Books: Ugliest Historian

EDWARD GIBBON—D. M. Low—Random House ($3.50).

For most readers, interest in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is now eclipsed by the much-predicted decline & fall of the civilization now current. Because he wrote colorfully and lacked the wide propagandist streak of many modern historians, Edward Gibbon seems to most present-day readers less the greatest English historian than the most industrious and fervid of historical novelists. About the only part of Gibbon's reputation so far not attacked is his claim to being the ugliest historian in English literature, and of...

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