Dominic Sandbrook

Dominic Christopher Sandbrook (born 2 October 1974)[1][2] is a British historian, author, columnist and television presenter.[3]

Dominic Christopher Sandbrook
Born2 October 1974 (age 44)
ResidenceChipping Norton, Oxfordshire
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford
OccupationHistorian · author · television and radio presenter
Spouse(s)Catherine (m. 7 July 2007)

Early life and career

Born in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, he was educated at Malvern College[4][5] and studied at Balliol College, Oxford, the University of St Andrews and Jesus College, Cambridge.

Previously a lecturer in history at the University of Sheffield, he has been a senior fellow of the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University and a member of its history faculty. Sandbrook is now visiting professor at King's College London,[6] and a freelance writer and newspaper columnist. In 2007 he was named one of Waterstone's 25 Authors for the Future.


Sandbrook's first book, a biography of the American politician and presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, proved extremely controversial on its publication in the United States in 2004. Writing for H-Net, the interdisciplinary forum for scholars in the humanities and social sciences, David Stebenne said the book "describes McCarthy's life and work with outstanding grace and clarity", and was "a very fine study of a significant figure that serious students of American postwar history will want to consult."[7] McCarthy himself called the book "almost libellous".[8]

In 2005, Sandbrook published Never Had It So Good, a history of Britain from the Suez Crisis to The Beatles, 1956–63. It was described as a "rich treasure chest of a book" by Anthony Howard in The Daily Telegraph, who wrote of his "respect for the sweep and scope of the author's knowledge".[9] Nick Cohen wrote in The Observer that it was "a tribute to Sandbrook's literary skill that his scholarship is never oppressive. Alternately delightful and enlightening, he has produced a book which must have been an enormous labour to write but is a treat to read".[10]

The sequel, White Heat, covering the years 1964–70 and the rise and fall of Harold Wilson's Labour government, was published in August 2006. "Sandbrook's book could hardly be more impressive in its scope," wrote Leo McKinstry in The Times. "He writes with authority and an eye for telling detail.".[11] In November 2009, it was named by the Telegraph as "one of the books that defined the Noughties".[12]

Unlike some previous historians of the 1960s, Sandbrook argues that the period was marked by strong conservatism and conformity. His books attempt to debunk what he sees as myths associated with the period, from the sexual revolution to student protest, and he challenges the "cultural revolution" thesis associated with historians like Arthur Marwick. Charles Shaar Murray, writing in The Independent, called Sandbrook "the Hoodie Historian" and imagined him "slouching into shot while throwing whatever passes for gang signs in the history department of the University of Sheffield, and announcing to Arthur Marwick, Jonathon Green et al. that "You is all mi bitches nuh.""[13]

Sandbrook continued the history of post-war Britain with State of Emergency (2010), covering the period 1970–1974,[14] and Seasons in the Sun, which took the story up to the election of Margaret Thatcher as prime minister in 1979. He has said that a fifth volume, covering the period 1979–1984 and provisionally titled Who Dares Wins, may follow.[15]

Sandbrook has written articles and reviews for the Daily Mail, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer and The Daily Telegraph and has appeared on BBC radio and television. His Radio Four series SlapDash Britain, charting the rise and fall of British governance since the Second World War, was described by the radio critic Miranda Sawyer as "very brilliant".[16]

Apparent plagiarism

In February 2011, Michael C. Moynihan identified several instances of apparent plagiarism in Sandbrook's book Mad as Hell.[17] Moynihan later expressed amazement that there were few repercussions for Sandbrook's career.[18] He suggested that Sandbrook was shielded from criticism by his social connections, saying: "There is an element of protection. Media buddies who go to the same dinner parties and all the rest of it."[19]

In an interview with Brendan O'Neill, Sandbrook rejected the allegations and said "the fact that Mad as Hell was later published in paperback without any changes 'tells its own story'." He maintained that he "footnoted his sources, and if popular history books sometimes sound familiar that is because there are only so many ways to say things."[19]

Television and radio

Year Title Broadcaster Notes
2009 Archive on 4: "The Anniversary Anniversary" Radio 4 An examination of people's obsessions with anniversaries[20]
2009 Archive on 4: "Pinter On Air" Radio 4 Discussing the role of television and radio dramas in establishing Harold Pinter's reputation[20]
2010 SlapDash Britain Radio 4 A 2-part series examining bureaucracy and incompetence in British government since the 1950s[21]
2010 Archive on 4: "A Working-class Tory Is Something To Be" Radio 4 With David Davis. An exploration of the history of British working-class Conservatives[20]
2011 Archive on 4: "Mind Your PMQs" Radio 4 The history and role of Prime Minister's Questions[20]
2011 The People's Post: A Narrative History of the Post Office Radio 4 A 15-part series examining the history of the Royal Mail[22]
2012 Archive on 4: "Tuning in" Radio 4 The history of British radio entertainment[20]
2012 The 70s BBC Two A 4-part history of Britain during the 1970s[23]
2013 Das Auto: The Germans, Their Cars and Us BBC Two The ascendence of the post-war automotive industry in Germany[24]
2013 Strange Days: Cold War Britain BBC Two A history of Britain during the Cold War[25]
2014 Learning to Listen Radio 4 The development of radio listening habits through the 1920s and 1930s[26]
2014 Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction BBC Two A 4-part history of science fiction[27]
2014 Archive on 4: "The Eccentric Entrepreneur" Radio 4 The life of Captain Leonard Plugge[20]
2015 Let Us Entertain You BBC Two A 4-part history of British post-war culture[28]
2015 Archive on 4: "The Future Of The BBC: A History" Radio 4 A history of the BBC and how it may need to change to survive[20]
2016 The 80s with Dominic Sandbrook BBC Two A 3-part history of Britain during the 1980s[29]
2016 Future Tense - The Story of H.G. Wells BBC One Examines how H. G. Wells's lower-middle class upbringing in the suburban counties of South East England influenced his early science fiction writing.[30]


  • Eugene McCarthy: The Rise and Fall of Postwar American Liberalism. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 2004. ISBN 978-1-400-04105-3. OCLC 53831429.
  • Never Had It So Good: A History of Britain from Suez to the Beatles. London: Little, Brown. 2005. ISBN 978-0-316-86083-3. OCLC 57355011.
  • White Heat: A History of Britain in the Swinging Sixties. London: Little, Brown. 2006. ISBN 978-0-316-72452-4. OCLC 475427807.
  • State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain 1970–1974. London: Allen Lane. 2010. ISBN 978-1-846-14031-0. OCLC 762352562.
  • Mad As Hell: The Crisis of the 1970s and the Rise of the Populist Right. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 2011. ISBN 978-1-400-04262-3. OCLC 711985081.
  • Seasons in the Sun: The Battle for Britain, 1974-1979. London: Allen Lane. 2012. ISBN 978-1-846-14032-7. OCLC 823589868.
  • The Great British Dream Factory: The Strange History of Our National Imagination. London: Allen Lane. 2015. ISBN 978-0-241-00465-4. OCLC 928387209.


  1. ^ "Seasons in the Sun". Penguin Books. 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  2. ^ "About me". Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  3. ^ Campelli, Matthew (5 November 2015). "Dominic Sandbrook entertains 800k". Broadcast. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  4. ^ "The Malvern Experience 11–31 July 2010". Malvern College. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2015 – via Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "The week ahead". Wellington College. 24 September 2010. Archived from the original on 24 September 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2015 – via Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "King's College London". Archived from the original on 25 April 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2015 – via Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Stebenne, David (August 2005). "Famous for Fifteen Minutes". H-Net. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Former Sen. McCarthy blasts biographer". The Hill. Washington, D.C. 18 February 2004. Archived from the original on 9 June 2004. Retrieved 1 December 2015 – via Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Howard, Anthony (1 May 2005). "The actor-manager's greatest production". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  10. ^ Cohen, Nick (1 May 2005). "The 60s? They began in '56". The Observer. London. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  11. ^ McKinstry, Leo (5 August 2006). "Which decade really swung?". The Times. London.
  12. ^ MacArthur, Brian (13 November 2009). "100 books that defined the noughties". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  13. ^ Murray, Charles Shaar (11 August 2006). "Children of the revolution?". The Independent. London. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  14. ^ Montefiore, Simon Sebag (10 October 2010). "State of Emergency by Dominic Sandbrook: review". The Sunday Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  15. ^ "New projects". 2013. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2015 – via Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (20 June 2010). "Nicky Campbell; SlapDash Britain; Jeremy Vine". The Observer. London. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  17. ^ Moynihan, Michael C. (12 February 2011). "When the Tea Party Began". The Wall Street Journal. New York City. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  18. ^ Kamer, Foster (30 July 2012). "Q & A: Michael C. Moynihan, The Guy Who Uncovered Jonah Lehrer's Fabrication Problem". The New York Observer. New York City. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  19. ^ a b O'Neill, Brendan (8 August 2012). "The US journalist who exposed Jonah Lehrer wonders why his criticisms of Dominic Sandbrook were ignored". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g "Archive On 4". RadioListings. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  21. ^ "SlapDash Britain". BBC. 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  22. ^ "The People's Post: A Narrative History of the Post Office". Radio 4. 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  23. ^ "The 70s". BBC. 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  24. ^ "Das Auto: The Germans, Their Cars and Us". BBC. 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  25. ^ "Strange Days: Cold War Britain". BBC. 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  26. ^ "Learning to Listen". BBC. 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  27. ^ "Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction". BBC. 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  28. ^ "Dominic Sandbrook: Let Us Entertain You". BBC. 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  29. ^ "The 80s with Dominic Sandbrook". BBC. 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  30. ^ "Future Tense - The Story of H.G. Wells". BBC. 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.

External links

A History of the World in 100 Objects

A History of the World in 100 Objects was a joint project of BBC Radio 4 and the British Museum, comprising a 100-part radio series written and presented by British Museum director Neil MacGregor. In 15-minute presentations broadcast on weekdays on Radio 4, MacGregor used objects of ancient art, industry, technology and arms, all of which are in the British Museum's collections, as an introduction to parts of human history.

The series, four years in planning, began on 18 January 2010 and was broadcast over 20 weeks. A book to accompany the series, A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor, was published by Allen Lane on 28 October 2010. The entire series is also available for download along with an audio version of the book for purchase. The British Museum won the 2011 Art Fund Prize for its role in hosting the project.

In 2016, a touring exhibition of several items depicted on the radio program, also titled A History of the World in 100 Objects, travelled to various destinations, including Abu Dhabi (Manarat Al Saadiyat), Taiwan (National Palace Museum in Taipei), Japan (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Tokyo, Kyushu National Museum in Daizafu, and Kobe City Museum in Kobe), Australia (Western Australian Museum in Perth and National Museum of Australia in Canberra), and China (National Museum of China in Beijing and Shanghai Museum in Shanghai)..

Amanda Vickery

Amanda Jane Vickery (born 8 December 1962) is an English historian, writer, radio and television presenter, and professor of early modern history at Queen Mary, University of London.

Bristol Festival of Ideas

The Bristol Festival of Ideas is a project established in Bristol, England, which aims "to stimulate people’s minds and passions with an inspiring programme of discussion and debate". It was first set up in 2005, as part of the city's ultimately unsuccessful bid to become the European Capital of Culture for 2008, and continues to maintain a programme of debates and other events, including an annual festival each May.

The Festival also awards an annual book prize, worth £7,500, to a book which "presents new, important and challenging ideas, which is rigorously argued, and which is engaging and accessible". It is one of the largest book prizes in the UK.The Festival takes place in a range of venues across the city, including the Arnolfini, the Watershed Media Centre, St. George's, We The Curious, City Hall, the Tobacco Factory, and the Victoria Rooms. It is organised by Bristol Creative Projects (BCP – formerly the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership), Arts Council England, Bristol City Council, and GWE BusinessWest, a private sector organisation promoting economic development in the area, and also works closely with universities in the area and other agencies. The Director of the Festival is Andrew Kelly, who was appointed Director of the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership in 1993.

Cathy McGowan (presenter)

Cathy McGowan (born 1943) is a British broadcaster and journalist, best known as presenter of the rock music television show, Ready Steady Go!

Citizenship in a Republic

Citizenship in a Republic is the title of a speech given by the former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910.One notable passage on page seven of the 35-page speech is referred to as "The Man in the Arena":

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Someone who is heavily involved in a situation that requires courage, skill, or tenacity (as opposed to someone sitting on the sidelines and watching), is sometimes referred to as "the man in the arena".

Con Coughlin

Con Coughlin (born 14 January 1955) is a British journalist and author, currently The Daily Telegraph Defence Editor.

Eponymous hairstyle

An eponymous hairstyle is a particular hairstyle that has become fashionable during a certain period of time through its association with a prominent individual.

Friends of the Earth (EWNI)

Friends of the Earth (EWNI) (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) is one of 75 national groups around the world which make up the Friends of the Earth network of environmental organisations. It is usually referred to as Friends of the Earth within its home countries.


"Invictus" is a short Victorian poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). It was written in 1875 and published in 1888 in his first volume of poems, Book of Verses, in the section Life and Death (Echoes).

Irish indentured servants

Irish indentured servants were Irish people who became indentured servants in territories under the control of the British Empire, such as the Caribbean (particularly Barbados, Jamaica and the Leeward Islands), British North America and later Australia.

Indentures agreed to provide up to seven years of labor in return for passage to the New World and food, housing, and shelter during their indenture. At the end of this period, their masters were legally required to grant them "freedom dues" in the form of either land or capital.

Those transported unwillingly were not indentures. They were political prisoners, vagrants, or people who had been defined as "undesirable" by the English state. Penal transportation of Irish people was at its height during the 17th century, during the Cromwellian conquest and settlement of Ireland (1649-1653). During this period, thousands of Irish people were sent to the Caribbean, or "Barbadosed", against their will. Similar practices continued as late as the Victorian period, where Irish political prisoners were sent to imperial British penal colonies in Tasmania.. Indentures and transportees have been conflated, though they were distinct.

Robin Nash

Robert Henry Douglas Drane (10 March 1927 – 18 June 2011), known professionally as Robin Nash, was a British television producer and executive, who was probably best known as producer of Top of the Pops from 1973 to 1981. At the BBC, he became Head of Variety and later Head of Television Comedy.


Sandbrook is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Dominic Sandbrook (born 1974), British historian

Ian Sandbrook (born 1983), New Zealand cricketer

Richard Sandbrook (1946–2005), administrator

Supremely Partisan

Supremely Partisan: How Raw Politics Tips the Scales in the United States Supreme Court is a non-fiction book by James D. Zirin published by Rowman & Littlefield on September 15, 2016. In the book, Zirin argues that the Supreme Court has become dangerously partisan.

Swinging Sixties

The Swinging Sixties was a youth-driven cultural revolution that took place in the United Kingdom during the mid-to-late 1960s, emphasising modernity and fun-loving hedonism, with Swinging London as its centre. It saw a flourishing in art, music and fashion, and was symbolised by the city's "pop and fashion exports". Among its key elements were the Beatles, as leaders of the British Invasion of musical acts; Mary Quant's miniskirt; popular fashion models such as Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton; the mod subculture; the iconic status of popular shopping areas such as London's King's Road, Kensington and Carnaby Street; the political activism of the anti-nuclear movement; and sexual liberation. Music was a big part of the scene, with "the London sound" including the Who, the Kinks, the Small Faces and the Rolling Stones, bands that were the mainstay of pirate radio stations like Radio Caroline and Swinging Radio England. Swinging London also reached British cinema, which, according to the British Film Institute, "saw a surge in formal experimentation, freedom of expression, colour, and comedy". During this period, "creative types of all kinds gravitated to the capital, from artists and writers to magazine publishers, photographers, advertisers, film-makers and product designers".During the 1960s, London underwent a "metamorphosis from a gloomy, grimy post-war capital into a bright, shining epicentre of style". The phenomenon was caused by the large number of young people in the city (due to the baby boom of the 1950s) and the postwar economic boom. Following the abolition of the national service for men in 1960, these young people enjoyed greater freedom and fewer responsibilities than their parents' generation, and "[fanned] changes to social and sexual politics". Despite shaping the popular consciousness of Britain in the 1960s, however, Swinging London was a West End-centred phenomenon that only happened among young, middle class people, and was considered "simply a diversion" by some of them. The swinging scene also served as a consumerist counterpart to the countercultural British underground of the same period. Simon Rycroft writes: "Whilst it is important to acknowledge the exclusivity and the dissenting voices, it does not lessen the importance of Swinging London as a powerful moment of image making with very real material effect."

The 70s (TV series)

The 70s is a British documentary television series about the 1970s. It was broadcast on BBC Two in four episodes and was presented by Dominic Sandbrook.

The Abolition of Britain

The Abolition of Britain: From Lady Chatterley to Tony Blair (reissued in 2018 with the subtitle From Winston Churchill to Theresa May; US subtitle: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana) is the first book by British conservative journalist Peter Hitchens, published in 1999. It examines a period of perceived moral and cultural reform between the 1960s and New Labour's 1997 general election win. Hitchens asserts that the reforms facilitated vast and radical constitutional change under Tony Blair's new government that amounted to a "slow motion coup d'état". The book was cited by Gillian Bowditch in The Times as being a major modern work to dissect "the decline in British morals and manners over the past 50 years", and identified by Andrew Marr in The Observer as "the most sustained, internally logical and powerful attack on Tony Blair and all his works".Hitchens's later book The Broken Compass explored the same themes, applied to socio-political events and culture in the 2000s decade.

Tom Holland (author)

Thomas "Tom" Holland (born 1968) is an English writer and popular historian, who has published several works on classical and medieval history. As well as his writing, he has worked with the BBC to create two TV documentaries, also focusing on history.

Trials of the Diaspora

Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England is a 2010 book by Anthony Julius.The American literary critic Harold Bloom, writing in The New York Times, praised the book as "a strong, somber book on an appalling subject: the long squalor of Jew-hatred in a supposedly enlightened, humane, liberal society". In Bloom's opinion, Julius is "a truth-teller, and authentic enough to stand against the English literary and academic establishment, which essentially opposes the right of the state of Israel to exist, while indulging in the humbuggery that its anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism," and lauds the "fierce relevance" of the book at a time of rising anti-Semitism. Jonathan Freedland in The New Republic describes Creating Trials, a "magisterial and definitive history of a thousand years of anti-Semitism in England."By contrast, British historian Dominic Sandbrook wrote in the London Daily Telegraph: "Many readers... will part company with Julius in his final chapters, where he effectively suggests that criticism of Israel is inextricably bound up with anti-Semitism"; and concluded: "This strident tub-thumping is unworthy of such a learned author, and makes an unsatisfying conclusion to an otherwise thoughtful and impressive book."Geoffrey Alderman described Creating Trials as "set(ting) down several markers against which all future discussion of anti-Jewish prejudice – not just in England or the UK – will need to be measured". Among these are the idea that antisemitism is rooted in Christianity, and the blood libel was a largely English creation; that anti-Zionism is, in Alderman's words, "nothing more than a fig leaf" pretending to cover the ugly reality of racist, anti-semitic anti-Zionism; thirdly, that the British Left has a long and shameful history of antisemitism; and, lastly, that what Alderman calls the "toxic brew" of antisemitic anti-Zionism in Britain has become so dominant that public discourse and even university classrooms are now dominated by "history... rewritten as fiction" serving "to delegitimise the Jewish state and thus to denigrate and defame the Jewish people. And that is what anti-Semitism is all about".

Young Citizen Volunteers (1972)

The Young Citizen Volunteers of Ireland, or Young Citizen Volunteers (YCV) for short, was an Irish civic organisation founded in Belfast in 1912. It was established to bridge the gap for 18 to 25 year olds between membership of youth organisations—such as the Boys' Brigade and Boy Scouts—and the period of responsible adulthood. Another impetus for its creation was the failure of the British government to extend the legislation for the Territorial Force—introduced in 1908—to Ireland. It was hoped that the War Office would absorb the YCV into the Territorial Force, however such offers were dismissed. Not until the outbreak of World War I did the YCV—by then a battalion of the UVF—become part of the British Army as the 14th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles.

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