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A. J. P. Taylor (Alan John Percivale Taylor) Biography

(1906–90), (Alan John Percivale Taylor), The Italian Problem in European Diplomacy 1847–1849

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Sir Rabindranath Tagore Biography to James Thomson Biography

British historian, born in Birkdale, Lancashire, educated at Oriel College, Oxford. From 1928 to 1930 he worked with the Austrian historian A. F. Pibram in Vienna, gathering material for his book The Italian Problem in European Diplomacy 1847–1849 (1934). After lecturing at Manchester University for eight years, he became a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1938, where he taught till 1963. His preoccupation with German nationalism as a force in modern history gave rise to a succession of books which include Germany's First Bid for Colonies (1938), The Habsburg Monarchy (1941, revised edition 1948), one of his most highly regarded works, and The Course of German History (1945), which was explicitly condemnatory in tone. During the 1950s and 1960s he became known to a wide public through his journalism and celebrated television lectures, which were collected in 1980 as Revolutions and Revolutionaries. The Origins of the Second World War (1961) provoked a heated controversy through its reinterpretation of the extent to which Hitler was individually responsible for the conflict. Taylor's other works in a career of prolific authorship include The Struggle for Mastery in Europe (1954), English History 1914–1945 (1965), his last major publication, and the biographies Bismarck (1955) and Beaverbrook (1972); his socialist convictions inform the sympathetic treatment of nineteenth-century radicals in The Trouble Makers (1957). Personal History (1983) is his wittily iconoclastic autobiography.

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