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Margaret MacMillan biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Margaret MacMillan

Margaret MacMillan

Margaret MacMillan Biography

Margaret MacMillan, the great-granddaughter of famous British statesman and Prime Minister David Lloyd George, received her Ph.D. from Oxford University. A past provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, MacMillan is the warden of St. Antony's College at Oxford University. A leading expert on history and international relations, MacMillan is a frequent commentator in the media.

She is the author of Women of the Raj, a selection of the "History Book Club." In addition to numerous articles and reviews on a variety of Canadian and world affairs, MacMillan has co-edited books dealing with Canada's international relations, including with NATO, and with Canadian-Australian relations.

Her non-fiction Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War won the Duff Cooper Prize for outstanding literary work in the field of history, biography or politics; the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History; the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for the best work of non-fiction published in the United Kingdom and the 2003 Governor General's Literary Award in Canada.

In August 2014, MacMillan was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.

Margaret MacMillan's website

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Interview

Margaret MacMillan discusses Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History, reviewing important themes such as the importance of history in our culture and lives, and how leaders use - and abuse - history to further their own agendas.

In your book, you make a compelling case for the importance of history in our daily lives. When did you realize that people made use of history as a tool?

There was no one Aha! Moment, but I really started to think about it in the 1990s when I was teaching a course on identities—what goes into making them—and it was clear that history was a key factor. Individuals and groups told themselves stories about where they and their ancestors had come from, including, for example, the great moments in their past and their progress toward the present. The stories were not always wrong, but they often included myths or chose facts very selectively. One of the main things we looked at was nationalism and the ways in which historians had helped to create the sense of a nation that was much bigger than its individual members, which predated them and which would endure long after they were dead. At the time, we had a terrifying example of the abuse of history right in front of us in the Balkans, where Yugoslavia was falling apart and all sides were using the past to stir up their own people against the others.

Dangerous Games draws much attention to the politicians, governments, and other entities that misuse history to bolster...

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Books by this Author

Books by Margaret MacMillan at BookBrowse
Dangerous Games jacket Nixon and Mao jacket Paris 1919 jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Margaret MacMillan but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • John M. Barry

    John M. Barry

    John M. Barry is a prize-winning and New York Times best-selling author whose books have won more than twenty awards.

    In 2005 the National Academies of Science named The Great Influenza, a study of the 1918 pandemic, the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Paris 1919

    Try:
    The Great Influenza
    by John M. Barry

  • Jacques Barzun

    Jacques Barzun

    Born in France on November 30 1907, historian Jacques Barzun came to the United States in 1920. After graduating from Columbia College, he joined the faculty of the university, becoming Seth Low Professor of History and, for ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Dangerous Games

    Try:
    From Dawn To Decadence
    by Jacques Barzun

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