Andrew Roberts

Roger and Martha Mertz Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

Andrew Roberts is the Roger and Martha Mertz Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Professor Andrew Roberts took a first in modern history from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, from where he is an Honorary Senior Scholar and PhD. His biography of Winston Churchill’s foreign secretary Lord Halifax, The Holy Fox, was published in 1991 and was followed by Eminent Churchillians; Salisbury: Victorian Titan (which won the Wolfson Prize and the James Stern Silver Pen Award), Napoleon and Wellington; Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership; Waterloo: Napoleon’s Last Gamble; A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900 (which won the US Intercollegiate Studies Institute Book Award), and Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941–45, which was shortlisted for the Duke of Westminster’s Gold Medal and the British Army Book Award.

Professor Roberts has edited What Might Have Been, a collection of twelve counterfactual essays by historians; The Art of War, two volumes of essays by forty historians; and The Correspondence of Benjamin Disraeli and Mrs Sarah Brydges Wylliams. His book, The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War (2009) reached number two on the Sunday Times bestseller list, and Napoleon the Great won the Los Angeles Times Biography Prize, the Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoléon, and became a New York Times bestseller. He won the Bradley Prize in 2016. His biography of Winston Churchill, Churchill: Walking with Destiny, was published by Penguin in November 2018.

Professor Roberts is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Historical Society; an honorary Doctor of Humane Literature; a Trustee of the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust and of the National Portrait Gallery; chairman of the Guggenheim-Lehrman Military Book Prize; the Lehrman Institute Distinguished Fellow at the New-York Historical Society; and a visiting professor of the War Studies Department of King’s College, London. He reviews history books for over a dozen newspapers and periodicals. His website can be found at www.andrew-roberts.net

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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. 

Analysis and Commentary

Strategika: Issue 33: The Strategic Ramifications Of A Fractured EU

by Andrew Roberts, Angelo M. Codevilla, Josef Joffevia Strategika
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The latest issue of Strategika is now online.

Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

Brexit and the Defence of Europe

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Friday, July 1, 2016

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU)—nicknamed “Brexit”—does not have anything like the security ramifications for the West that its opponents liked to pretend during the recent campaign. A central part of the pro-Remain campaign was to try to terrify voters into believing that Brexit entailed dire security implications, but the British public voted to leave anyhow, because they understood that far from guaranteeing peace and security on the European continent, the EU has been at best neutral in its effect, and it was always NATO that has been the bedrock.

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The Protection of US Allies

by Andrew Robertsvia Analysis
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Alliances have historically never been an ideal option, but the United States needs them in order to keep Chinese, Iranian, and Russian ambitions in check. The Obama administration’s woeful record of nurturing and protecting America’s global alliances has led to the likelihood of key allies acquiring nuclear weapons to protect themselves in a new and dangerous world, but that should now be encouraged. The disturbing part of this article is the revelation of a shocking new potential chink in the West’s armor, in an area that absolutely no one had hitherto considered might ever be a possible source of danger.

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Protecting America’s Friends In The World

by Andrew Robertsvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the head of the British Labour Party threatens the Anglo-American alliance and global security. 

Autobiography & Memoir

Quartered Safe Out Here: A Recollection of the War in Burma, by George MacDonald Fraser (1992)

by Andrew Robertsvia Classics of Military History
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

George MacDonald Fraser fought in the 17th (Black Cat) Indian Division of the 14th Army during the siege of Meiktila and the battle of Pyawbwe in Burma during World War II. He is most famous for his superb “Flashman” series of novels set in the Victorian Empire, but his wartime autobiography, Quartered Safe Out Here—the title taken from a telegram he sent his parents—is his masterpiece. 

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