Cover image for Doing business with the Nazis : Britain's economic and financial relations with Germany, 1931-1939
Doing business with the Nazis : Britain's economic and financial relations with Germany, 1931-1939
Forbes, Neil.
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Publication Information:
London ; Portland, OR : Frank Cass, 2000.
Physical Description:
xviii, 250 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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HF1533.Z4 G34 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Britain's financial and economic relations with Nazi Germany are assessed in this book. The structure and formulation of British policy, the interaction of government and business and the relationship between British business interests and Nazi germany are looked at. A particular focus of the book is on the crisis of uncertainty felt in Britain over the rejection of economic internationalism. Sterlings devaluation and the imposition of tariffs opened up a breach with Europe which exerted a severely destabilising influence. In the face of economic nationalism at home and agroad, leading figures in British commercial and political life struggled to prevent a complete breakdown of relations with Germany - the most important trading partner in Europe.

Author Notes

Neil Forbes is Senior Lecturer in History in the School of International Studies and Law at Coventry University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Drawing primarily upon British archival sources, Forbes (Coventry Univ., UK) provides a detailed examination of Anglo-German financial and economic relations during the 1930s. The book is simply organized: after introductory chapters on Britain and the interwar international economy and the fundamental reorientation of British economic policy in 1931-32, it consists of what are in effect a series of case studies dealing with reparations, trade and payments agreements, trade in strategic raw materials (rubber, oil and cotton textiles), banking arrangements, and protectionism. The thrust of Forbes's study is that there was not a systematic program of economic appeasement. Rather, in making the best of a bad situation, financial and commercial interests competed for attention and influence from a government that was itself more often than not divided as to the most appropriate policy to pursue. The result was a mixture of drift and haphazard and inconsistent policies. The persuasive presentation of the underlying case from the primary sources is, however, somewhat undermined in places by a rather slipshod use of the secondary literature. Appropriate for graduate and research collections. D. E. Moggridge University of Toronto

Table of Contents

Richard Overy
List of Illustrationsp. vii
List of Tablesp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xv
Glossary and Abbreviationsp. xvii
Abbreviations in Notes and Bibliographyp. xix
1. Britain and the world economyp. 1
2. Britain's economic revolution and the demise of the Weimar Republicp. 22
3. Britain and the rise of the Third Reich: dealing with the legacy of reparationsp. 63
4. Britain's trade and payments with the Third Reich: 'economic appeasement'?p. 97
5. British industry and the Third Reich: trading in strategic raw materials with the future enemy?p. 133
6. British banks and the Third Reich: financing the Nazis or a once smart business going bad?p. 166
7. British protectionism and the Third Reich: a fat or lean Germany?p. 198
Conclusionp. 223
Bibliographyp. 231
Indexp. 247