The Viney Agency


David AndressDavid Andress is Professor of Modern History at the University of Portsmouth, where he has taught since 1994. Born and raised in south west London, he studied History at the University of York between 1987 and 1990, and returned there for a doctorate, awarded in 1995.

He is an internationally-recognised expert on the French Revolution, and especially on the politics and culture of Paris during the upheavals of the 1790s. After writing several books focused directly on French events in these years he diversified his publishing interests and in 2008 produced 1789, his first work of international history which explored that that fateful year, not just in France, but in Britain and its global empire and in the nascent American Republic.

This was followed by The Savage Storm telling the story of Britain’s military defeat of Napoleonic France and the social and political struggles of the era and the conflicting ideas that emerged from it. His acclaimed Cultural Dementia - How The West Has Lost its History, and Risks Losing Everything Else was published by Head of Zeus in 2018.

He lives in Hampshire with his wife and two daughters.

David Andress argues that we are suffering from an attack of social and cultural dementia.

The former great powers of the historic 'West' – especially Britain, the USA and France – seem to be abandoning the wisdom of maturity for senile daydreams of recovered youth. Along the way they are stirring up old hatreds, giving disturbing voice to destructive rage, and risking the collapse of their capacity for decisive, effective and just governance. At the core of this dangerous turn is an abandonment of political attention to history, understood as a clear empirical grounding in how we reached our present condition. Historical stories are deployed in public debate as little more than dangerous fantasies.

In this blistering assessment David Andress, one of Britain's leading historians of the age of revolutions, shows how the West has abandoned its history and has lost its bearings and its memory.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Cultural Dementia (Head of Zeus, 2018); The Savage Storm - Britain on the Brink in the Age of Napoleon (Little, Brown, UK, 2012); 1789: The Threshold of the Modern Age, (Little, Brown, UK, 2008; Farrar, Straus & Giroux, USA, 2009). The Terror: Civil War in the French Revolution, (Little, Brown, UK 2005. US edition, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006; translation rights sold in China, Greece, Portugal, Spain). The French Revolution and the People, (Hambledon & London, UK, 2004). Massacre at the Champ de Mars: Popular Dissent and Political Culture in the French Revolution, (Boydell Press for the Royal Historical Society, UK, 2000). French Society in Revolution, 1789-1799, (Manchester University Press, UK, 1999).