The surprise guest

Every month we present a surprise guest, a well-known person who gives us their point of view on current events: a breath of fresh air to broaden our horizons, inspire us and make us more aware of today's world.

For our June edition, we are pleased to welcome the renowned historian, Norman Davies, who has kindly accepted to be interviewed by EESC info. A great specialist in European history, in particular of Britain, Poland and Central and Eastern Europe, Professor Davies is the author of several bestsellers, such as Europe: A History, God's Playground, Rising 44, Europe at war 1939-45 and Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City. Professor Davies is also a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe.

Norman Davies, born in 1939 in Bolton (Lancashire) was educated at Bolton School, Magdalen College, Oxford, the University of Sussex and at several continental universities including Grenoble, Perugia and Krakow. His formative years gave him a lifelong European outlook. He was for many years Professor of History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, and has also taught at the universities of Columbia, McGill, Hokkaido, Stanford, Harvard, Adelaide, and the Australian National University, Canberra. 

Professor Davies is the author of White Eagle, Red Star: the Polish-Soviet War, 1919-20 (1972), God’s Playground: A History of Poland (1981), the No.1 bestseller Europe: A History (1996),  The Isles: A History (1998), Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City (with Roger Moorhouse, 2002),  Rising ’44, the Battle for Warsaw (2003),  Europe at War, 1939-45 (2006) and Vanished Kingdoms (2011). His books have been translated into more than twenty languages, and he is a regular broadcaster. 

From 1997 to 2006, Norman Davies was a Supernumerary Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, and is now an Honorary Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford and Unesco Professor at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow. He has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 1997 and since 2011 of the Learned Society of Wales. He has been awarded Poland’s Order of the White Eagle and in Britain the CMG for services to history. He holds honorary doctorates from several universities in Britain and Poland, as well as the honorary citizenship of five cities, and is a life member of both Clare Hall and Peterhouse Cambridge.

Professor Davies lives in Oxford and Krakow with his wife, Maria, and has two grown sons, Daniel and Christian (ehp).