Troublemaker: The Life and History of A. J. P. Taylor

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Yale University Press, 2000 M01 1 - 491 pages

Popular, prolific, and impassioned, British historian A. J. P. Taylor (1906-1990) was also outspoken, controversial, and quarrelsome. Taylor's many books, including The Struggle for Mastery in Europe, The Origins of the Second World War, and English History 1914-1945, changed the way history was written and read. His legendary television lectures, delivered live and unscripted, brought history to a huge popular audience. In this masterful biography, Kathleen Burk provides a perceptive account of the life and achievements of Britain's most famous twentieth-century historian. Burk draws on her personal acquaintance with Taylor in his later years and on an array of previously untapped archival materials to analyze the successes, failures, and controversies of Taylor's life as historian, Oxford don, broadcast journalist, husband, and friend.

The author sets Taylor's professional work in the context of the development of history in England during the century, and she traces the relations between his writings and his reactions to domestic and foreign politics. Her account of Taylor's years at Oxford explores the customs and rituals of the academic community, his colleagues, and the successive crises that beset him personally and professionally. The book also assesses Taylor's political activities and his self-described role as an "impotent socialist," his development as a journalist and broadcaster, previously unknown financial aspects of his freelance activities, and his private upheavals, in particular his failed marriages.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jburlinson - LibraryThing

Pretty much essential reading for anyone interested in Taylor and who has read the subject's own autobiography, in which he doesn't even mention his second wife for fear of the threatened lawsuit ... Read full review

TROUBLEMAKER: The Life and History of A.J.P. Taylor

User Review  - Kirkus

The life of "possibly the greatest, and certainly the most famous, diplomatic historian of the twentieth century," by a former research student now teaching at London University.Taylor may already be ... Read full review

Contents

The Child Is Father to the Man 19061927
1
The Making of the Historian
66
The Manchester Years 19301938
103
The Oxford Years 19381963The Good College Man
148
The Oxford Years 19381965 The Books and their Publishers
224
The London Years 19631985
311
The Business History of the History Business How Taylor Built his Freelance Career 19341990
369
Death and Judgement
408
How Much Money Taylor Made and How he Made it
416
Notes
420
Bibliography
471
Index
480
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About the author (2000)

Kathleen Burk is professor of modern and contemporary history at the University College London.

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