Essay PreviewMore ↓
Making History is a novel by Stephen Fry, who was born in Hampstead, London on Saturday, August 24, 1957 as the son of Alan and Marianne Fry. Except other books such as The Hippopotamus Fry also wrote some plays(e.g. Latin! in 1979) and films and the musical Me & My Girl. He also worked as an actor in the famous BBC series Blackadder.
Making History was first published in the United Kingdom in 1996 by Hutchinson. The book tells a fantasy-science fiction-time travelling story about a student named Michael Young who wants to eliminate the holocaust from the history books by preventing Adolf Hitler from being born. The book itself is divided into two books (in the first book every chapter title starts with "Making-", in the second every chapter title ends with "-History").
The story begins in Michael Young's house in Cambridge. Michael is an aspiring history student who just finished his doctoral thesis (he calls it Das Meisterwerk) about Hitler's roots. Because he's late for his lecture and his girlfriend Jane took their Renault he hurries to the university. In his pigeon-hole there he discovers a package that is supposed for Leo Zuckermann, he is willing to hand it over himself and gets to know him when the pages of his Meisterwerk where blown away by the wind and he helps him to collect them. They arrange to meet again in Leo Zuckermann's room the same day. They split and Michael goes on to visit his girlfriend who is also studying at the university but she studies biochemistry. He enters her lab to clear the conflict they had the day before. Their argument is not the important thing about his visit but the discovery of a pill she invented: little orange pill that makes man infertile.
The meeting in Leo Zuckermann's room is a discussion about Michael's interest in Adolf Hitler and leads to Leo's wish to read a copy of Michael's doctoral thesis. The other copy of the Meisterwerk Michael had given to Angus Alexander Hugh Fraser-Stuart (his professor) to read it. It turns out that Mr. Fraser-Stuart calls his thesis "garbage" and "insupportable" because it is partly written like a novel (in fact excerpts from the thesis are printed in the book Making History).
After the disaster with Mr. Fraser-Stuart he visits Zuckermann again who now shows him a fascinating invention of him: a device which one can uses to look into the past.
How to Cite this Page
"Making History By Stephen Fry." 123HelpMe.com. 22 May 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Why Does History Matter. History encapsulates our everyday lives. History is not just about places, dates and individuals, but also about characters and perspectives. As Penelope J. Corfield writes 'When asked 'Why History. ' the answer is that History is inescapable '. Stephen Fry adds 'It is thrilling, absorbing, fascinating, delightful and infuriating, that it is life...It is the story of us had we been born a little earlier ' . History is then a story of us all and where we have come from, by studying it we effectively illuminate our past and bring it to life within our contemporary setting.... [tags: History, Historiography, Critical thinking]
1333 words (3.8 pages)
- Stephen Hawking is an extraordinary being to say the least. Stephen is possibly the smartest person on the planet, and if he isn’t quite there he is extremely close. Hawking is a very interesting person between his family, being diagnosed, education, and many other things, including his research, he is definitely worth reading about. This paper will inform you of everything you need to know about Stephen William Hawking. First, even from birth this mathematical and theoretical genius has an irregular story.... [tags: Stephen Hawking, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis]
1276 words (3.6 pages)
- The Importance of Harry Hoveden in Making History In making history, Brian Friel uses Hugh O’Neill to define the characters in the play, and the way in which his actions affect them gives the audience some characteristics to decide on the personality of particular characters. Harry Hoveden is obviously an important character in the play because he plays a major part in the play, and appears in most of the major scenes. It is also clear that he is important to O’Neill because he is often the one person he turns to in times of crisis.... [tags: Making History Brian Friel Harry Hoveden Essays]
509 words (1.5 pages)
- Who Is Stephen King Writers have changed the lives of many people over the years. In times of situation that people do not want to be in, times of wars, poverty, near death experience causing one to be immobile, or even just to get out of this world the works they create gives people those opportunities to do so. Stephen King is a big contributor of his published works to people in every on every continent. He is a writer of both novels and short stories, a film director, actor and even screen writer of most of his novels that turn into movies, but is he mainly known because of his works in the genre of horror.... [tags: Stephen King, Novel, Horror film]
1221 words (3.5 pages)
- Stephen King is a famous author, he writes a lot of horror stories. Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947 at Maine general hospital in Portland. His Parents names are Nellie Ruth and Donald Edwin King. He has an older brother named David. Donald left the family so Ruth took over raising the family with help from relatives. As a kid King had a recurring nightmare where he entered a room and saw a suicide victim hanging from a ceiling. He later incorporated the scene into a n early book called Salem’s Lot.... [tags: Stephen King, Novel, Tabitha King, Naomi King]
1022 words (2.9 pages)
- Stephen Edwin King, one of the greatest horror writers of the 20th and 21st century, was born on September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine. Stephen was born at the Maine General Hospital. He was the second son, and only son born from his mother, of the King family. Stephen had a older brother who was adopted two years prior to Stephen’s birth. (1) (2) (5) Stephen King’s parents were only together for a short while after Stephen was born. Stephen, only being a toddler, his father, Donald Edwin King, left Stephen’s mother, Ruth Pillsbury King, leaving her to care for the family with the help of relatives.... [tags: Stephen King Biography]
1249 words (3.6 pages)
- If you casually mention the name Stephen Hawking in conversation, you are likely to get a number of reactions from people.Some people know him from cameo appearances in movies or TV shows like The Big Bang Theory. Others have leafed through his popular book, A Brief History of Time. People recognize him as an outspoken representative for the disabled, and a leader of the scientific community.But how many people know him for his research. Professor Hawking has certainly lived an impressive life, and he is an inspiring public figure.With all the distractions surrounding Professor Hawking, most people forget about the groundbreaking discoveries that he has helped develop in the science of Cosm... [tags: Stephen Hawking biography Essays]
2050 words (5.9 pages)
- Stephen King is known as one of the greatest horror and gothic writers of our time. The reason for this is his ability to fuse the gothic elements created by stories such as Dracula or Frankenstein and todays horror. King has written hundreds of short stories but two in-particular “The Night Flier” and “Popsy” show his unique ability to combined gothic elements from the old literature with realistic settings and people of our era. One of his greater talents is being able to use gothic element like vampires and make us see them in a different light.... [tags: Stephen King]
908 words (2.6 pages)
- Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose I. Authors Background Stephen Ambrose was born in 1936 and grew up in Whitewater, Wisconsin, a small town where his father was the M.D. At the University of Wisconsin, he started as a pre-med, but inspired by a great professor he changed his major to History. After getting his M.A. degree at Louisiana State University, he returned to the University of Wisconsin to complete a Ph.D. Ambrose began teaching at the University of New Orleans. He started as a Civil War historian but changed to political history after President Eisenhower asked him to become his biographer.... [tags: American History]
1296 words (3.7 pages)
- Brumwell, Stephen. White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery, and Vengeance in Colonial America. Da Capo Press Inc. March, 2005. The book opens "Nous sommes tours Sauvages," which translates to "We are all Savages." It's a fitting way to begin a book chronicling the story of Major Robert Rogers and his rangers journey, Native American slaughter, and return home. In White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery, and Vengeance in Colonial America, author Stephen Brumwell depicts a well researched, unbiased image of: war, hardship, courage, savagery, vengeance, and survival.... [tags: Stephen Brumwell]
1239 words (3.5 pages)
Fascinated by the fact that travelling in time was nearly possible Michael and Leo start to work on their "TIM" (which stands for Temporal Imaging Machine) because Michael comes up with an idea: they send the little orange pills to the water resource of Braunau am Inn just before Adolf Hitler has been fathered (or as Michael says: "We just make sure the motherfucker is never born.). Their work is so intensive that Michael's relationship with Jane goes up in smoke an Jane moves to the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, USA. When Michael and Leo discuss this it turns out that Leo is not a Jew but the son of a German SS doctor who "treated" the prisoners in the concentration camp. His real name was Bauer, Leo Zuckermann had been a Jewish doctor and friend of his father who also died an the concentration camp and who's identity Axel(which is Leo's real Christian name) and his mother took to escape from Poland and the prosecution by the Allied Forces. So Axel Bauer grew up as an American Jew named Leo Zuckermann.
Although or maybe because Michael knows this now they go ahead with their work and they finally manage to send four of the infertility pills to the water reserves of Braunau am Inn, Upper Austria, the 1st of June, 1888. Then there is a blackout...
The second book begins with Michael staggering home after a party. But it was not any party but one at Princeton, USA! He has woken up as Michael "Mike" D. Young, a student of Princeton university. And there is only one who helps him to "refresh" his memory is Steve. Michael is a stranger to everything and everyone from his point of view and he suddenly has this "strange" British accent and uses British phrases and idioms. Michael is dazed and confused and (as fractions and ultimately his whole memory return) he begins to ask Steve (the only one he can really talk to) questions about his life and history in general. There he discovers that he has done it: he wiped out Adolf Hitler. But the bad thing about this is that the Nazi Party existed anyway and that Rudolf Gloder had taken the place of Hitler and that he killed even more people than Hitler because he had been "smarter" than he. So Michael informs himself about the actual history that he changed completely. Due to his abnormal behaviour he is even enquired by the secret service (and they tell him that Steve is expected to be a homosexual which is forbidden in the US he created). They also tell him that Axel Bauer did analyse the Braunau water to create a weapon that wiped out the Jews.
He manages to get out of the enquiry but he knows that they keep watching him. So he tries to get in touch with the Leo Zuckermann of that timeline to change history again. On winding paths he manages to perform this and changes history again but as he does this his new friend Steve gets shot by the secret service agents.
But the book has a happy ending: Steve manages to jump with Michael back into his (slightly changed) timeline. And this happy ending is also surprising because in the end Michael becomes homosexual (like Steve) and they live happily together.
The main characters are: Michael Young, his girlfriend Jane, Leo Zuckermann/Axel Bauer, Steve.
Michael Young is an aspiring student who chose history to be his subject because he is not good with figures and history was the "best" non scientific subject. He often argues with his girlfriend who is scientifically-straight-minded and loses the argument quite often. He is obsessed with the idea of protecting the world from Adolf Hitler that he does not think about the consequences of his activities. The twist in his character is when he discovers that he is actually gay (which he does during his stay in Princeton).
Jane is a typical natural scientist: analysing things, searching for rational resolutions for problems, trying to calculate the probabilities in life. Her relationship with the younger emotional Michael in marked by their conflicts about which is the more important subject: science or history. Jane, with her arrogance, considers science to be more important since every idiot could learn dates and David Copperfield kind of stuff but science requires actual research. She is a pretty flat character compared to Michael.
Leo Zuckermann is a fascinating person. His father was a murderer during World War II and he feels guilty for that. He never coped with the fact that they (his mother and he himself) took the identity of a family that was killed by people his father supported. Michael's plan is a chance for him to make these terrible things never happen, a thing he does not want to be his personal revenge but a help for the whole world.
Steve too is a quite flat character, although one has to admit that his hidden love for Michael (he tells him that while refreshing his memory) and that he has never actually been a friend of Michael but he helps him anyway is kind of interesting. The ending, his love is fulfilled, is quite surprising and a bit unrealistic.
The book evokes an interesting question: what would have happened if Hitler was never born?
The book answers this question drastically: yes the holocaust would have happened and more drastic than we know. And I think this is partly true: maybe someone cleverer than Hitler would have risen in the NSDAP and done things equally bad as Hitler or even worse. I think the mood in Germany and Austria lead to a thing like the holocaust and I don't think this depended on the name Hitler.
And that's what makes this book unique: it makes the reader think about what consequences it would have if one changed the timeline.
I liked this book very much not only because it was an entertaining read (553 pages in 4 days) but because of the fascinating diversity a changing of the time would have. What would change? In which way would it change? Could one calculate how the world would look like if the time was changed?
I find these questions exciting and challenging.