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John Lukacs on what makes history

"This short history of the twentieth century is not a philosophical treatise. But at this point I am compelled to add two brief digressions. The first is a summary of my view of history, which goes contrary to the still very widely accepted categorical beliefs of why and how history happened and happens, of course including that of the Second World War. The current, often deemed 'scientific' belief is that history, perhaps especially in the democratic age, is the result of great material and economic factors, of which the lives, acts, and thoughts of people are largely the consequences. That is less than a half-truth. In 1933, Hitler came to power in Germany not just because of the economic crisis of 1930–1933, but because of the political mood of many Germans at that time. It was not the state of the British economy that made the British government reluctant to resist Hitler in the Thirties. It was not inferiority of materials or armaments that led to the collapse of Fra…