Conflicts In Franz Taylor's The Fall Of The Dynasties

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In regards to the organization of The Fall of the Dynasties, Taylor manages, rather spectacularly, to portray the tangle of dynasties, alliances, and battles in the Balkan region relatively chronologically, accomplished in such a way that the book can be sectioned off according to the dynasty being discussed. To this end, Taylor successfully avoids creating unnecessary confusion regarding an already confusing topic, thus allowing him to better fulfill his aim to identify the cause and effect relationships and imbrications of the “most dramatic stages of [the] apocalyptic process.” Furthermore, by opening the book with the assassination at Sarajevo before discussing the events that built up to it, Taylor creates a nearly painful sort of dramatic irony, invoking a sense of hopeless dread over what would likely otherwise appear to be a comedy of errors. In a sense, Taylor offers…show more content…
The rulers of the dynasties, in particular, often fall victim to Taylor’s dry sense of humor, immediately written off after being introduced. For instance, Taylor describes the Archduke Franz Ferdinand as a “snob and a pedant...” and a “brooding, vindictive man,” Charles V as a “Glorious failure,” Abdul Hamid as a “pathological coward,” and Kaiser Wilhelm as a “weak, timorous, childishly dependent creature.” In fact, if one were to select a page out of the book randomly, it is likely they would find offhand remark at the expense of one of these various hapless figures, which ultimately serves to maintain the reader’s engagement throughout. Moreover, Taylor’s appreciation for the ironic events that occur is evident, as can be seen through a sarcastic remark allegedly made by General Potiorek prior to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand about “the streets of Sarajevo [being] full of assassins,” which Taylor gleefully observes to be “technically

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