produced a work ripe with insight, which deeply enriches our knowledge of the subject. This book should be compulsory reading for all students of rural history in general and of Wales in particular. DAVID W. HOWELL Swansea. DIPLOMACY OF ILLUSION. By Keith Middlemas. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1972. Pp. 510. £ 4-75. It was in 1965 that D. C. Watt wrote of the 'rise of a revisionist school' on appeasement. The rehabilitation of Baldwin and Chamberlain, and the foreign policies pursued by their governments, is now well under way. The emerging defence of appeasement rests its case on an argument from realpolitik-a return to the case made so persuasively by E. H. Carr in The Twenty Years Crisis. In this analysis, Britain and France were out- matched by the rise of Germany, Italy and Japan, a revolution in inter- national affairs which they were powerless to prevent. This potential combination could only be matched by the mobilisation of the United States and the Soviet Union on the allied side; and this was impossible during the 1930s. Hence the necessity for a policy of gaining time and building strength-and hence the Munich agreement. Keith Middlemas, in his biography of Baldwin written jointly with John Barnes, contributed to the revisionist case. Baldwin, however, was praised at the expense of Chamberlain; and Mr. Middlemas's latest book is a thoroughly rewarding critique of the ideas and tactics of Chamberlain and his cronies between May 1937 and March 1939. It succeeds in bearing out the assumption of the title: the Munich agreement was after all the outcome of illusion. It may still be possible for friends of the appeasers to argue that Munich was necessary on grounds of expediency-but this was not Chamberlain's motive. Mr. Middlemas quotes very extensively from the Chamberlain Papers, revealing incidentally how skilfully Sir Keith Feiling emphasised the more presentable aspects of Chamberlain's thought. How extraordinary to find him writing three months before Munich that the Germans 'have missed the bus and may never again have such a favourable chance of asserting their domination over Central and Eastern Europe,' anticipating his use of the same phrase on the eve of the German invasion of Norway in April 1940. There are many plums from the papers (all of them, as it happens, published by Mr. Middlemas without copyright permission from their owner, Mrs. Stephen Lloyd-a rash act, unhelpful to other contemporary historians). But the result is a rich haul, backed by thorough research in the Cabinet Papers, carefully analysed and lucidly presented. A number of major verdicts are convincingly established. Chamberlain came to the premiership imbued with a Treasury view of defence problems. Breaking with Baldwin's lack of system, he imposed the Treasury and its thought on the services, fixing a global figure for defence expenditure based on financial, not military considerations. He argued that a balanced budget would be a more effective weapon of war than more bombers or a