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Island Stories: An Unconventional History of Britain

In Island Stories, David Reynolds takes on the some of the historical shibboleths of Britain's Brexit debate - particularly the assumption that there is a single "Our Island Story" and the obsession with 1940. In broad chapters, ranging over the last millennium, Reynolds looks at Britain's "rise and decline" as a global power, its complex relationship with "Europe," the complex historical entity called "the United Kingdom," and the way Britain was made by empire as much as the other way round.

Date & Time

Aug. 3, 2020
4:00pm – 5:30pm

Island Stories: An Unconventional History of Britain

In Island Stories, David Reynolds takes on the some of the historical shibboleths of Britain's Brexit debate - particularly the assumption that there is a single "Our Island Story" and the obsession with 1940. In broad chapters, ranging over the last millennium, Reynolds looks at Britain's "rise and decline" as a global power, its complex relationship with "Europe," the complex historical entity called "the United Kingdom," and the way Britain was made by empire as much as the other way round.

David Reynolds is Emeritus Professor of International History at Cambridge University. The prize-winning author of twelve books, including In Command of History, on how Winston Churchill wrote his war memoirs, and The Long Shadow: The Great War and the Twentieth Century, David has also made more than a dozen historical documentaries for the BBC, many of which are available on Netflix.

Dane Kennedy is the Elmer Louis Kayser Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University, where he teaches British, British imperial, and world history.

Laura Mayhall teaches British and British imperial history at The Catholic University of America.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University and the National History Center) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partners (the George Washington University History Department and the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest) for their continued support.

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