I am a historian and Research Fellow of the Cañada Blanch Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Between 2015 and 2018 I was Chair of the International Brigade Memorial Trust, and I am the organisation’s historical consultant.
I have written a number of books and articles on the British volunteers in the Spanish Civil War. Unlikely Warriors, published by Aurum Press, was short-listed for the 2013 Political Book Awards’ political history book of the year.
With Jim Jump and Angela Jackson, I was a co-author of the IBMT‘s travelling exhibition, Antifascistas! and the accompanying book together with its Spanish edition, Help Spain. I’m a regular contributor to the IBMT’s magazine, No Pasarán!
With the IBMT‘s archivist and researcher, Jim Carmody, I compiled a database of ‘British’ and ‘Irish’ volunteers for the Spanish Civil War. An abridged version is available online.
In addition to contributions to academic journals, I have written a number of articles on the British volunteers for the national press, including The Times, Independent, Guardian and Spectator. I have appeared in a number of television and radio programmes, including live on the Channel 4 News and Sky News, on BBC Radio 3’s Proms Extra, Radio Four’s The World This Weekend and The Long View and on Robert Elms’ show on BBC London 94.9.
Alongside university teaching, I have given a number of lectures and talks on the volunteers in the International Brigades, antifascism and 1930s Britain and given the Len Crome memorial lecture on four occasions. I have talked about Unlikely Warriors and the British volunteers in Spain at several literary festivals, including Woodstock, Aye Write and Cheltenham.
I have reviewed a number of books on Britain and the Spanish Civil War. <more>
I am currently working on a number of biographies of ‘forgotten warriors’, such as Major Malcolm Dunbar, the first commander of the British anti-tank unit, who later rose through the ranks to become the 15th International Brigade Chief of Staff and Clive Branson, the poet and artist who was imprisoned in the Francoist concentration camp at San Pedro de Cardeña.