The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1848-1918, by A. J. P. Taylor
Ever since an explosive book entitled The Course of German History appeared in 1946, Mr. A. J. P. Taylor has been regarded as the enfant terrible of British historical writing. “Brilliant,” “contentious,” “provocative”—all the customary adjectives have been applied to him—and usually with an undertone of deep annoyance. The older generation of historians has taken offense at his exaggerations and the air of sovereign contempt with which he has appeared to regard his professional colleagues. The younger generation (with its own special brand of intellectual seriousness) has found his work glib and unphilosophical and has been inclined to dismiss it as entertaining “outside reading,” primarily suited for enlivening the drab existence of graduate students. As the years have passed, Mr. Taylor’s anti-Germanism and Slavophilia have appeared ever quainter and—at the very least—out of tune with the temper of the times.
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