Richard Overy


Witness to History: The Life of John Wheeler-Bennett


Yale University Press 336pp £30 order from our bookshop

Sir John Wheeler Wheeler-Bennett (no, don’t ask) is one of those characters whose names crop up regularly in the diplomatic history of the middle years of the twentieth century without anyone knowing exactly why. Victoria Schofield, author of a well-regarded life of Field Marshal Lord Wavell, summons Wheeler-Bennett from the shadows, yet at the end of this plodding narrative of his peripatetic life he remains frustratingly elusive as a personality – a witness to history, perhaps, but never a participant.

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