From the Boer War to the Cold War: Essays on Twentieth-century Europe

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9780241134450: From the Boer War to the Cold War: Essays on Twentieth-century Europe

This is the first of two volumes which aim to present the best work of Alan Taylor. Some of the essays have appeared previously in "Penguin Collected Essays" and some have not been previously published in volume form. Pieces on Balfour, Asquith, World War I, and Trotsky are included.

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About the Author:

A. J. P. Taylor (1906-1990) was the most famous and controversial historian of the twentieth century. Author of over thirty books, the three peaks of his scholarship are the massive and authoritative The Struggle for Mastery in Europe: 1848-1918, the idiosyncratic English History: 1914-1945 and the revisionist Origins of the Second World War. But there was much else. The Trouble Makers: Dissent Over Foreign Policy (1792-1939) was his own personal favourite. The essay often saw A. J. P. Taylor at his best, it was a medium well-suited to his pithy, provocative, epigrammatic style. After his death the best of his essays were selected and reassembled by Chris Wrigley into three volumes: From Napoleon to the Second International, From the Boer War to the Cold War and British Prime Ministers.

From Booklist:

A companion to Taylor's essays on nineteenth-century Europe (From Napoleon to the Second International ), this volume gathers the brilliant British historian's book reviews and essays about this century's wars and political personalities. So many books have been written on such matters that it seems unprofitable to go back to old reviews, but Taylor's style dispels the fear. He was so steeped in the subjects that rarely did he feel obliged to simplify what the author was saying; he forged ahead with his own opinions, curtly and challengingly expressed, confident that his newspaper's readers wanted to hear them and secondarily those of the author to which he was responding. Generally, his opinions still stand up across the 75 subjects he addresses; a characteristic exposition is "War by Time-Table," a dissection of the assassination and foolish brinkmanship that ignited World War I. Taylor's gloomy, Tacitean approach to history favored human accident over "inevitability," which made him an incisive, entertaining commentator on politicians' foibles. That acerbic talent endures in this delight for history browsers. Gilbert Taylor

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