Since the first edition of this book, the publication of documentary materials and the opening of archives have facilitated research on the origins of World War II. The new studies have enabled readers to obtain a better understanding of this important historical problem. Consequently I have limited the books listed in the bibliography chiefly to those published in the English language and included works in foreign languages only when there was no alternative in English.
The Royal Institute of International Affairs’ Survey of International Affairs(London and New York, 1923–) provides a useful yearly account of events since 1920. During the war the series was halted but resumed in 1951, using newly published diplomatic documents. Beginning with the Czechoslovak Crisis, 1938, vols. II–III (1951), The World in March 1939 (1952), and The Eve of the War, 1939 (1958) give an excellent survey of the eighteen months preceding the outbreak of the war.
The earliest controversial study of this problem was A. J. P. Taylor, The Origins of the Second World War (London, 1961, and subsequent American editions). Occasionally inaccurate but always interesting, Taylor’s interpretations should be treated critically and balanced with more orthodox accounts. There are excellent analyses of Taylor’s book in The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered: The A. J. P. Taylor Debate after Twenty Five Years, edited by Gordon Martel (Boston, 1986) and The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered: A. J. P. Taylor and the Historians(London, 1999), also edited by Gordon Martel. Other studies of the origins of World War II include Laurence Lafore, The