Diary

A.J.P. Taylor

E. H. Carr died on 3 November last. I am inclined to say that he was the greatest British historian of our age: certainly he was the one I most admired. Ted Carr had a long run, varied enough to provide half a dozen careers for any lesser man. He started with twenty years in the diplomatic service, including membership of the British peace delegation to Paris in 1919. After a few years as a professor at Aberystwyth, he was assistant editor of the Times for much of the Second World War, when according to Churchill he turned the paper into a tuppenny edition of the Daily Worker. He published his first masterpiece, a life of Bakunin – a book I hailed at the time as a masterpiece – as long ago as 1937; he published Volume 14 of his History of Soviet Russia shortly before he died and had already made arrangements for it to be carried further by another hand. It is extraordinary to reflect that he began his great work when he was already over sixty and that the latest volumes show no sign of age, except perhaps that they were clearer and more effective than ever.

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