Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Britain and the American Dream (1740-1776)

New book out now! Centred on the life of Benjamin Franklin, featuring figures like the cultural giant Samuel Johnson, the ground-breaking historian Catharine Macaulay, the firebrand politician John Wilkes and revolutionary activist Thomas Paine, this book looks at the generation that preceded the Declaration in 1776. It takes us back to a vital moment in the foundation of the West, a time full of intent, confidence and ideas. It tells a whole new story about the birth of the United States of America  and some of the key principles by which we live to this very day.

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I am a writer and historian. This website is the place to find out about my latest publications and research, including news on my new book, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Travels Through Time

A few years ago I started an experimental audio project called Travels Through Time. It’s something of a Desert Island Discs but for history, with each episode revolving around the simple but endlessly fascinating question: if you could travel back in time, which year would you like to visit?

A hundred episodes on we’ve (there’s five of us now) had more than a million downloads, been chosen as one of Britain’s best history podcasts and have made episodes with many of the world’s leading historians and novelists – from William Dalrymple to Ken Follett, Robert Harris to Kate Mosse.

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