Taylor, Frederick 1947- (Fred Taylor)

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Taylor, Frederick 1947- (Fred Taylor)


Born 1947, in Aylesbury, England; married Alice Kavounas (poet and writer); children: three. Education: Attended Oxford University and University of Sussex.


Home—Cornwall, England. E-mail—[email protected]


Historian, translator, writer, and publisher. Speaker at conferences and events, including Hay-on-Wye Festival, Edinburgh Book Festival, Salisbury Festival, World War II Experience Centre Series of Lectures, the Reform Club, and a Hannah Arendt Institute seminar at Dresden Town Hall. Contributor/commentator for programs on British Broadcasting Corporation Radio, National Public Radio, and Channel 4 Television.


Royal Historical Society of Great Britain (fellow).


History scholarship, Oxford University, 1967.



(Translator and editor) Joseph Goebbels, The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1982, Putnam (New York, NY), 1983.

The Kinder Garden, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1991.

Operation Thunderclap, Bloomsbury (London, England), 2003.

Dresden, Tuesday, February 13, 1945, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.

The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.


Walking Shadows, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1984.

The Peacebrokers, Random House (London, England), 1992.


British independent scholar Frederick Taylor has produced two major history texts, Dresden, Tuesday, February 13, 1945, and The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989, both of which have helped solidify his reputation within the academic arena. He has also written two novels: Walking Shadows and The Peacebrokers. Born in Aylesbury, England, Taylor attended the local schools and was awarded a history scholarship to Oxford University, where he studied history and modern languages, specifically German. For his postgraduate studies, he attended the University of Sussex and was awarded a Volkswagen Studentship. Following his education, Taylor embarked on a variety of careers that involved writing, including working as a publisher, translator, and editor. Taylor resides in Cornwall, England, with his wife, Alice Kavounas.

One of his first projects was to edit and translate the diaries of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. He published them in 1982 as The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941. According to National Review contributor Alan L. Miller, this text provided the public with "a fascinating glimpse into the Third Reich's heart of darkness through the eyes of the sorcerer's apprentice." Following The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941, Taylor published two novels,

Taylor's first major history work was Dresden, Tuesday, February 13, 1945. As a result of this work, Taylor was invited to participate on expert panels at the Hay-on-Wye Festival in Wales, the Edinburgh Book Festival, and several other events. He also made appearances on the United Kingdom's Channel 4 Television and was interviewed on National Public Radio.

Taylor's second major work, The Berlin Wall, garnered Taylor even more attention. A Publishers Weekly reviewer declared the text to be a "superb narrative of the rise and fall of the monstrous [wall] that scarred Berlin between August 1961 and November 1989." In the same review, it was noted that the human-interest aspect, combined with Taylor's research, work together beautifully in order to provide readers with Taylor's idea of the Berlin Wall's significance within the political arena of the Cold War. In a review for Library Journal, Barbara Walden pointed out Taylor's focus on individuals and remarked that their "stories give a new life to a once-vital chapter in history that has since been superseded." According to Booklist contributor Jay Freeman, The Berlin Wall delivers an eloquent account "of both the human costs and the geopolitical effects" created by the wall.



America, September 3, 1983, Richard W. Rolfs, review of The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941, p. 117.

Booklist, May 15, 2007, Jay Freeman, review of The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989, p. 16.

Foreign Affairs, fall, 1983, Fritz Stern, review of The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941.

Library Journal, March 1, 1983, review of The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941, p. 494; May 1, 2007, Barbara Walden, review of The Berlin Wall, p. 91.

National Review, July 22, 1983, Alan L. Miller, review of The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941, p. 889.

New York Times, February 1, 1985, John Gross, review of Walking Shadows, p. 26; March 3, 1985, Richard Savage, review of Walking Shadows, p. 22; February 9, 1986, Patricia T. O'Conner, review of Walking Shadows, p. 38.

New Yorker, April 11, 1983, review of The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941, p. 137; April 1, 1985, review of Walking Shadows, p. 112.

Publishers Weekly, December 17, 1982, review of The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941, p. 68; November 16, 1984, Sybil Steinberg, review of WalkingShadows, p. 53; January 3, 1986, review of Walking Shadows, p. 51; April 9, 2007, review of The Berlin Wall, p. 43.

Times Higher Education Supplement, January 26, 2007, Paul Maddrell, review of The Berlin Wall, p. 28.

Washington Post, March 8, 1983, Bradley F. Smith, review of The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941, p. 6; January 25, 1985, Dan McCoubrey, review of Walking Shadows, p. 4.


FrederickTaylorHistory.com,http://www.fredericktaylorhistory.com (September 17, 2007).

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Taylor, Frederick 1947- (Fred Taylor)