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English History, 1914-1945 (Oxford history of England) Paperback – 1 Jul 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 748 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (1 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192801406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192801401
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 4.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,382,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"An outstanding achievement...an exciting book, for historian and layman alike."--Spectator

About the Author

A. J. P Taylor was one of Britain's most respected and influential historians. He was Professor of History and Fellow of Magdalen College, University of Oxford. He died in 1990.

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First Sentence
UNTIL August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Ellis on 9 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I recently re-read this book by Taylor (my copy dates from it's original publication). It's an enormous canvas and Taylor does a masterful job of synthesising his huge amount of material with which he was clearly very familiar. Inevitably the book contains some fairly broad views with some of which it's possible to take issue, but overall his version of events and the judgments he arrives at remain valid in most cases. This is true although much new material has become available since the book was originally published. Although a left leaning historian he's very fair to some of the traditional bogeymen of the left like Baldwin and doesn't acquit the British Labor party of responsibility for their part in the appeasement policies of the thirties. His hero's are Lloyd George and Churchill (although he doesn't omit the warts). Who could disagree. And of course it's beautifully written and therefore a pleasure to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. Oliver on 4 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent historical analysis written in a reader friendly fashion. My husband has often spoken of this book so I decided he should have his own copy and he is delighted.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "mlbradley6" on 25 Feb. 2003
Format: Hardcover
One can hardly think of a broader period of history to cover than "English History 1914-1945" in one volume. Yet the most notable and probably most impressive feature of Mr Taylor's book is its ability to comprehensively cover the period while remaining concise. Perhaps the genius behind this book lies in taylors Ability to create a fully comprehensive book while remaining under eight hundred pages, his skill seems to lie in judging what History to leave out rather than include.
Taylor's book comes as the fifteenth and final volume of The Oxford History of England, the book charts through English History from 11pm on August 4, 1914 through to the summer of 1945. In all he covers a period of thirty one years. During which Britain was involved in two world wars and in between them battled through the inter war period which was, politically economically and socially one of the most volatile periods in English History. Taylor manages to tackle the period with flare yet focuses mainly on economic and political aspects. He averts attention away from the History of people, focusing on actions of rulers and the elite. His description however, of the interaction of rulers and politicians is fascinating. Taylor displays Britain's key problems as economic, Britain's inter war economy was backward based on old industries which the world simply did not want to buy the products of. The resultant cause was unemployment which plagued England throughout the 1920's and 1930's coupled with economic decline . After a costly war and all too liberal loans to allies Britain's inter war economic state was gloomy to say the least
What makes Taylor's book so unique within its field isn't just its size but its readability.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James Horgan on 2 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the only work I've read by Taylor and it is readily apparent why he was a controversial historian. His witty, and often snide comments, on politicians, many hidden away in the bibliography, reveal his sympathies and sycophancies.

Taylor was plainly writing without the benefit of all the source material we know have available and his partisanship strains the value of this work. (Even though I might share much of it.) I suspect there are now better histories of this period.

As mentioned by another reviewer the work is very readable.

I should add that this volume completed my reading of the full set of the Oxford History of England. Highlights were the first volume on Roman Britain by Salway and the very informative and lively penultimate volume from 1870-1914 by Ensor. Many of the volumes were good, the Middle Ages were direly treated though by authors fascinated in taxation systems, but unwilling to explain them. On to the New Oxford History once it is completed then!
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