Living History: My Quest for Objectivity in Writing about the Past (Audio CD, 2-disc set)

John Toland


2 Audio CDs, 81 minutes total
Stock Number: C102

A fascinating, insightful and inspiring talk by a great American historian. John Toland received the Pulitzer Prize in 1971 for The Rising Sun, a book about the rise and fall of the Japanese empire during World War II. Among his many other works was a comprehensive biography, Adolf Hitler. In this lecture Toland looks back at the influences that made him an acclaimed, best-selling author. He recalls, for example, his youthful travels across the country on rail freight cars, and his life-long love of the theater.

Throughout his decades-long quest for objectivity and non-partisanship in writing real, “living” history, Toland says, he tried to present the past as a dramatic saga of human nobility, defect, triumph, foible, suffering and joy. He humorously relates how he was denounced as a “Nazi” for his efforts to write objectivity, and with understanding, about Hitler and Third Reich Germany He recalls his cordial meetings with such prominent Third Reich personalities as Otto Skorzeny, Hans-Ulrich Rudel and Hasso von Manteuffel. Toland also tells about his visit in 1989 to Beijing, China, where he had been invited to lecture, and provides perspective on the Tienanmen Square student uprising, which occurred during that visit.

From the Tenth IHR Conference (1990). With introduction by Mark Weber.

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