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The War Lords Hardcover – 21 Nov 1977
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Roosevelt on the other hand - whilst Taylor notes his 'great power of accepting responsibility' - is gently ribbed for his naivety, particularly in thinking that after the war America would police the world. Yet in the long run that's pretty much what has happened; and it now looks a lot less naïve than believing the world could be policed by a United Nations lacking any power of its own.
For what it's worth, though, surely Churchill deserves to be considered the greatest of them. He alone recognised that, beyond simple national interests, there was a duty to protect the world from fascism; he had far less to work with than Roosevelt or Stalin; but he achieved most of his aims, and without a British holocaust such as there had been in the First War. But as a Tory he will have been less congenial to Taylor.
Not a history of the war - actually more like the premise for a TV drama or a boardgame - this is an interesting read. Taylor's powers of understanding and exposition were of a far higher order than popular historians today; and he doesn't treat his audience like idiots. This version does not reproduce the many photographs included in the original edition, which diminishes its value quite a bit.
I mistakenly expected the book to go into more detail on each of the war lords, but Taylor focused on each individual's method and style in conducting the War. Nevertheless, it is an interesting read.
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