If there had been a strong democratic sentiment in Germany, Hitler would never have come to power . [Germans] deserved what they got when they went round crying for a hero.— A. J. P. Taylor
The most satisfaction A. J. P. Taylor quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
If men are to respect each other for what they are, they must cease to respect each other for what they own.
Conformity may give you a quiet life;
it may even bring you to a University Chair. But all change in history, all advance, comes from the nonconformists. If there had been no trouble-makers, no Dissenters, we should still be living in caves.
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.
The great armies, accumulated to provide security and preserve the peace, carried the nations to war by their own weight.
In 1917 European history, in the old sense, came to an end.
World history began. It was the year of Lenin and Woodrow Wilson, both of whom repudiated the traditional standards of political behaviour. Both preached Utopia, Heaven on Earth. It was the moment of birth for our contemporary world.
History is not a catalogue but...a convincing version of events.
Bismarck fought 'necessary' wars and killed thousands, the idealists of the twentieth century fight 'just' wars and kill millions.
Human blunders usually do more to shape history than human wickedness.
Perfect soldier, perfect gentleman never gave offence to anyone not even the enemy.
There is nothing more agreeable in life than to make peace with the establishment and nothing more corrupting.
Manchester has everything but good looks.
.., the only place in England which escapes our characteristic vice of snobbery.
The crusade against Communism was even more imaginary than the specter of Communism.
When I write I have no loyalty except to historical truth as I see it and care no more about British achievements and mistakes than any other.
Psychoanalysts believe that the only "normal" people are those who cause not trouble to either themselves or anyone else.
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.
I was a narrative historian, believing more and more as I matured that the first function of the historian was to answer the child's question, "What happened next?
All other forms of history - economic history, social history, psychological history, above all sociology - seem to me history with the history left out.
American statesmen might like some Europeans more than others and even detect quaint resemblances to their own outlook; but they no more committed themselves to a particular group or country than a nineteenth-century missionary committed himself to the African tribe in which he happened to find himself.
Like most of those who study history, he (Napoleon III) learned from the mistakes of the past how to make new ones.
Rather an end in horror, than horror without end.
He could not condemn principles he might need to invoke and apply later. The wolf cannot help having been created by God as he is, but we shoot him all the same if we have to. The great player in diplomacy, as in chess, asks the question,Does this improve me?, not look at the possible fringe benefits If you can't have what you like, you must like what you have.
The male clerk with his quill pen and copper-plate handwriting had gone for good. The female short-hand typist took his place. It was a decisive moment in women's emancipation.
Knowledge breeds doubt, not certainty, And the more we know the more uncertain we become.
The present enables us to understand the past, not the other way round.
No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.
No war is inevitable until it breaks out.
History is not another name for the past, as many people imply.
It is the name for stories about the past.
The God of Battles will throw the dice that decide.
A master of improvised speech and improvised policies.
The Foreign Office knows no secrets.
We learn nothing from history except the infinite variety of men's behaviour.
Though the object of being a Great Power is to be able to fight a Great War, the only way of remaining a Great Power is not to fight one.
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.
The greatest problem about old age is the fear that it may go on too long.
In my opinion we learn nothing from history except the infinite variety of men's behaviour. We study it, as we listen to music or read poetry, for pleasure, not for instruction.
Fascism was little more than terrorist rule by corrupt gangsters.
Mussolini was not corrupt himself but he did nothing except to rage impotently.
There is nothing nicer than nodding off while reading.
Going fast asleep and then being woken by the crash of the book on the floor, then saying to yourself, well it doesn't matter much. An admirable feeling.
History gets thicker as it approaches recent times: more people, more events, and more books written about them. More evidence is preserved, often, one is tempted to say, too much. Decay and destruction have hardly begun their beneficent work.
We are apt to say that a foreign policy is successful only when the country, or at any rate the governing class, is united behind it. In reality, every line of policy is repudiated by a section, often by an influential section, of the country concerned. A foreign minister who waited until everyone agreed with him would have no foreign policy at all.
One of the penalties of being president of the United States is that you must subsist for four years without drinking anything except Californian wine.
George VI in the conventional parlance was a Good King who sacrificed his life to his sense of duty. If we are to have monarchs it would be hard to find a better one.
Freedom does not always win. This is one of the bitterest lessons of history.
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.
Every historian loves the past or should do.
If not, he has mistaken his vocation; but it is a short step from loving the past to regretting that it has ever changed. Conservatism is our greatest trade-risk; and we run psychoanalysts close in the belief that the only "normal" people are those who cause no trouble either to themselves or anybody else.