With incisive knowledge of the man and access to never-before-published letters, Sisman paints a fascinating portrait of this charismatic, contentious, contradictory character. The author examines Trevor-Roper's middle-class upbringing in a house so empty of affection that it caused, as he put it, his "almost physical difficulty in expressing ...
With incisive knowledge of the man and access to never-before-published letters, Sisman paints a fascinating portrait of this charismatic, contentious, contradictory character. The author examines Trevor-Roper's middle-class upbringing in a house so empty of affection that it caused, as he put it, his "almost physical difficulty in expressing emotion.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-09-19 This superb biography romps through the life of one of 20th-century Britain's most notorious, controversial, and influential historian-journalists. A brilliant if unlikable man, more essayist than book writer, Trevor-Roper seemed to go everywhere, know everyone, and eventually anger, often to the point of detestation, much of the UK's academic and public world. Intellectually pugnacious, he enjoyed attacking fellow historians and excoriated Hannah Arendt's coverage of the trial of Adolf Eichmann. He also fetched up everywhere-during WWII in M16, where he helped decipher the Nazi code; at Oxford and Cambridge; and in newspaper boardrooms, in all of which he caused dustups. An influential historian of 17th-century Britain, Trevor-Roper was also known for his unsurpassed study of Hitler's last days and notorious for "authenticating" Hitler's diaries, which turned out to be forgeries. Using never-before-exploited resources, NBCC award-winner Sisman, the much-praised biographer of Trevor-Roper's fellow historian and competitor, A.J.P. Taylor, savors, as he makes us savor, a parade of juicy stories about his subject's life and career and those he knew. Walk-on parts by such characters as Princess Margaret, Rupert Murdoch, Margaret Thatcher, and Albert Speer enliven the tale. Especially for those who delight in knowledge and gossip about Britain's academic culture, public figures, and status-conscious society, this work, though bloated, will be compulsive reading. 24 pages of photos. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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