My research interests have taken me on a considerable journey, from the history of the British empire to 20th century international relations. I have eclectic interests which include imperial history, social history, the history of war and society, and international history.
My first serious research was British India and, in particular, the nature and attitudes of the British community during the Raj. My first book was on the British women in India and I then worked increasingly on Canada and the empire as well as the evolution of Canada to full nationhood. From that I moved into working on the Paris Peace Conference at the end of the First World War and published a comprehensive study (Peacemakers in the UK and Paris 1919) elsewhere in 2001/2. Subsequent books include a history of the opening of relations between the United States and China at the start of the 1970s, a short examination of the uses and abuses of history, and in 2013 a history of the outbreak of the First World War. If there are common themes in my research and writing they are first international relations as encounters between peoples as much as between governments and leaders and second the attempt to find the balance between the great forces in history, whether social, economic, or ideological, and the individuals who, at key moments can play a part in shaping events.
The War that Ended Peace
The Uses and Abuses of History
India and the Idea of Progress: the case of Sir Alfred Lyall