... meticulously researched, vividly written ... The distinction between caving to the Nazis and wooing them can feel contrived at times, but Spicer insists that the men who guided the fellowship’s activities in this fraught period ultimately served their country better than generally recognized — despite the presence of some outright Nazi sympathizers in their midst ... One of the great virtues of Spicer’s book is that it brings Vansittart out of the shadows, exploring his critical role in bolstering the kind of policies championed by Winston Churchill: no compromises with Hitler ... This is a complex tale, but as skillfully narrated by Spicer, it moves along briskly. His main characters are not easy to characterize either, but he brings them to life, with all their contradictions.
... fascinating and deeply researched ... The book works well as a companion to Tim Bouverie’s fine Appeasing Hitler, focusing less on the well-known events and figures of the era and more on the gentlemanly amateur diplomats of the day. Both appeasers and civilisers overrated their own abilities and underestimated the evils to which they – largely unwittingly – played handmaiden. This engaging book offers a warning from history that remains terrifyingly relevant today.
Mr. Spicer suggests that his new view of the AGF raises 'the fundamental question' of whether there were 'alternatives to Chamberlain’s appeasement of Germany other than total war.' Probably not, in hindsight. Still, like the recent rehabilitations of Neville Chamberlain and his ministers, Coffee With Hitler illuminates the dilemmas of appeasement on the terms of the 1930s. We prefer to forget that the British acclaimed Chamberlain as a peacemaker when he returned from Munich in September 1938. As in an Alan Furst novel, no one knew for certain what would happen next.