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The Fulcrum of History: Margaret MacMillan, Max Hastings and Peter Frankopan on the War in Ukraine

What are the lessons that history can teach us about the Russian war in Ukraine?

What are the lessons that history can teach us about the Russian war in Ukraine? In October 2022 three of Britain’s most distinguished and bestselling historians – Peter Frankopan, Max Hastings and Margaret MacMillan – came to the Intelligence Squared stage in London to share their insights into the conflict. In conversation with BBC news presenter Jonny Dymond, they examined how politicians and commentators have been using and abusing history to justify their positions on the conflict. How has President Putin been invoking the past to rally support among the Russian people for his actions? Is Putin a 21st-century Hitler who should be defeated at all costs? And as he threatens to use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory, what lessons can we learn from brinkmanship during the Cold War?


Speakers

For the motion

Peter Frankopan

Professor of Global History at the University of Oxford


Professor of Global History at the University of Oxford. His books include The Silk Roads: A New History of the World and The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World, both of which are global bestsellers. He has been Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford since 2000.

Margaret MacMillan

Emeritus Professor of International History at Oxford University


Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Toronto and Emeritus Professor of International History at Oxford University.  She was Provost of Trinity College, Toronto and then Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford. In 2018 she was the BBC Reith Lecturer. Her books include Paris, 1919; The War that Ended Peace; and most recently War: How Conflict Shaped Us.

Max Hastings

Military historian, journalist and broadcaster


Author, journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in every British national newspaper. He has written thirty books of which the latest ABYSS: The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 will be published in September 2022. He has received awards both for his books and journalism, the most recent being a 2019 Arthur Ross Literary Award from the US Council on Foreign Relations for Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy 1945-1975. He was editor, then editor-in-chief, of The Daily Telegraph from 1986-1995, and of The Evening Standard 1996-2002.
Chair

Jonny Dymond

BBC News presenter and Royal Correspondent


Presenter of BBC Radio 4's The World at One and The World This Weekend and BBC World Service Radio's World Questions. He is also Royal Correspondent for BBC News. He recently presented the BBC Radio 4 series Putin, in which told the story of Vladimir Putin's life by interviewing guests who have watched, studied and dealt with the Russian president.