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his-0949

Best of Enemies: Britain and Germany
(R.Milton)

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BEST OF ENEMIES reveals the surprising secrets of 20th-century Europe's most passionate love-hate relationship. For many decades before the First World War, Britain and Germany shared everything. Germany was Britain's biggest export market, and vice versa. Germans adopted English dress, customs and manners. German thinking on race, national identity, eugenics and racial supremacy had its roots in British thinkers like Darwin, Huxley and Galton.

Veritas Books: Best of Enemies Britain and Germany R.Milton

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Then, in August 1914, all that changed overnight into a vicious war of propaganda. Berlin's cricket league quickly became unpopular. In Britain, Dachshunds were suddenly out of fashion. John Buchan's classic ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’ was written at the behest of the British government specifically to counter German propaganda - and Conan Doyle brought Sherlock Holmes out of retirement for the same reason. But Germans remained loyal to their fantasies of Britishness. Hitler's favorite film was ‘The Lives of a Bengal Lancer’; he was a subscriber to ‘Tatler’ and yearned to be an English gentleman. Other Nazis like Hess and Goering remained passionate Anglophiles.

RICHARD MILTON’S expertly written popular history gives a fresh perspective on this tumultuous - and painful national rivalry, and is also a brilliant study of propaganda itself, now more than ever a vital weapon of war.

 

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