TR Peterson's Reviews > Dresden

Dresden by Frederick Taylor
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's review
Jul 31, 12

liked it
bookshelves: unowned
Read in April, 2012

Taylor's book on Dresden is really three books in one - a history of Saxony, a history of aerial bombardment and finally a history of the bombing of Dresden in the Second World War. He would have done well to only write the final book. One doesn't get to the actual event until halfway through the book which makes for an at time tedious read. In addition, Taylor uses a lot of cliches and statement which insult the reader's intelligence such as when he tells us the invention of the airplane changed warfare forever...

What is interesting about Taylor's book, and in spite of the filler, is his attempt at a revisionist history of what is long considered to be an allied atrocity without parallel. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't really pull it off and one comes away from it feeling that his argument is that Germany deserved the firebombing of Dresden. It is clear he doesn't intend this but nonetheless this is the logic of his argument.

Further he uses sources uncritically when they suit him and then especially critically when they do not.

All in all, this book could have benefited from a good editor and from being a few hundred pages lighter.
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