Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Creative Writing lecturer discusses his latest book on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Free Thinkers’

Monday, 22 May 2017

Shortest history

Dr James Hawes, Reader in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University, discussed his most recent book, The Shortest History of Germany, with Anna McElvoy on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Free Thinking’ on Wednesday 17 May.

Novelist and Germanist Dr Hawes explained why a lack of a clear eastern border has informed German history for two thousand years, and why it’s vital now for us to understand that Prussia is dead and gone.

Described as ‘comprehensive and vivid’ by Philip Pullman, and an ‘excellent little book’ by The Spectator, The Shortest History of Germany is available now

‘Brexit and Trump have given this sweeping story of Germany’s struggles with its demons an urgent topicality. For as Hawes knows better than anyone, if there is a future for liberal democracy, it will be a German one.’ Nick Cohen, author of What’s Left?

The programme also featured Tony award-winning playwright Richard Nelson, who discussed bringing his trilogy depicting a US family over the 2016 election year to the Brighton Festival; Novelist Rachel Seiffert, who was shortlisted for the Booker prize with her book The Dark Room; and the etymology of gangs explained by Alistair Fraser, a lecturer in criminology and sociology at the University of Glasgow. If you’d like to hear more, the programme is available online

Dr Hawes is course-lead for MA Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes. Read on to find out more about this course.