Books: Apologia for Hitler

THE ORIGINS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR (296 pp.)—A.J.P. Taylor—Athene-um ($4.50).

Anxious to rescue history from simple moral judgments, historians have been restoring the reputations of many a traditional villain. Richard III, Metternich, Aaron Burr have all been readmitted to civilized society and admired for their "realism." But no one (outside Germany) seemed to have thought of scrubbing up Hitler—until now. In The Origins of the Second World War, Oxford Historian A.J.P. Taylor finds excuses for Hitler and reasons to blame nearly everybody else.

Provoked by Little Powers. Most historians have pictured Hitler as a...

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