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History: Why Did Alternatives to Appeasement Fail? British Foreign Policy, 1935-39 With Professor Richard Grayson From Goldsmiths, University of London

18th October 2022 @ 11:00 - 12:00

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As part of Goldsmiths’ incisive Autumn History Series, Professor Richard Grayson asks ‘Why Did Alternatives to Appeasement Fail?’

In popular narratives of why Britain went to war in 1939, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his allies are seen as ‘Guilty Men’.  They are said to have recklessly taken Hitler’s assurances at face value, ignored the need for rapid rearmament, and rejected opportunities for an international alliance against Hitler.

Central to this narrative is a view that people such as Winston Churchill consistently put forward alternatives to appeasement which could, and should, have been adopted.  Research over the past twenty years has pointed to a range of alternatives which were not pursued.  This webinar will examine why the alternatives were not adopted, whether the anti-appeasers actually held to consistent positions, and how far the cases of anti-appeasers were themselves problematic.


Lecturer Profile (Please Click): Professor Richard Grayson


For further sessions in this great series with Goldsmiths, please see below and click for details:



Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Key Stage 5 students (and equivalent) studying or with an interest in studying History and related subjects. We also welcome students from other disciplines with a more general interest in the topic. Teachers and members of school staff, as always, are welcome to join with a group from school/college or as individuals.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the topic in advance and questions they have. Students can also think about questions about studying History at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans (similar to Zoom) and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:

Register here



18th October 2022
11:00 - 12:00
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