A long time ago, I drove up to the Berkshires to interview William L. Shirer, author of "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", the first "grown-up" history book I read as a teenager. The visit wasn't long before his death. He was almost blind and hard of hearing, but his memory was still sharp. He mentioned that some years earlier he'd attended an academic conference on Nazi Germany, and had been depressed to find that the historians seemed more interested in scoring points with trivial statistics than in telling the story of the times. Of course, he'd had the advantage of being an eye-witness, but it was a fair point all the same. I thought of that comment yesterday as I came to the end of Max Hasting's book "Armageddon", which I'm reviewing for the Washington Times. It's a magnificent piece of work which more than lives up to the ecstatic reviews it received in the British press. Shirer would have loved it.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/01/hastings-masterpiece-long-time-ago-i.html|||1/11/2005 09:56:00 am|||||||||