Perspectives

Brady Lecture 2014: Christopher Clark

Historian Christopher Clark (“The Sleepwalkers”) has, like few other contemporary thinkers, shaped the public discourse on the First World War. In November 2014 he spoke to an audience of over 200 on the magnificent HMS President - one of three remaining Word War One British warships, which has been transformed into a spectacular artwork by German artist Tobias Rehberger.

At the centenary of the beginning of the Great War, there has been much debate about why war broke out in 1914. Professor Clark has attempted to address the issue by asking how Europe went to war, not why. The Cambridge historian has been accused of shifting blame away from individual players and governments of the time – an approach that has garnered critique, especially in Germany and Britain. But it has also opened people’s eyes to a different way of addressing the complex questions of 1914. In his lecture, Clark draws comparisons between the power political landscape of 1914 and today.

Held every year, the Brady Lecture commemorates the achievements of broadcaster and lecturer Philip Brady (1932-97). He contributed remarkably to British-German exchange and the mutual understanding of Germany and Britain.

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