Brady Lecture 2014 Christopher Clark

The Goethe-Institut London held the Brady Lecture 2014 with an exceptional speaker in a unique location. Historian Christopher Clark (‘The Sleepwalkers’) has, like few other contemporary thinkers, shaped the public discourse on the First World War. He spoke to an audience of over 200 on the magnificent HMS President - one of three remaining WW1 British warships, which has been transformed into a spectacular artwork. 

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.

View the full lecture on YouTube

Held every year, the Brady Lecture commemorates the achievements of broadcaster and lecturer Philip Brady (1932-97). He contributed remarkably to British-German exchange, broadcasting regularly on BBC German and the World Service and working closely with the Goethe-Institut.

Dazzle-Ship, Tobias Rehberger Photo: Stephen White This year’s lecture was held on 28 November 2014 aboard the HMS President (1918). Commissioned by 1418NOW (of the Tower of London Poppies), the ship has been transformed by German artist Tobias Rehberger in a contemporary design that harks back to the unique Dazzle style used ‘to confuse the enemy’ on over 2000 ships, including HMS President, during the First World War.