This book deals with the relationship of Britain and Hungary during the crucial years 1938-1941. In addition to archival research in London and Budapest, mostly about the relations of the governments, Ban's work broadens into political, social, intellectual and cultural history. This is one of its exceptional assets, including materials hitherto overlooked or disregarded, as it relates to more than diplomatic history - even though, in dealing with the latter too, Ban's mastery of archival and other evidence is extraordinarily valuable. From 1938 to 1941 both Hungarian ambitions and Hungarian society were divided. The principal ambition was still to revise the frontiers imposed on Hungary by the Treaty of Trianon in 1920. However, at the same time, a minority of Hungarians (including Prime Minister Teiki as well as many officials of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry) recognised that at least equally important as the cause of frontier revision was the protection and revision of as much Hungarian independence as was possible in the shadow of an immensely powerful and dominant Germany.
This division of attitudes, ideas and purposes ran through the society and bureaucracy of Hungary at large.