History-loving politicians

Why do so many politicians write history books? Does a knowledge of the past help with the challenges of today? And should MPs pay more attention to history? Our reviews editor, Matt Elton, headed to Westminster to ask a panel of history-loving politicians

Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum Tristram Hunt. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the December 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Which came first for you, history or politics?

Peter Hennessy: Gossip – which links the two. Weapons-grade gossip is the link and the motivation; gossip with footnotes.

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