Nationalism, Brexit and Drones – A Conversation with Neal Ascherson

by Ryan Rafaty for King’s Review

Before he arrived in 1952 to study history at King’s College, Cambridge under the supervision of Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, Neal Ascherson was conscripted into the Royal Marines at age 18 to defend British colonial interests in Malaya against Chin Peng’s communist insurgency. It was Hobsbawm who, in his benevolently probing way during their first encounter, helped Ascherson confront his own feelings of remorse, later calling him “perhaps the most brilliant student” he ever taught. Declining the temptation to become an academic, Ascherson craved exposure to the world and went on to become one of his generation’s leading foreign correspondents, reporting from the Prague Spring, the Paris riots of May 1968, the 1973 coup in Chile, and later becoming a regular columnist for The Observer and Independent on Sunday. He now writes regularly for the London Review of Books, and has recently published his first novel. Ever since his time at King’s College, he has published voluminously on struggles for self-government—in Congo, Uganda, Scotland, Wales, Poland, Spain.

Full Text in King’s Review: Nationalism, Brexit and Drones


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