Trevor-Roper on Chauvinism

by Martin Rose


In 1956, watching the gadarene rush towards the disastrous Suez War, Hugh Trevor-Roper wrote to his friend Bernard Berenson of “The world of lower middle-class conservatives who have no intelligence but a deep belief in violence as a sign of self-importance; who hate foreigners, especially if they come from ‘inferior’ races; and who [are] gratified with the spectacle of violence against such people, even if it fails in its object … In ordinary times, and given good politics by their leaders, these people remain below the level of public notice, quietly reading the Daily Telegraph and cultivating their gardens. But these are not ordinary times, and the politics of our leaders is not good.”

Trevor-Roper, thou shouldst be living at this hour.