Richard J. Evans

Richard J. Evans is Regius Professor Emeritus of History at Cambridge and a former president of Wolfson College. He is the author of numerous books, including The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914, Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History and a three-volume history of the Third Reich.

Short Cuts: Rewritten History

Richard J. Evans, 2 December 2021

‘We won’t allow people to censor our past,’ Robert Jenrick, then communities secretary, said in January. ‘It is our privilege in this country to have inherited a deep, rich, fascinating and yes, often complex, past. We are mature enough as a society to understand that and to seek to pass it on, warts and all. To do otherwise would leave our history and future...

Staying Alive in the Ruins: Plato to Nato

Richard J. Evans, 22 April 2021

Justover forty years ago, in 1980, I found myself by chance teaching for a semester at Columbia University, armed with the grandiose title of Visiting Associate Professor of European History, provided with a free apartment and paid a salary not far short of what I earned in a whole year as a lowly lecturer in the UK. I’d never been to the US and knew nothing about Columbia or indeed...

From The Blog
9 April 2021

Eric Hobsbawm, the subject of a new documentary film by Anthony Wilks, wrote 24 pieces for the London Review of Books, the first in April 1981, the last in April 2012, a few months before his death at the age of 95.

The Demented Dalek: Michael Gove

Richard J. Evans, 12 September 2019

Gove, like Johnson, has never worried about inconsistency. In March, for example, he declared firmly: ‘We didn’t vote to leave without a deal. That wasn’t the message of the campaign I helped lead.’ He seems to approach every subject with the mentality of an Oxford Union debater: no matter what you’ve said before, the main thing is to trounce whoever happens to be in front of you at the time.

Whiter Washing: Nazi Journalists

Richard J. Evans, 6 June 2019

Under​ the Weimar Republic newspapers and magazines flourished as never before in Germany. Contrary to Volker Berghahn’s claim in Journalists between Hitler and Adenauer that the press had enjoyed ‘a good deal of tolerance’ under Bismarck and the Kaiser, the imperial German state had come down hard on the newspapers, especially those on the left; no editor of a Social...

Was Eric Hobsbawm interested in himself? Not, I think, so very much. He had a more than healthy ego and enough self-knowledge to admit it, but all his curiosity was turned outward.

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Echoes from the Far Side: The European Age

James Sheehan, 19 October 2017

Max Weber​ defined power as ‘the ability of an individual or group to achieve their own goals or aims when others are trying to prevent them from realising them’. The pursuit of...

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Richard Evans’s history of the Third Reich – it will be completed by a third volume covering the war – is an invaluable work of synthesis. The mass of specialist studies we now...

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Laid Down by Ranke: defending history

Peter Ghosh, 15 October 1998

Richard Evans hopes that this book will take the place of E.H. Carr’s What is History? and G.R. Elton’s The Practice of History as the ‘basic introduction’ to history as...

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Axeman as Ballroom Dancer

David Blackbourn, 17 July 1997

In future times people will look back on the death penalty as a piece of barbarity just as we now look back on torture.’ These confident words were spoken by a member of the 1848 Frankfurt...

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Germans and the German Past

J.P. Stern, 21 December 1989

The ‘white years’ of German history – the period between the end of the war and Adenauer’s first government of 1949 – were notable for two blank spaces in the...

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Disease and the Marketplace

Roy Porter, 26 November 1987

In mid-August 1892, Hamburg was basking in a heatwave. Workers splashed around in the River Elbe, which reached an almost unprecedented 70°F. Then people started to go down with intestinal...

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