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Coffee with Hitler: The British Amateurs Who Tried to Civilise the Nazis

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Spicer describes his intentions in writing Coffee With Hitler as being explicitly about those who sought to “civilise” rather than “appease” the Nazis. The extraordinary story of three men, a Welsh historian and political secretary, a butterfly-collecting Old Etonian and a Great War fighter ace.

The cleverly worked friendships with Ribbentrop, Goring and Goebbels, are explained in precise and reliable detail, that form the platform for approach to HItler himself.A pacifist Welsh historian, a Great War flying ace, a butterfly-collecting businessman… Coffee With Hitler offers a rare glimpse into a motley crew who would provide the British government with better intelligence on the horrifying rise of the Nazis than anyone else. Both appeasers and civilisers overrated their own abilities and underestimated the evils to which they – largely unwittingly – played handmaiden. Charles Spicer reveals the bold attempt of a handful of British intelligence agents to infiltrate and civilise the Nazi hierarchy.

This unlikely band of mavericks – who included a butterfly-collecting Old Etonian and a left-wing Welsh pacifist – spent five doomed years wining and dining the leading henchmen of Hitler’s diabolical regime. Washington Post 'In this terrific debut, historian Charles Spicer genuinely enriches and deepens our understanding of the Thirties - the all-important decade in which the great and the good of these islands, scarred to the depths of their souls by the Great War, struggled to avoid a second global conflict.Charles Spicer has achieved something rare, a book that is entertaining and informative whilst also being an important piece of scholarship. The central characters are Philip Conwell-Evans; Ernest Tennant OBE; Grahame Christie; and Sir Robert Vansittart. Coffee With Hitler offers a rare glimpse into a motley crew who would provide the British government with better intelligence on the horrifying rise of the Nazis than anyone else. The story of Tennant, Conwell-Evans and Christie and their historical journey is an absorbing one, which casts light on many aspects of the period… They deserve the rehabilitation that Charles Spicer has eloquently accorded them. Julie Gottlieb, professor of modern history, University of Sheffield 'A captivating and convincing revisionist history.

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