Sitting in England in 1943 with the Second World War raging about him, Taylor observed: ‘The German problem is, and has always been, the gravest problem of our European order.’1 The point might seem dictated by circumstances, but this was simply coincidence. From the moment he began reading about late nineteenth-century diplomacy more than a decade earlier, Taylor was conscious of the danger Germany appeared to represent to other Europeans. Once The Italian Problem in European Diplomacy was behind him, he turned his attention to study of the German situation. From 1934 to the end of the 1940s, most of his historical and political writing concentrated on the German in central and eastern Europe.
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