaganda, intelligence, armaments, economics, diplomacy, the neutral states, peace movements, and the social science approach to war.
Written in clear, jargon-free prose, together these essays provide a comprehensive single-volume text for students and teachers, and are essential reading for all with an interest in the debates surrounding the causes of World War Two.


Britain China chronology Enigma Europe fascism France Japan peace Russia Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)

Editors and affiliations

  • Robert Boyce
    • 1
  • Joseph A. Maiolo
    • 2
  1. 1.London School of EconomicsUK
  2. 2.King’s College LondonUK

Bibliographic information