A. J. P. Taylor

  • British historian
  • Born March 25, 1906
  • Died September 7, 1990

Alan John Percivale Taylor (25 March 1906 – 7 September 1990) was a British historian who specialised in 19th- and 20th-century European diplomacy. Both a journalist and a broadcaster, he became well known to millions through his television lectures. His combination of academic rigour and popular appeal led the historian Richard Overy to describe him as "the Macaulay of our age".

Human blunders usually do more to shape history than human wickedness.

The great armies, accumulated to provide security and preserve the peace, carried the nations to war by their own weight.

In my opinion, most of the great men of the past were only there for the beer - the wealth, prestige and grandeur that went with the power.

A racing tipster who only reached Hitler's level of accuracy would not do well for his clients.

Nothing is inevitable until it happens.

The greatest problem about old age is the fear that it may go on too long.

There is nothing more agreeable in life than to make peace with the Establishment - and nothing more corrupting.

Lenin was the first to discover that capitalism 'inevitably' caused war; and he discovered this only when the First World War was already being fought. Of course he was right. Since every great state was capitalist in 1914.

He was what I often think is a dangerous thing for a statesman to be - a student of history; and like most of those who study history, he learned from the mistakes of the past how to make new ones.

Psychoanalysts believe that the only 'normal' people are those who cause no trouble either to themselves or anyone else.

A master of improvised speech and improvised policies.

No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.

No war is inevitable until it breaks out.

Like most of those who study history, he (Napoleon III) learned from the mistakes of the past how to make new ones.

The crusade against Communism was even more imaginary than the specter of Communism.