On the Spot: Andrew Roberts

We ask 20 questions of leading historians on why their research matters, one book everyone should read and their views on the Tudors …

Photo fo Andrew Roberts.Why are you a biographer and military historian?

I went to work in the City but discovered I was functionally innumerate, so I chucked it in order to do what I loved.

What’s the most important lesson history has taught you?

I have a signed letter from Aldous Huxley that states: ‘That men do not learn from history is the most important lesson that history teaches us.’

Which history book has had the greatest influence on you?

They Made History, an encyclopedia I almost memorised when I was about seven.

What book in your field should everyone read?

Finest Hour, the sixth volume of Martin Gilbert’s masterly biography of Winston Churchill.

Which moment would you most like to go back to?

The Norway debate in May 1940, where I would like to have made a crushing speech.

Which historian has had the greatest influence on you?

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