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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Recent Commentary

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. 

Biography

Wellington: The Years of the Sword, by Elizabeth Longford (1969-72)

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

Although Elizabeth Longford’s Wellington: The Years of the Sword has now finally been superseded as a factual account of the Duke of Wellington’s military career by Rory Muir’s two-volume work published in 2014-15, her book is still unsurpassed as an insight into Wellington the man. 

Military Fiction

Life and Fate: A Novel, by Vassily Grossman (1988)

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

If War and Peace was the greatest novel to arise from the War of 1812, Vassily Grossman’s Life and Fate is its equivalent for the Russo-German struggle that started with Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa in June 1941 and was only to end with his suicide in April 1945.

Period Military History

The Campaigns of Napoleon, by David G. Chandler ([1966] 1967)

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

Although David Chandler’s The Campaigns of Napoleon was written nearly half a century ago, it remains the standard work on the subject and represents a monumental work of scholarship.

Poster Collection, US 06780, Hoover Institution Archives.
Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

Surgical Strike

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Monday, July 27, 2015

A series of recent controversies have brought to the fore the central question of how much military protocols need to be updated, on both sides of the Atlantic, to accommodate social and political agendas.

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A Lesson Of Waterloo

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo—perhaps the most significant battle in European history—is already being celebrated, despite the crescendo not coming until the anniversary itself, Thursday, June 18th. The sheer number of events taking place connected to the commemorations is astonishing, and not just in the victorious countries.

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Civilization In The Crossfire

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A media that has generally consigned the advances of ISIS in Iraq and Syria to its inside pages and minor news reports, has suddenly been forced to give them full prominence, not because of the thousands of deaths that ISIS is causing but rather the threat it poses to the splendid urban architecture of Zenobia’s surviving jewel of a city, Palmyra.

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