Who's Who - Arnold Toynbee

Front cover of Arnold Toynbee's "A Study of History" Joseph Toynbee (1889-1975) was the author of the influential British Blue Book, published in 1915, which documented details of Ottoman atrocities against the Armenians.

Toynbee established for himself a reputation as a noted historian with a background in Hellenic and Byzantine affairs following his education at Oxford University.  In spite of a willingness, even an enthusiasm, to undergo active service upon the outbreak of war in August 1914 he was prevented from doing so by ongoing ill health.

He nevertheless provided alternate service in the British government's Political Intelligence Department.  It was while serving in this capacity that he compiled the British Blue Book, published in November 1915.  Unlike the Bryce Report, compiled by James Bryce in May 1915, which was similarly initially influential in the matter of German atrocities in occupied Belgium in 1914 but later discredited as wildly overstated, Toynbee's report largely remains well regarded today.

After the war Toynbee was Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History at the University of London from 1919-24 and served from 1925 until his retirement in 1955 as Director of Studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, in addition to serving as Research Professor of International History at the University of London.

Toynbee, who published many works including his influential twelve-volume A Study of History (1934-61, a comparative study of 26 civilisations in world history), served once again in the Foreign Office during the Second World War.

He died in 1975.

Prevalent dysentery among Allied soldiers in Gallipoli came to be referred to as "the Gallipoli gallop".

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Who's Who