The History Wars
The role of the past in British politics today
Ministers and supporters of Boris Johnson's government have been lining up to condemn the 'rewriting' of British history and what they see as attempts to impose a single, 'politically correct' version of it on public discourse and institutions such as the National Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens, among others. This lecture argues that a far greater threat to open debate about British history, the empire, the role of slavery and other sensitive subjects is posed by the government's continuing attempts to control and in some cases suppress research into these topics in the interests of imposing its own, supposedly patriotic version of the British past in a range of areas in public life.
Richard J Evans:
Richard J Evans is Regius Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Cambridge and was until recently Provost of Gresham College, London. He was born in London of Welsh parentage and educated at Jesus College and St. Antony's College Oxford. He is the author of In Defence of History (1997), and was the principal expert witness in the unsuccessful libel action brought by David Irving in the High Court against Deborah Lipstadt in 2000 over allegations of Holocaust Denial, as depicted in the film "Denial" (2016). His books include a three-volume history of Nazi Germany, a biography of the historian Eric Hobsbawm, and, most recently, "The Hitler Conspiracies: The Third Reich and the Paranoid Imagination" (2020), to be published in German translation in November.