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Professor Paul Preston, Professor in International History and Director of the Cañada Blanch Centre

Research and Publications

Professor Preston's main fields of interests are Anglo-Spanish relations; contemporary Spanish politics; defence policy; European fascism; European left; Gibraltar; Spain; Spanish army; Spanish history, the Spanish Civil War, the Franco Regime, the transition to democracy in Spain. At LSE, he teaches courses within these topics and supervises students for their dissertations and theses at all levels, from undergraduate to PhD.

Professor Preston is also the Príncipe de Asturias Professor of Contemporary Spanish Studies and Director of the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies| which is based in the European Institute at the London School of Economics

Professor Preston has produced a number of scholarly books and articles which include We Saw SpainDie. Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War (London:Constable, 2008), El gran manipulador. La mentira cotidiana de Franco (Barcelona: Ediciones B, 2008), The Spanish Civil War. Reaction, Revolution, Revenge (London, HarperCollins, 2006); Juan Carlos. A People's King (London, HarperCollins, 2004); Doves of War. Four Women of Spain (London: HarperCollins, 2002); &iexcel;Comrades! Portraits from the Spanish Civil War (London: HarperCollins, 1999); Franco. A Biography (London, HarperCollins, 1993).   He is also the editor of British Documents on Foreign Affairs.

Paul Preston studied for his undergraduate degree at the Oriel College, Oxford before moving to the University of Reading where he gained his MA in European Studies. He moved back to Oriel College to work on his PhD. He returned to Reading to take up a post of Lecturer before moving on to Queen Mary College, London. He joined the LSE as a Professor in International History in 1991.

The main focus of Professor Preston's current research is The Spanish Holocaust (for HarperCollins, London; W.W.Norton, New York; Random House Mondadori, Barcelona; Mondadori, Milan).

Professor Preston has been awarded the 2005 Premi Internacional Ramon Llull, awarded jointly by the Institut de Estudis Catalans and the Institut Ramon Llull. The prize is the most prestigious international prize for academic achievement given in Catalonia. The citation reads 'Paul Preston has been awarded the XV Premi Internacional Ramon Llull, in recognition of a lifetime achievement of exceptionally valuable historical work centred on the study of the Second Republic, the Civil War, the Francoist Dictatorship and the transition to democracy in Spain.'  The jury went on to praise the work of the LSE's Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies and the many books published by the Centre in conjunction with Routledge and other publishers.

On 20 June 2006, at a ceremony presided over by the King of Spain, Professor Paul Preston was inaugurated into the of the Academia Europea de Yuste, where he was given the Marcel Proust Chair.  (The Academy has thirty members, including the Italian philosopher Umberto Eco, the Portuguese novelist José Saramago, the German Nobel prize-winning economist Reinhard Selten, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, the French sociologist Alain Touraine and the English dramatist Peter Schaffer).   

In 2007, the Catalan version of his book We Saw Spain Die received the prestigious Premi Trias Fargas in Barcelona.  In the same year, he was made Caballero Gran Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Católica (Spain's highest civilian decoration) in recognition of his work on Spanish history.  In 2008, he was appointed a corresponding member of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans (the Catalan Social Science and Humanities Academy).  He was also a member of the jury for the 2008 Charles V European Prize (awarded to Simone Weil). 

Click here for more on publications by Professor Paul Preston|.

Teaching and Supervision

Professor Preston's teaching at the LSE reflects the research interests outlined above. He teaches the following courses:

At undergraduate level:

HY101: The European Civil War, 1890-1990| (taught jointly with other staff in the Department)

HY209: The Spanish Civil War, Its causes, course and consequences|

At Masters level:

HY412: Spain and the Great Powers 1936-1953: Civil War, World War, Cold War|

Professor Preston also supervises the following PhD students:

Adam Kravitz


Jill Parsons

The Extent of Republican Repression in Madrid, 1936-1939

Contact Details:

Office: Room J314
Telephone: 020 7955 7107
Email Address: P.Preston@lse.ac.uk|

Office Hours

By appointment