During a single winter, between November 1932 and April 1933, so much went wrong: Hitler came to power; Japan invaded Jehol and left the league of Nations; Mussolini looked towards Africa; Roosevelt was elected; France changed governments three times; and the victors of 1918 fell out acrimoniously over war debts, arms, currency, tariffs and Germany. New hopes flickered but not for long: a world economic conference was planned, only to collapse when the US went its own way.
All Against All reveals that collective mentalities and popular beliefs drove this crucial period and set nations on the path to war, as much as the rational calculus of ‘national interest’. Weaving together stories from across the world, historian Paul Jankowski offers a cautionary tale relevant for Western democracies today. The rising threat from dictatorial regimes and the ideological challenges from communism and fascism gave the 1930s a unique face, just as global environmental and demographic crises are shaping our own precious age.