A.J.P. Taylor (1909-1990) was noted for his scholarship, his fascination with power, his emphasis on historical accident as opposed to historical inevitability and his assertive writing style. Most of the essays in this collection, edited by British history professor Wrigley, originally appeared as book reviews, university lectures or talks on radio or television (Taylor was a familiar figure to the British public). Mostly on the subject of British or European history, they include accounts of prime ministers (he admired Churchill as war leader but was critical of many of his policies) and several pieces on the dictators of the era. In essays on the Cold War, the dominant theme is that nuclear weapons will not always act as deterrents. The collection includes a tender obituary of his friend Malcolm Muggeridge; a blunt reappraisal of George Bernard Shaw as writer, sage and philosopher; and a gentle rumination on his home county of Lancashire. Very popular in Britain, Taylor's writing is distinguished by its freshness of interpretation. His works include The Origins of the Second World War. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1995 Release date: 10/01/1995 Genre: Nonfiction
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