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Some content available on Google Books Available from Amazon Book Cover AJP Taylor was one of the first ‘telly historians’ and one of the first historians to become a household name even amongpeople who didn’t read his books.He had started out researching modern European history, especially the Habsburg Empire, on which he wrote a book in 1948 which is still widely used.
Fresh from the controversy over The Origins of the Second World War Taylor was approached by the Clarendon Press to write a twentieth century volume to bring the venerable Oxford History of England up to date.
The series was well established and included some volumes which are still highly regarded today, but its style was traditional and tended to be rather heavy; Taylor said he tried to read the whole series in preparation for his task but had to give up on some of them.
(This neglect has occurred despite his having inspired no fewer than three biographies since his death, much the best of which is the 2006 production by Nottingham University professor Chris Wrigley.) As late as 1980, undergraduates on the campuses of Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand could not attend classes in post-1789 European history without confronting Taylor’s achievements head-on.
Today, students in these same lands can become post-1789 European history majors—can even achieve doctorates in the field—without noticing the smallest indication that Taylor existed.
The alarm felt at these words by Taylor, who had long believed this title to repose safely with himself, may be readily envisioned. Bryant died in 1985 and now is almost unread, his books retailing for derisory sums on e Bay.
Yet Taylor has been forgotten to an extent that middle-aged denizens of former British colonies find almost beyond belief.On the causes of the war, both AJP Taylor and Allan Bullock acknowledge the rise of Hitler and the opportunities presented to him as catalysts of war, but Taylor-a revisionist-takes an apologist's view, while Bullock-a traditionalist-takes a conventional view.At the beginning of his novel, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, Allan Bullock places a quote by Aristotle: "Men do not become tyrants in order to beep out the cold." ..more.Taylor, not only defends Hitler, but he puts the blame for the war on Chamberlain.He also discusses the arms race as being inevitable, and an opportunity given to Hitler and Germany.It should, moreover, be stressed that Taylor’s American readership was always comparatively small, though he did score a long New York Times obit on September 8, 1990.The temptation is, therefore, to dismiss Taylor as of purely local interest. First, Taylor found himself caught up in geopolitical struggles that curbed his Little Englander cussedness. Introduction Mia Buntic January 29, 2003 History, Period 1 AJP Taylor's views of the causes of WWII v. In the years that followed World War II, many historians spent time analyzing the causes of the war.It is by no means, an easy task and results in different outlooks and interpretations.Taylor was a familiar figure in the literary world and he did not confine his writing to academic audiences: he wrote articles in the popular press commenting on current events from a historical perspective and he was the first ‘telly don’, giving talks to camera on major issues in modern European history, explaining without patronising.This annoyed the more snobbish elements in academic circles and Taylor was never able to get the professorial chair at Oxford which might otherwise have been his due.