I write and read a lot about about history, politics and international affairs, with a particular focus on immigration, conflict, militarism, the political manipulation of terrorism and the ‘war on terror’. I’ve also written about racism, undocumented migration, colonialism and Islamophobia, about military futurism, the expulsion of Spain’s Muslim population in the seventeenth century and the conspiracy theory/fantasy of ‘Eurabia’. As a non-academic writer who writes a lot about history or with reference to historical events, I’m interested in precedents and lessons that can be drawn from the past in relation to contemporary trends and issues.
Though I’m happy if my books have any academic use, I write for a general readership in the belief (hope?) that even in the era of ‘fake news’ and information overload, there is still a place for clear accessible writing in helping us to understand the world around us and to try to leave it a better place than when we found it.
I also write fiction. In 2016 I published my first novel, The Devils of Cardona – a historical novel building on my interest in early modern Spanish history the expulsion of the Moriscos. I like to write books that cross different genres. My latest book The Savage Frontier: the Pyrenees in History and Imagination was published in December 2018 by New Press/Hurst, and combines history, travelogue, geography and cultural history.
I see blogging as an opportunity to do more instant ‘off-the-cuff’ writing and reflection in response to things that I read, watch and observe in the world around me.