Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts

Biography: 

Andrew Roberts is an honorary senior scholar at and has a PhD from Caius College, Cambridge. He is a Visiting Professor at the War Studies Department of King’s College, London, and the Lehrman Distinguished Fellow at the New York Historical Society. His thirteen books include Salisbury: Victorian Titan (1999), which won the Wolfson History Prize and the James Stern Silver Pen Award; Masters and Commanders (2010), which won the Emery Reves Prize; and The Storm of War (2012), which won the British Army Military Book of the Year Award. His latest book, Napoleon: A Life (Penguin), appeared in October 2014 and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a director of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, where he is presently chairman of the judging panel for its Military Book of the Year Prize. His website is at www.andrew-roberts.net.

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Recent Commentary

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Interests First: Discarding Bad Agreements

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Monday, November 21, 2016

The news that General Mike Flynn has become National Security Advisor has worried some Americans but delighted others, not least (for both groups) because of his stated objections to the Iranian nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration on July 14, 2015. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is just that, a plan of action. It is not a treaty, which would never have won the two-thirds Senatorial approval necessary, but merely a presidential “executive agreement,” which could therefore be reneged upon merely on a nod from the future President Trump.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Lest We Forget Lithuania

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Friday, November 18, 2016

“Russia is not a superpower, it’s a super problem,” the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Linas Linkevičius, said on November 18, ten days after Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States. “As a child I still remember the sound of the tanks rolling through the streets of Vilnius, so even my generation—and I’m 34—still remembers when the Russians were here as a Soviet army. But they were Russian troops and they were invading us, so the last thing we are on this subject is naïve.”

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Out Of The Gate And Into The Fire

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Friday, November 11, 2016

When a new American president is elected, the world likes to test him within the first few weeks or months of taking power. The witness of history is almost universal in this, so much so that the phenomenon cannot be accidental. It is likely, therefore, that Donald Trump will be tested by one of the major foreign powers fairly soon after Inauguration Day 2017.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Russia’s Meddling In The U.S. Elections

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The 2016 American presidential election, which has just produced the greatest political upset in living memory, is hard to find precedents for in recent history, but that is not true of the intervention in the American political process by Russia. The decision taken at the highest levels of Moscow’s decision-making apparatus first to hack into the Democratic National Committee’s emails and then to make the spoils public via WikiLeaks, was a deliberate attempt to interfere in domestic American politics.

Related Commentary

Cleaning Up The Mess

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

It is one of the glories of the U.S. Constitution that although presidential administrations must abide by the laws made by previous ones until they are repealed, foreign policy initiatives that are unworthy of a great nation can be discarded almost immediately. This is what will happen in November next year; indeed, the Obama administration’s keenness to argue that the Iranian nuclear deal did not constitute a formal treaty—in order to prevent the Senate from debating and perhaps refusing to ratify it—will make it all the easier for an incoming administration to denounce it. 

Related Commentary

Snake Charmers and Snake Killers

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The immediate result of an Israeli strike—assuming it were successful in destroying or at least very significantly degrading the Iranian nuclear program—would be a collective exhalation of breath across the Middle East and Europe. One of WikiLeaks’ most telling revelations came when the King of Saudi Arabia was heard urging the Americans “to cut off the head of the snake,” and if the Israelis undertook the identical action the Sunni Arab leadership would be cock-a-hoop with pleasure and relief (while of course publicly reserving the right to denounce Israel for aggression and war-mongering).

Autobiography & Memoir

My Early Life, by Winston Churchill (1930)

by Andrew Robertsvia Classics of Military History
Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Times review of Churchill’s autobiography, My Early Life, mentioned “the charm and briskness of this book” as well as its “humour, headlong excitement, quiet irony, melancholy regret for vanished customs and glories, love of sport [and] the pleasures of friendship,” although it also made the slightly snide point that “The material is, of course, splendid, as Mr. Churchill will agree.” That material is an adventure story that would defy belief if it were in a novel, yet in fact it did all happen to one man.

Autobiography & Memoir

Her Privates We, by Frederic Manning (1930)

by Andrew Robertsvia Classics of Military History
Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Frederic Manning was an expatriate Australian aesthete-turned-journalist-turned-soldier who wanted his readers to understand was it was like to have fought in the trenches of World War One. His haunting autobiographical novel became an international bestseller in the 1930s and no less an authority than Ernest Hemingway described it as “the best and noblest book of men in war that I have ever read.

Period Military History

The March of the Twenty-Six, by R. F. Delderfield (1962)

by Andrew Robertsvia Classics of Military History
Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ronald Delderfield was an English novelist and dramatist (A Horseman Riding By, To Serve Them All My Days, God is an Englishman) who nonetheless wrote a sublime piece of military history telling the story of the Emperor Napoleon’s relations with his twenty-six marshals of the Empire and their relations with each other and the effect both had on the course of the Napoleonic Wars. 

Autobiography & Memoir

War Diaries 1939-1945: Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, edited by Alex Danchev & Daniel Todman (2001)

by Andrew Robertsvia Classics of Military History
Tuesday, August 9, 2016

General Sir Alan Brooke, later Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, was Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS) of the British Army from December 1941 and also chairman of the British Chiefs of Staff from March 1942 until after the end of World War Two. He was one of the four people who created the grand strategy of the Western Allies and so his unexpurgated diaries published in 2001 are an invaluable source for historians. 

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