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Professor Peter Hennessy, historian

2023-06-04 | 🔗
Professor Peter Hennessy is one of the UK’s leading contemporary historians. He has written acclaimed and important books about politics, the civil service, the intelligence agencies and the British constitution on which he is an expert. Peter was born in London in 1947 and read history at St John’s College, Cambridge. He started writing for the Times in the mid-1970s, covering the inner workings of Whitehall whose activities at that time were shrouded in secrecy. Peter says he approached his journalism like an amateur anthropologist trying to discover more about an unknown culture. His reports were viewed with suspicion by some members of the civil service and Harold Wilson, the then prime minister, issued an edit banning them from talking to him. In 1986 Peter co-founded the Institute of Contemporary British History, and in 1992 he moved from journalism to academia at Queen Mary, University of London where he is Attlee professor of contemporary British history. He is a fellow of the British Academy and was made a crossbench life peer in 2010. During the COVID-19 pandemic he started keeping a diary which he describes as an “aid to humility” with the aim of assessing post-world war history as BC (Before Covid) or AC (After Covid). Peter lives in London with his wife Enid. DISC ONE: Slow Train - Flanders & Swann DISC TWO: Italian Concerto in F, BWV 971, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach and performed by George Malcolm DISC THREE: Why Don’t Women Like Me? - George Formby DISC FOUR: Schubert String Quintet In C Major,D. 956 - 2. Adagio, composed by Franz Schubert, performed by Robert Cohen (cello) and Amadeus Quartet DISC FIVE: The Elements - Tom Lehrer DISC SIX: London Girls - Chas & Dave DISC SEVEN: Skye Boat Song - The Pipes and Drums Of Leanisch DISC EIGHT: How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place, composed by Johannes Brahms, performed by Festival Choir And Orchestra, conducted by Thomas D. Rossin BOOK CHOICE: Poetry in the Making by Ted Hughes LUXURY ITEM: A fountain pen, ink and paper CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: London Girls - Chas & Dave Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

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