Author(s): Max Beloff
Max Beloff, one of Britain's most distinguished historians, here offers an eloquent account of the relationship between history and politics in the twentieth century as seen from the perspective of his own professional life. Lord Beloff opens the book with an account of his own route to professional history and the reasons he became involved in different areas of historical specialization. He then reflects on the nature and purpose of historical studies in the light of current controversies on both sides of the Atlantic. Beloff discusses the contemporary problems and opportunities of the nations he has studied and traversed during his half-century as a working historian: Britain, France, the United States, Russia, and Israel. The last chapters deal with two major themes in Beloff's work that have formed a bridge between his scholarly contributions and his activity in politics--the quest for European unity and the collapse of the European empires that recently culminated in the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The book concludes with Beloff's provocative opinion that, based on his work on the fall of the British Empire, the end of European imperialism is a matter not for rejoicing but for regret.