Richard Evans Medlicott lecture: The Origins of the First World War

Medlicott Podcast

Professor Richard Evans, last updated: 1st August 2014

This year the Historical Association's Medlicott medal for services to history went to Professor Sir Richard Evans. Richard Evans is the Regius Professor of History at Cambridge and President of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He has written numerous highly respected and internationally best-selling books. Evans is bests known for his works on German history, in particular around the two World Wars. His career has spanned over forty years and he is a popular academic amongst his peers, undergraduates and for any interested readers of history.

In 2013 Evans publicly clashed with the Education Secretary Michael Gove on the draft proposal for a new national curriculum for history in English schools. Evans supported the concerns expressed by hundreds of history teachers and those of the HA. He made good use of his media voice in expressing these concerns and making his own position clear: ultimately the proposals were withdrawn. The clash between the Evans and Michael Gove was revisited in early 2014 when Gove attacked Evans's position on the First World War, accusing him of supporting a Blackadder attitude to the conflict as one of those ‘left-wing academics all too happy to feed those myths by attacking Britain's role in the conflict'.

That dispute on approaches to the First World War is picked up in the start of Evans's Medlicott lecture held at Senate House on the 9 July 2014. The arguments advanced in this timely and persuasive lecture may not be accepted by everyone, but it is a thought provoking, rigorous and enjoyable presentation.

Listen to the Podcast here...

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