Taylor, Alan John Percivale

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Taylor, Alan John Percivale

Alan John Percivale Taylor, 1906–90, English historian, primarily interested in diplomatic and Central European history. Educated at Oxford, he became a fellow of Magdalen College in 1938. He appeared frequently on British radio and television and was a columnist for the Manchester Guardian and other British newspapers. Taylor was one of the leaders of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the 1950s and a frequent critic of British foreign policy. His best-known works, contentious interpretations of the origin of modern wars, include an exoneration of Otto von Bismarck in Bismarck, the Man and the Statesman (1955), an indictment of Germany holding it responsible for World War I in The Struggle for Mastery in Europe, 1848–1918 (1954), and his most controversial book, The Origins of the Second World War (1961), a condemnation of French and English isolationism and vacillation.

See his autobiography (1983); biographies by A. Sisman (1994) and K. Burk (2001).

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