Richard Evans

Richard Evans

Distinguished Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy


Richard J. Evans was born in London in 1947 and studied at Jesus College Oxford, where he graduated with First Class Honours in 1969. After taking his D.Phil. at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, in 1972, he taught at the University of Stirling, Scotland, and then, from 1976, at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where he was appointed Professor of European History in 1983. From 1989 to 1998 he was Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, before moving to Cambridge, where he was Professor of Modern History and then, from 2008 to 2014, Regius Professor of History. He was President of Wolfson College, Cambridge, from 2010 to 2017 and Provost of Gresham College, London, from 2013 to 2020.

Among his many publications are The Feminist Movement in Germany 1894-1933 (1976), Death in Hamburg: Society and Politics in the Cholera Years 1840-1910 (1987), Rituals of Retribution: Capital Punishment in Germany 1600-1987 (1996), and In Defence of History (1997). In 2000 he was the principal expert witness in the unsuccessful libel action brought before the High Court in London by David Irving against Deborah Lipstadt, a case recounted in his book Telling Lies About Hitler (2002) and dramatized in the movie Denial (2016). He is a member of the UK Spoliation Advisory Panel, advising the government on restitution claims on Nazi looted art. A frequent broadcaster on radio and television, he has been co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary History since the year 2000. In 2003 he published The Coming of the Third Reich, followed in 2005 by The Third Reich in Power and in 2008 by The Third Reich at War. His history of 19th-century Europe, The Pursuit of Power, volume 7 in the Penguin History of Europe, appeared in 2016, and his biography of the historian Eric Hobsbawm was published in 2019. From 2013 to 2018 he led a major research project on Conspiracy and Democracy, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, resulting in his most recent book, The Hitler Conspiracies: The Third Reich and the Paranoid Imagination (2020).

He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, and holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Oxford and London, and from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. In 2012, he was knighted for services to scholarship. He has held visiting professorships at Columbia University, New York, Claremont-McKenna College, California, and the University of Richmond, Virginia, and has visited Toronto many times.

He lives in North Hertfordshire and is married with two sons.

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