Brendan Simms

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Brendan Peter Simms (born in Dublin) is a Professor of the History of International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge.


Brendan Simms is the son of Anngret and David Simms, a professor of mathematics at Trinity College Dublin.[1] He studied at TCD, where he was elected a Scholar in 1986,[2] before completing his doctoral dissertation, Anglo-Prussian relations, 1804–1806: The Napoleonic Threat, at Cambridge under the supervision of Tim Blanning in 1993. A Fellow of Peterhouse, he lectures and leads seminars on international history since 1945.[3]

In addition to his academic work, he also serves as the president[4] of the Henry Jackson Society, which advocates the view that supporting and promoting liberal democracy and liberal interventionism should be an integral part of Western foreign policy.[5]

He is President of the Project for Democratic Union, a Munich-based student-organised think tank.[6]


Brendan Simms is a grand-nephew of the leading Church of Ireland ecumenist and scholar, former Archbishop of Dublin and Armagh, George Otto Simms.[citation needed] He is also a grand-nephew of Brian Goold-Verschoyle, a member of the Communist Party of Ireland, who became a Soviet spy and died in a Soviet gulag in 1942. Simms himself was raised in the Catholic faith. [1]


Simms's research focuses on the history of European foreign policy. His overarching book, Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1453 to the Present, was favourably reviewed by The Telegraph[7] and the New Statesman[8]

  • The Struggle for Mastery in Germany, 1779–1850 (Palgrave MacMillan, 1998)
  • Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia (Penguin, 2001)
  • Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire, 1714–1783 (Penguin, 2007)
  • Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1453 to the Present (Allen Lane, 2013)
  • The Longest Afternoon, The Four Hundred Men who Decided the Battle of Waterloo (Allen Lane, 2014)
  • Britain's Europe: A Thousand Years of Conflict and Cooperation (Penguin, 2017)
  • Hitler: A Global Biography (Basic Books, 2019) ISBN 978-0465022373

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