The Pitfalls of Official History

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Dr Thomas Mills, Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University and Director of the Centre for War and Diplomacy is joined by Patrick Salmon, Chief Historian at the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development office. In his seventeen years in office, Patrick has published a number of volumes in the flagship series, Documents on British Policy Overseas, including works on German unification at the end of the Cold War and UK/South Africa relations during the era of apartheid. He also has expertise on Scandinavia and has published works including Scandinavia and the great powers 1890 to 1940, and Scandinavia in British policy during the twilight war, 1939 to 1940. His latest book is entitled The Control of the Past: Herbert Butterfield and the Pitfalls of Official History, published by University of London Press (2021). Mills and Salmon discuss this recently published work, looking at Patrick’s experience and expertise as well as his motivation for researching this topic.

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