In his book, The Warlords, AJP Taylor defines a warlord as “…a man of great, of unique, power dominating both the military and civil affairs of his country; a dictator whose power was unlimited and who made all vital decisions” (Taylor 16).Taylor is trying to portray Joseph Stalin, Denito Mussolini, Adolf Hilter, Winston Churchill, and President Roosevelt as warlords by his definition. He uses many examples of events during World War II that show how these men are dictators and can dominate military powers.
I believe that the author is fairly successful in showing that these men are warlords; however, there are several instances where Taylor seems to contradict himself. First, his definition says a warlord must be a man of great power and control his military. In the case of Mussolini, Taylor tells how he was noted as being a “lazy man” and how he lied about the actual size of his army. Taylor also talks about how Mussolini only consisted of
impression and how without Hitler he would have never become anything after his resignation of commander- in- chief. Also, Winston Churchill and
President Roosevelt were not dictators of their countries and therefore only fit half of the author’s definition. Taylor does a good job in general of proving that these five men are warlords, however he leaves a few loopholes for others to argue his theories. No one disputes that these men are leaders in their own way, but they do not all fit the authors exact definition of a warlord.
This book was well written and well organized. By reading this book you not only learn about the lives and politics of these five men, but you also learn a lot about many different events in World War II. I feel like I came away from this book knowing much more than I did when I began reading it. It was easy to read and, as I already stated, very inte