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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peter Mandler, FBA (born 1958) is a British historian and academic specialising in 19th and 20th century British history, particularly cultural history and the history of the social sciences. He is Professor in Modern Cultural History at the University of Cambridge and Bailey fellow in History at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.[1]


Mandler was born in 1958 in the United States of America.[2] After attending Magdalen College, Oxford, as an undergraduate, Mandler did his PhD at Harvard[1] where he wrote a dissertation entitled Liberalism and Paternalism: The Whig Aristocracy and the Condition of England, 1830–1852.[3]

Mandler started teaching in Britain in 1991 at London Guildhall University, and joined the University of Cambridge faculty in 2001.[4] He was President of the Royal Historical Society from 2012 to 2016, and is currently (2018-...) Chair of the Modern History section of the British Academy.[5]

Research and scholarship

Mandler's main research interests are:[2]

  • British history since c. 1800, especially cultural, intellectual and social history;
  • the history of the humanities and social sciences in Britain and America;
  • concepts and methods in cultural history;
  • educational history and policy.

In his review[6] of Mandler's 2002 book History and National Life[7], historian Blair Worden states that Mandler praises the work of professional historians like Simon Schama, Linda Colley and Niall Ferguson, who address a wide audience, in contrast to most specialists of the discipline, who put their very subject at risk by speaking only between themselves. In Mandler' own words, "there is intrinsic value in keeping the springs of knowledge 'clear and untainted' but there is greater value in ensuring that the supply reaches the consumer in something resembling its original state".[8]

Mandler occasionally makes television and radio appearances.[9]


Mandler's is author or editor of the following books:

  • Great Philanthropists: Wealth and Charity in the Modern World, 1815-1945 (ed., with David Cesarani) (Vallentine Mitchell, 2017).[10]
  • Return from the Natives: How Margaret Mead won the Second World War and lost the Cold War (Yale University Press, 2013).[11]
  • From Plunder to Preservation: Britain and the Heritage of Empire, c.1800-1940 (ed., with Astrid Swenson) (British Academy, 2013).[12]
  • The English National Character: The History of an Idea from Edmund Burke to Tony Blair (Yale University Press, 2006).[13] Review in The Guardian.[14] Review in The New York Sun.[15]
  • Liberty and Authority in Victorian Britain (ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2006)[16]
  • History and National Life (Profile Books, 2002).[7] Review in Reviews in History (Institute of Historical Research).[17]
  • The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home (Yale University Press, 1997).[18]
  • After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain: Essays in memory of John Clive (ed., with Susan Pedersen) (Routledge, 1994).[19]
  • The Uses of Charity: The Poor on Relief in the 19th-Century Metropolis (ed.) (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990).[20]
  • Aristocratic Government in the Age of Reform: Whigs and Liberals, 1830-1852 (Clarendon Press, 1990).[21]


  1. ^ a b "Professor Peter Mandler FBA". British Academy. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  2. ^ a b "Professor Peter Mandler". The Faculty. Faculty of History, University of Cambridge. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  3. ^ Mandler, Peter (1984). Liberalism and Paternalism: The Whig Aristocracy and the Condition of England (PhD). Harvard University.
  4. ^ "Caius historian elected to American Academy of Arts and Science". Gonville & Caius, University of Cambridge. 2015-05-06. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
  5. ^ "Professor Peter Mandler FBA". Fellows. British Academy. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  6. ^ Worden, Blair (2002-07-14). "What is the future of history?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  7. ^ a b Mandler, Peter (2002). History and National Life. Profile Books. ISBN 9781861974693.
  8. ^ Mandler, Peter (2002-07-07). "What is History for?". History Today. Vol. 52 no. 7.
  9. ^ See, for instance, Arts & Ideas. 2018-11-21. BBC. Radio 3.
  10. ^ Mandler, Peter; Cesarani, David, eds. (2017). Great Philanthropists: Wealth and Charity in the Modern World, 1815-1945. Vallentine Mitchell. ISBN 9781910383193.
  11. ^ Mandler, Peter (2013). Return from the Natives: How Margaret Mead won the Second World War and lost the Cold War. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300187854.
  12. ^ Swenson, Astrid; Mandler, Peter, eds. (2013). From Plunder to Preservation: Britain and the Heritage of Empire, c.1800-1940. British Academy. ISBN 9780197265413.
  13. ^ Mandler, Peter (2006). The English National Character: The History of an Idea from Edmund Burke to Tony Blair. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300120524.
  14. ^ Sansom, Ian (2007-02-03). "National obsession". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
  15. ^ Kirsch, Adam (2007-03-19). "As English as the English". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
  16. ^ Mandler, Peter, ed. (2006). Liberty and Authority in Victorian Britain. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199271337..
  17. ^ Spalding, Roger (2002-09-30). "History and National Life". Reviews in History (300).
  18. ^ Mandler, Peter (1999). The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300078692.
  19. ^ Pedersen, Susan; Mandler, Peter, eds. (1994). After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain: Essays in Memory of John Clive. Routledge. ISBN 0415070562.
  20. ^ Mandler, Peter, ed. (1990). The Uses of charity: The Poor on Relief in the Nineteenth-Century Metropolis. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 9780812282146.
  21. ^ Mandler, Peter (1990). Aristocratic Government in the Age of Reform: Whigs and Liberals, 1830-1852. Clarendon Press. ISBN 9780198217817.

Academic offices
Preceded by
Colin Jones
President of the Royal Historical Society
Succeeded by
Margot Finn
This page was last edited on 14 March 2020, at 14:24
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