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Antony Beevor

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Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor in Gothenburg in 2015
Antony Beevor in Gothenburg in 2015
BornAntony James Beevor
(1946-12-14) 14 December 1946 (age 77)
Kensington, London, England
OccupationAuthor, historian
LanguageEnglish
NationalityBritish
EducationAbberley Hall School
Winchester College
Alma materRoyal Military Academy Sandhurst
SubjectModern history
Notable awardsSamuel Johnson Prize
Spouse
(m. 1986)
Children2
RelativesJohn Julius Norwich (father-in-law)
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1966–1970
RankLieutenant
Service number483855
Unit11th Hussars
Website
www.antonybeevor.com

Sir Antony James Beevor, FRSL (born 14 December 1946) is a British military historian. He has published several popular historical works, mainly on the Second World War, the Spanish Civil War, and most recently the Russian Revolution and Civil War.

Educated at Abberley Hall School, Winchester College, and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Beevor commanded a troop of tanks in the 11th Hussars in Germany before deciding in 1970 to leave the army and become a writer.

He was a visiting professor at Birkbeck, University of London, and the University of Kent. His best-selling books, Stalingrad (1998) and Berlin: The Downfall 1945 (2002), have been acclaimed for their detailed coverage of the battles between the Soviet Union and Germany, and their focus on the experiences of ordinary people. Berlin proved hugely controversial in Russia because of the information it contained from former Soviet archives about the mass rapes carried out by the Red Army in 1945. He was condemned for "lies, slander and blasphemy" against the Red Army by the Russian ambassador at the time, Grigory Karasin,[1] and was frequently described as "the chief slanderer of the Red Army" by Kremlin-supporting media.

His works have been translated into 35 languages and have sold over 8.5 million copies. Beevor has lectured at numerous military headquarters, staff colleges and establishments in Britain, the US, Europe and Australia. He has also written for The Times, The Telegraph and Guardian, the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Le Monde, Libération, Le Figaro, as well as El País and ABC in Spain.

Early life

Born in Kensington,[2] Beevor was educated at two independent schools; Abberley Hall School in Worcestershire, followed by Winchester College in Hampshire. He then went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he studied under the military historian John Keegan before receiving a commission in the 11th Hussars on 28 July 1967.[3] Beevor served in England and Germany and was promoted to lieutenant on 28 January 1969 before resigning his commission on 5 August 1970.[4][5]

Career

Beevor has been a visiting professor at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London, and at the University of Kent.[6] He was the 2002-2003 Lees-Knowles Lecturer at Cambridge University.

His best-known works, the best-selling Stalingrad (1998) and Berlin: The Downfall 1945 (2002), recount the World War II battles between the Soviet Union and Germany. They have been praised for their vivid, compelling style, their treatment of the ordinary lives of combatants and civilians, and the use of newly disclosed documents from Soviet archives.[7][8][9]

His The Spanish Civil War (1982) was later re-written as The Battle for Spain (2006), keeping the structure and some content from the earlier work, but using the updated narrative style of his Stalingrad book and also adding characters and new archival research from German and Russian sources.[10]

Beevor's book The Second World War (2012) is notable for its focus on the conditions and grief faced by women and civilians and for its coverage of the war in East Asia, which has been called "masterful".[11][12] Beevor's expertise has been the subject of some commentary; his publications have been praised as revitalizing interest in World War II topics[13] and have allowed readers to reevaluate events such as D-Day from a new perspective.[14] He has also appeared as an expert in television documentaries related to World War II.[15][16]

Overall, his works have been translated into 35 languages with more than 8.5 million copies sold.[17]

In August 2015, Russia's Yekaterinburg region considered banning Beevor's books, accusing him of Nazi sympathies, citing his lack of Russian sources when writing about Russia, and claiming he had promoted false stereotypes introduced by Nazi Germany during World War II.[18][19][20] Beevor responded by calling the banning "a government trying to impose its own version of history", comparing it to other "attempts to dictate a truth", such as denial of the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide.

In January 2018, Beevor's book about the Battle of Stalingrad was attacked in Ukraine because of a single mistranslation in the Russian edition. Beevor told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: "I must say, this sounds absolutely astonishing. There's certainly nothing inherently anti-Ukrainian in the book at all."[21]

Personal life

Beevor is descended from a long line of writers, starting with the legal philosopher John Austin and his wife Sarah, their daughter Lucie, Lady Duff Gordon (Letters from Egypt), his grandmother Lina Waterfield, (Observer correspondent and Castle in Italy), and his mother Kinta Beevor (A Tuscan Childhood). Antony Beevor is married to biographer The Honourable Artemis Cooper; they have two children, Nella and Adam.[22]

Honours

Beevor was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2017 New Year Honours for "services in support of Armed Forces Professional Development".[23]

He is a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres,[24] a member of Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana[25] and a commander of the Belgian Order of the Crown.[6]

Beevor was awarded an Honorary D.Litt. from the University of Kent in 2004,[26] from the University of Bath in 2010,[27] the University of East Anglia in 2014[28] and the University of York in 2015.[29] He was elected an honorary Fellow of King's College London in July 2016.[30]

Beevor, a former chair and member of the Council of the Society of Authors,[31] resigned with Sir Philip Pullman in 2022[32] in protest over the actions of the CEO and the leadership of the management committee.

Awards

Beevor was recognised with the 2014 Pritzker Military Museum & Library's Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.[37] Tim O'Brien, the 2013 recipient, made the announcement on behalf of the selection committee.[22][38][39] The award carried a purse of US$100,000.[40]

In July 2016, Beevor was awarded the Medlicott Medal for services to history by the UK-based Historical Association.[41]

Published works

Fiction

  • Violent Brink. London: John Murray, 1975. ISBN 978-0-7195-3241-2
  • For Reasons of State. London: Jonathan Cape, 1980. ISBN 978-0-224-01930-9
  • The Faustian Pact. London: Jonathan Cape, 1983. ISBN 978-0-02-030461-6
  • The Enchantment of Christina von Retzen. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989. ISBN 978-0-297-79523-0

Nonfiction

Edited volumes

Book contributions

References

  1. ^ "Russians angry at war rape claims". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  2. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  3. ^ "No. 44435". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 October 1967. p. 11533.
  4. ^ "No. 44774". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 January 1969. p. 995.
  5. ^ "No. 45168". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 August 1970. p. 8855.
  6. ^ a b "Biography". antonybeevor.com. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Entombed in their own bunkers". The Telegraph. London. 25 April 1998. Archived from the original on 27 March 2007.
  8. ^ Judd, Alan (28 April 2002). "Every sort of assault: review of Berlin: the Downfall, 1945 by Antony Beevor". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 30 March 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  9. ^ Bernstein, Richard (26 September 1998). "An Avalanche of Death That Redirected a War". The New York Times. New York City, United States. p. E-8. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  10. ^ Brendon, Piers (June 24, 2006). "Review: The Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  11. ^ "The Second World War". Kirkus Review. Kirkus. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  12. ^ Toye, Richard (7 September 2012). "Many Wars in One". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  13. ^ Temple, Peter (21 July 2012). "Beevor unleashes a blitzkrieg". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  14. ^ "In praise of ... Antony Beevor". The Guardian. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  15. ^ Summers, Chris. "Red Army rapists exposed". BBC News. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  16. ^ "When TV Goes to War". BBC Four. BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  17. ^ Farndale, Nigel (19 October 2014). "Antony Beevor: 'I deserved to fail history. I was bolshie...'". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  18. ^ Ignacio Villarreal. "Russia orders libraries to ditch 'Nazi' books by British historians".
  19. ^ Walker, Shaun. 2015. Russian Region Bans British Historians' Books from Schools. The Guardian (5 August).
  20. ^ Spiro, Zachary. 2015. Russia Bans Books on Nazi Defeat by British Historians. The Times (6 August).
  21. ^ O'Connor, Coilin; Heil, Andy (17 January 2018). "Historian Beevor 'Astonished' At Ukraine Ban on Best-Selling 'Stalingrad'". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  22. ^ a b "Antony Beevor: 2014 Pritzker Literature Award Winner | Pritzker Military Museum & Library | Chicago". Pritzkermilitary.org. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  23. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N2.
  24. ^ Honorary Graduates Archived 29 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine. University of Bath, 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  25. ^ "president.ee". president.ee. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  26. ^ "Honorary graduate archive". Congregations - University of Kent. 29 April 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  27. ^ "Honorary graduates, 2010 to 2019". bath.ac.uk. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  28. ^ "Honorary Graduates - About". uea.ac.uk. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  29. ^ "University of York honours 11 for their contribution to society". University of York. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  30. ^ "New fellows of King's College London | Website archive | King's College London". kcl.ac.uk. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  31. ^ "Fellows - The Society of Authors". 8 May 2020. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  32. ^ "AGM 2022 — Resolutions and next steps - The Society of Authors". 17 November 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  33. ^ Antony Beevor (24 April 2014). "Antony Beevor - Penguin Books USA". Penguin.com. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  34. ^ Clark, Nick (4 November 2014). "Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction: Helen Macdonald wins with 'H is for Hawk'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  35. ^ "All winners of the Wolfson History Prize". The Wolfson History Prize. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  36. ^ "Hawthornden Prize". Hawthornden Foundation. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  37. ^ "Antony Beevor | Pritzker Military Museum & Library | Chicago". pritzkermilitary.org. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  38. ^ "Pritzker Military Museum & Library Announces 2014 Literature Award Winner - BWWBooksWorld". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  39. ^ "British military historian wins $100,000 prize". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  40. ^ Carpenter, Caroline (26 June 2014). "Beevor wins $100,000 Pritzker Military Prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  41. ^ James, Trevor (2016). "The Historian". Historian (London). The Historical Association: 2. ISSN 0265-1076.
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Antony Beevor
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