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School of History

Professor Peter Hennessy


Baron Hennessy of Nympsfield, Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History



As journalist for over 20 years – with spells on The TimesThe Financial Times and The Economist – I unearthed the hidden wiring of the constitution and the power of the machinery of government in Britain.

Those themes remained at the heart of my research and teaching at Queen Mary when I moved from journalism to academia in 1992. Since then, it has been my aim to write the history of my own country, in my own times, for academic and public audiences alike.


Research Interests:

My research interests range widely across all aspects of contemporary British History. I have concentrated in particular on:

  • Prime ministerial and Cabinet government
  • Whitehall and the hidden wiring of the British constitution
  • The Secret State and Cold War Britain
  • The Bomb
  • Nuclear submarines