The quote from the book is a distortion.
The event was very significant, Hitler very prominent, albeit just one leader for a correctly identified as dangerous conglomerate of right-wingers and militants. As an acute threat, the failed attempt may have neutralised one problem, but that one was symptomatic for a lot more, and this was realised in more international circles. Short term action was no longer needed because of delayed reaction, but lower long term changes emerged.
International reactions as seen from the press
The actual international reactions, as covered by the press at the time or later analysed by historians follows. This might injure your ideology.
Foreign governments knew that it was on the horizon, watched closely as it unfolded, and some were more eager than others to intervene, also militarily.
They did react to this new putsch 'as now one too many' and actually eased the pressure on war-looser Germany which was previously really quite a bit too high from mainly the French side. Britain also reacted to that putsch by increased distance from its former French ally, opting for a less demanding post-war policy to stabilise the European economic system via stabilising the German one.
Hitler had attempted a coup together with the much more prominent Ludendorff together with officials from the local Bavarian government against Berlin, just like Mussolini did in Italy. Only that Mussolini was successfull, but both were making the headlines. Good stories. Sex sells, violence sells.
The immediate international political reactions – on a level like League of Nations – had to be minimal note taking, but no action allowed, required or possible. But individual powers like France were perfectly capable to act like they wished.
The New York Times for example has headlines way before actual putsch:
HITLER THREATENS MUNICH OUTBREAK; Nationalist Chief Announces He Will Hold a Prohibited Demonstration. MARTIAL LAW DECLARED Grave Fears of Civil War Are Felt as Germans Face Accumulated Dangers.
JAN. 27, 1923
BAVARIA GIVES IN TO HITLER THREATS; National Socialists Force Premier to Allow Demonstration Even Under Martial Law. CROWDS SWARM IN MUNICH Delegations With Bands and Provocative Banners Take Possession of the Streets. JAN. 28, 1923
DICTATOR CHOSEN IN BAVARIAN PLOT; Seized Documents Show a Full Outline of the Proposed New State. MARCH 10, 1923
GERMAN CABINET IS NEAR BREAK-UP; BAVARIA MENACING; Two Ministers Resign — Socialists Join Reds in Demanding Emergency Decree Repeal. OCT. 3, 1923
Hitler Troops Occupy City.
NOV. 9, 1923 — MUNICH, Nov. 8 — The Bavarian Government has been declared overthrown by Adolph Hitler, the Fascist leader, and the administration placed in the hands of General Ludendorff, as Commander-in-Chief.
ITALY TAKES NEWS CALMLY; Government Not Inclined to Interfere in German Affairs.
By NOV. 10, 1923 ROME, Nov. 9. — The Italian Government is of the opinion that the Allies should not interfere in German movements unless they in some way violate the treaty of Versailles. Thus Mussolini would probably resist attempt to restore the Hohenzollern monarchy as he would any move to exploit nationalist movement sweeping over Germany further to evade payment of reparations.
These headlines of course miss that the right-wing conspirators from Germany informed Mussolini of their plans before they took action. The Italians already suspected a coup in Bavaria and this was confirmed when Lüdecke was sent by Hitler to Mussolini to acquire the Duce's support, particularly money. But the Duce dismissed him and later talked of these buffoni (clowns). Only later to actively seek out deals and alliances. (Alan Cassels: "Mussolini and German Nationalism, 1922-25", The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Jun., 1963), pp137–157)
The main effect to observe: Germany continued to make headlines and Hitler especially, as his linkage with Ludendorff indicated a much wider support from traditionalist, nationalist and monarchist circles. Not only within Germany. Some foreign equally right-wing politicians were already in deep sympathy. But self-interest and possible gains from every opportunity prevailed.
Reactions in relevant government circles outside of Germany
This putsch was foreseen, observed, then noted, analysed in foreign countries. And acted upon.
France, Italy, United States
Apart from Italy, which in hindsight seems obviously pleased with fascists trying a grab for power, other countries reacted with some surprisingly cunning calculations:
In 1923 Poincaré refused to establish France's attitude towards a putsch in Bavaria beforehand. Starting from the feeling of France's military superiority, he concluded that even a Hitler/Ludendorff military dictatorship would seek recognition from France. This suggests that Poincaré's attitude towards Hitler's putsch depended on its destabilising effect on the Berlin government and the profit that French politics could make from it. As long as Prussia dominated Germany and as long as the problem of the security of France and the Ruhr affair were not resolved, Paris had no reason to condemn a right-wing putsch likely to endanger the stability and freedom of action of the Berlin government, provided only that the success of the putschists was not too great.
Indeed Poincare reacted very quickly to Hitler's putsch and the return of the German hereditary prince, and he fought tenaciously from 9 to 19 November for the continuation of the allies' policy of sanctions. His failure was due to the fact that the coup had failed too quickly.
If the coup had lasted a little longer and started a civil war - even a short one - the Weimar Republic would have lost all the confidence it had been given in foreign countries. The fear of Prussian militarism would have been reinforced all over the world and Poincare could have appeared as the savior of peace in Europe.
— Herbert Behrendt: "L’angleterre et La France Face á Hitler et son Putsch en Novembre 1923", Francia, Institut historique allemand, Vol 12, 1984. (DOI)
From this it becomes clear that the person Hitler might have become much more prominent, but it's just that Germany as a whole and its elites especially continued to be seen as the embodiment of evil and militarism.
As should be obvious from the newspaper headlines alone, that year was especially turbulent. And as noted already, the Hitler-Ludendorff putsch crumbled quickly. For those who remembered the much closer call of the Ludendorff-Lüttwitz-Kapp putsch in 1920, which lasted 100 hours and brought the Reich to real brink of civil war, the Hitler attempt must have looked to some in hindsight not only like a German internal affair but also like even a localised phenomenon. In fact it didn't take a precognitive genius to see what will happen if most of the conservative criminals from the earlier putsch could continue to conspire in ultra-reactionary Bavaria.
And to the Ludendorff-Kapp-Lüttwitz putsch the French did react. Militarily. Just not against the putschists. They just marched in and occupied for example Frankfurt and Darmstadt as punishment for the unilateral actions of the Reichswehr against the communists' and other worker's efforts to defend democracy against the conservative putschers.
To be clear: The Reichswehr was violating the Versailles treaty and only stopped their advance when the British forces threatened to occupy the Bergisches Land as well, which is on the other side of the Rhineland, which was occupied anyway, until 1930.
Apart from politicians, those more ordinary people who wanted to be informed had sometimes a hard time to really get reliable news on developments in fascist politics. Not in the least because even American journalists displayed an awkward fascination, and way too often outright sympathy:
Benito Mussolini secured Italy’s premiership by marching on Rome with 30,000 blackshirts in 1922. By 1925 he had declared himself leader for life. While this hardly reflected American values, Mussolini was a darling of the American press, appearing in at least 150 articles from 1925-1932, most neutral, bemused or positive in tone.
The Saturday Evening Post even serialized Il Duce’s autobiography in 1928. Acknowledging that the new “Fascisti movement” was a bit “rough in its methods,” papers ranging from the New York Tribune to the Cleveland Plain Dealer to the Chicago Tribune credited it with saving Italy from the far left and revitalizing its economy. From their perspective, the post-WWI surge of anti-capitalism in Europe was a vastly worse threat than Fascism.
Ironically, while the media acknowledged that Fascism was a new “experiment,” papers like The New York Times commonly credited it with returning turbulent Italy to what it called “normalcy.”
Yet some journalists like Hemingway and journals like the New Yorker rejected the normalization of anti-democratic Mussolini. John Gunther of Harper’s, meanwhile, wrote a razor-sharp account of Mussolini’s masterful manipulation of a U.S. press that couldn’t resist him.
The ‘German Mussolini’
Mussolini’s success in Italy normalized Hitler’s success in the eyes of the American press who, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, routinely called him “the German Mussolini.” Given Mussolini’s positive press reception in that period, it was a good place from which to start. Hitler also had the advantage […] going from a fringe party to winning a dominant share of parliamentary seats in free elections in 1932.
But the main way that the press defanged Hitler was by portraying him as something of a joke. He was a “nonsensical” screecher of “wild words” whose appearance, according to Newsweek, “suggests Charlie Chaplin.” His “countenance is a caricature.” He was as “voluble” as he was “insecure,” stated Cosmopolitan.
— John Broich, The Conversation: Normalising Fascists: How Journalists Covered the Rise of Mussolini and Hitler — Reports on the rise of fascism in Europe were not the American media’s finest hour, 2016.
Foreign governments like of the United Kingdom very well thought the Beer Hall Putsch was significant at the time. It is not 'only significant in retrospect':
The Foreign Office had a very keen eye on the nationalist movements and military reactionists. And Hitler especially rose quickly to large enough stature to gain a special focus.
When Adolf Hitler stepped into the limelight of world politics as the new German Reichskanzler on 30 January 1933, the first warnings by British observers that he constituted a danger to peace and stability in Europe already dated back a full decade. […] Hitler was by no means an unknown figure to the diplomats and politicians responsible for the formulation of British foreign policy. Already […] in the early 1920s, these men had formed a detailed, well-researched and much discussed image of 'Herr Hitler' and his 'National Socialist German Worker's Party'.
For very simple reasons: to ensure the order resulting from the outcome of the World War was kept, stable. The main interests for that war were two eliminations: that of German competition overseas, and that of removal of aggressive and warmongering Prussian militarists from direct power in Germany.
Stability then should also translate towards an economically stable German Reich as the cornerstone of British continental trade and exchange designs. Not in the least because a sufficiently stable and strong Germany was thought to keep the imminent spread of Bolshevism at bay.
[But] The fragile parliamentary system threatened to collapse under the double onslaught of Red revolutionary risings and the hostile agitation of the strong reactionary political right aiming at a restoration of the monarchy. […]
There was no doubt that this old oligarchy, although driven from the levers of power by the lost war and the revolution, still wielded formidable influence behind the political scene. It is to be emphasized that British observers by no means neglected the radical German nationalists over against the apparent threat of Communism within Germany. […]
At any rate, the British diplomats and politicians carefully watched the Weimar Republic's enemies both on the political left and right, and they did so particularly with regard to Bavaria.
From September 1920 informants reported on Hitler to their superiors in London. Although Consul-General Seeds in Munich failed for a long time to recognise the then already locally so-called 'King of Bavaria', that changed in 1922, when he suddenly started to report much more on this danger on the horizon in his first detailed analysis of the nazi-party and Hitler.
The increased danger of a fresh reactionary putsch alone was reason enough finally to give closer attention to the hitherto neglected Adolf Hitler, whose name, as Seeds now conceded, had been
in everybody's mouth as that of the only possible saviour of the people long before the Mussolini coup d'etat in Italy'
Seeds's first long analysis of the Hitler movement, written only three days after Mussolini's 'March on Rome', was soon followed by an extended Memorandum respecting Bavaria by Joseph Addison, Counsellor at the Berlin embassy, which was the first report on the Hitler movement to be circulated in London to 'King, Cabinet and Dominions'.
It was certainly no coincidence that Hitler thus entered the field of vision of the highest British political authorities at just this time in mid-November 1922. He and his movement gained unprecedented attention in London not only because they were part of the growing anti-republican movement in Bavaria but clearly also because of the obvious similarities to Mussolini and his notorious fascisti. […]
Hitler commanded a violent regular party army,the SA, similar to Mussolini's blackshirts, and he apparently intended to emulate the Duce's successful course of a patient and steady increase of power to be followed at the right movement by a decisive attack on the existing government. What is more, in mid-November 1922, the British Consul-General in Frankfurt, Cecil Gosling, undertook the first analysis of the 25-point-programme of the Nazi Party and came to the conclusion that from an ideological point of view too the Nazi movement was 'an imitation of Italian Fascismo. He was the first British observer to label the National Socialists 'German fascists', and from the end of November 1922, Hitler officially figured in British documents as the 'Bavarian Mussolini'.
Even the Secret Intelligence Service was ordered to look into it. And from those reports the official civil servants started to take more action:
The warnings from Bavaria did not go unnoticed in the Foreign Office. Miles Lampson, Head of the Central Department, explicitly requested Seeds to keep him
'fully informed of the proceeding of Herr Hitler, in view of the political importance which the so-called fascisti movement might assume'.
By mid-January 1923 Hitler had become a factor of such importance that an adequate definition of British interests in Germany was no longer considered possible without more detailed knowledge of the further aims and actions of the National Socialists.
This was against the backdrop of French and Belgian troops already on German soil in 1923 when occupying the Ruhr area. This of course would further destablise the Weimar Republic, strengthen the Hitler movement and similar nationalists, and therefore bringing former entente friends into conflict – with each other.
Within Germany however, the British observers expected a violent coup attempt – since January 1923! With the next high point during the summer of 1923!
As matters stood, the officials in the Foreign Office took Hitler's agitation very seriously, especially since they saw the development in Bavaria from a wider angle than William Seeds and were able to put the news from Munich into the overall context of German and European politics.
[…] experts in Whitehall appreciate[d] the situation 'much more clearly than Mr Seeds' despatches', they again emphasized that the political situation in Bavaria had to be judged in the light of 'recent events in the Ruhr'. Any French-supported separatist or communist risings in the Rhineland could be expected to provoke a strong counter-movement by Bavarian-based reactionary forces, which had hitherto been hampered by disunity but had now found their dangerous potential leader: Adolf Hitler.
'Hitler has a very useful organization modelled on Fascist lines which, in favourable circumstances, might be used as a tool by those who cannot altogether subscribe to the Hitler programme. It cannot be questioned that the best trained military and organising brains in Germany would be on their side in the case of trouble.'
Hitler was clearly believed capable of unifying the powerful anti-republican movement in Germany. This confirmed the warning from January 1923 that he might become a considerable menace to British interests in Germany.
British interests before were mainly concerned with the ruinous effects of French 'Ruhrguard' actions that might lead to the collapse of the German Republic. But chancellor Stresemann called off the Ruhrkampf in September, without much effect on calming reactionary putschists. candidates. Further increasing tension was then obvious when the later putschists Kahr and von Lossow – both part of the Bavarian government! – brought the Bavarian parts of the army to swear allegiance to Bavaria, instead of the Reich, in clear defiance to any republican order and the constitution, or really anything coming from Berlin.
This would have lead to the execution of federal rights from the Reich government by means of the Reichswehr. But their right-wing chief von Seeckt was also plotting to overthrow the Berlin government, on his own terms, and openly declared to not support the Berlin government against Bavaria at the start of November, leaving Stresemann severly weakened. On November 3 the SPD left Stresemann's government and his administration's fall was imminent.
On November 2, the London Times reported of Hitler's plans to 'march on Berlin' and predicted correctly the planned date as November 8.
A few days earlier, the British ambassador Lord D'Abernon had noticed that strong contingents of National Socialist troops stationed at the Bavarian-Thuringian border were preparing to start their 'march on Berlin'.
Lastly, on 7 November the War Office submitted to the Foreign Office a military intelligence service report of a 'new but reliable agent' with personal contact to Hitler and Ludendorff, which gave clear evidence that a putsch and the establishment of a military dictatorship would follow within the next few days.
Again, von Seeckt 'reassured' President Ebert and the cabinet that should Kahr and von Lossow now march on Berlin, that his Reichswehr would not defend the republic. And in the morning hours of November 9:
D'Abernon, who feared the beginning of a civil war in Germany, immediately cabled the news to London and closely watched and reported the developments of 9 November in Bavaria. […] Lord D'Abernon's telegrams were the main source of information for the officials in the Foreign Office
For the unfolding events in question it is therefore just all about timing:
Even though confirmation of the final failureof the putsch reached London only one day later, Sir Eyre Crowe, Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office, showed himself convinced already in the afternoon of 9 November that the putsch was 'evidently going to fizzle out' and that concerted action by the Allied governments was not needed.
Crowe's minute reveals anger and relief at the same time, for only a few hours earlier the French government had suggested a special meeting of the allied Ambassadors' Conference in Paris which was to decide how the establishment of a military dictatorship in Germany could be counteracted by the Allies. The British government feared nothing more than to be drawn into an armed allied intervention in Germany. Eyre Crowe wrote:
We must be careful not to commit ourselves to a course of action which may easily develop into direct armed intervention on the part of the Allies in Germany. I do not believe H[is] M[ajesty's][Government] would approve of involving this country in another war.
With the intelligence of the likely failure of the putsch it was all the more easy for the officials in Whitehall flatly to refuse to participate in any such hasty conference at the ambassadorial level. […]
So in British eyes the French were to blame, at least indirectly, for the Hitler putsch. Unofficially, Eyre Crowe stated this opinion much less politely:
'M. Poincare in his mad policy of dismembering Germany is playing with fire. But he always takes the short view.'
The unprecedented sharpness of the British criticism gives a first indication of how seriously the Hitler putsch was taken in Whitehall.
In those reports analysing the putsch the Btitish clearly saw the antisemtic excesses within that movement already manifesting themselves in progromes in early November as well as the outward ambitions of all these right-wing movements as "an international danger".
Since the end of 1922 Adolf Hitler had been given the attention by British observers which he deserved. He was one of the most prominent and certainly the most active of political leaders on the extreme right in Bavaria; and the National Socialists' violent and conspicuous agitation destabilized the Weimar Republic and could therefore possibly interfere with British interests in Germany. In fact, some seventy despatches from Munich and Berlin reported on Hitler and the Nazi party between November 1922 and December 1923. No other single right-wing group or party of that time figured so prominently in British diplomatic papers, some of which provided remarkably shrewd assessments of the character and political role of Hitler and the National Socialist movement.
— Detlev Clemens: "The 'Bavarian Mussolini' and His 'Beerhall Putsch': British Images of Adolf Hitler, 1920-24", The English Historical Review, Vol. 114, No. 455 (Feb., 1999), pp64–84.
Most relevant report 'No 632' to the Foreign Office said Hitler
merely had to say the word and the country would flock to his standard.
Q Why didn't the league of nations act?
Apart from the timing problem already mentioned – you do not expect an international body to react quickly? – This conglomerate was a nice idea but very weak, and was replaced by the UN because it utterly failed in most cases like these.
Article X of the Covenant of the League of Nations is the section calling for assistance to be given to a member that experiences external aggression.
Putsch was 1923, internal German affair, and Germany only became a member in 1926. Not much for the application of League rules. Whatever reactions within that institution might have followed if the putsch would have succeeded remains open speculation. The league itself was not really designed for this case.
It was the allied entente partnership and its direct military might that would have played a role, not the toothless league.
The international public and all relevant governments had taken note of Hitler and those around him, even if for example Ludendorff was well known already beforehand. They did this from quite early on and the failed 1923 operation could add little to that image. Few did see the ultimate potential of evil and many were either confused or mislead about the intentions. Quite a few more were outright sympathisers. And despite all that we also see a lot of 'correct description and analysis', even if it was sometimes hidden in noncoherence, consusion again, or sometimes riddled with a few contradictions.
The League of Nations was not only largely powerless to begin with, built on a consensus principle that failed to materialise most of the time. The US was not a member and Germany only became one in 1926 to participate in "preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration." Only in 1923 on November 12 that putsch was all over already. An affair settled, or so it seemed.
America ran away from Europe into isolationism. Less so the British. The Belgians, and even more so the French and Italians were keenly aware of the ongoings. And they were in a very nice position to act immediately, being already on German soil in force. But they had their own interests to observe. French and Italian elements were even in cahoots with the conspirators as they saw their own gains and opportunities as more important.
Finally the timing. It was all over so quickly that a "halt the presses" was out of the question. To a failed (para) military coup there was just no direct international reaction necessary to be carried out. Only the informed and worried observers were indeed weighing their options in case it would have succeeded.
But in case this military dictatorship would have been established, the short and longterm threats this posed for French and British interests, perhaps not least among them such abstract concepts like 'peace', would surely lead to some kind of reaction: likely another war, contrasting the First World War, this time to preserve the current German form of government, just coincidently by crushing the same forces that started the World War.
They did lead into fostering a weakening in the British-French alliance while at the same time facilitating insight away from revenge and into realpolitik, easing the pressure on Germany a bit to stabilise it. The following ending of the Ruhr occupation, the treaty of Locarno, the rapprochement between Germany and France, and finally accepting German membership into the League of Nations – all that should be analysed against this backdrop of reactionary forces, militant nationalists and conservatives threatening the peace within Germany and surely projecting this menace outward sooner or later.
From the reverse side to the above compare:
— Edgar Feuchtwanger: "Hitler, Stresemann and the Discontinuity of German Foreign Policy", HistoryToday, Issue: Number 35 (December 1999)
This now would lead to another open question: How were international reactions to the scandalous farce that was called a tribunal for the putschists?