When did you first become interested in History, and why?
I suppose when I started reading. Good history has always struck me as telling good and true stories about the past.
What brought you to Manchester?
Well, certainly not the weather! It was the excellent department with great colleagues and fantastic students. Also, as a historian of modern Europe, I wanted to be back in Europe after a great time teaching at the Australian National University.
How was your experience of studying at Cambridge?
Cambridge is a good place to study because one is constantly being challenged. However, I think similar things can be said about Manchester as well.
What are you planning for your next area of research?
Having worked quite a bit on Nazi Germany, I am broadening out my research to explore the relationship between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany; Europe’s first fascist dictatorships. I am also teaching a new Level 3 course this semester on this subject.
Have there been any highlights in your academic experience which you would like to share with the readers?
Meeting some of the most interesting and generous people whom I would not have met otherwise. Also, being able to share and discuss my views in conversation with colleagues and students.
You have achieved so much academically already, do you have any advice for current History undergraduates?
Read as widely as you can – also outside your subject area. Always try to challenge what you are reading. Try to learn a foreign language. Now is the time. And finally: come to our office hours!