Oral historians

Harrison, Brian (23 of 25).  Oral History of Oral History

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  • Recording date

    2012-01-24, 2012-02-24, 2012-03-27, 2012-04-24, 2012-05-18, 2012-06-27

  • Interviewees

    Harrison, Brian, 1937- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Wilkinson, Robert (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 23: Retirement OUP asked him if he wanted to carry on at the Dictionary. He said no and went into retirement at the age of 67. What he wanted to do. Fairly au-tomatic to be an emeritus professor. Rarely goes into college for lunch etc. Likes to see how his former students are getting on. Goes there every Saturday morning to pick up the newspapers. [06:19] Out of sympathy with the syllabus at Oxford when undergraduate and later. Influence of Theodore Zeldins book , France 1848-1945. Brian doesnt read outside British history. Mentions similarities between the first and last sequential volumes of the NOH. [12:00] Sabbatical periods overseas: Ann Arbor hadnt done seven years to get a year off, yet President Hardie said he could take up the offer to go (1970-1). Enjoyed himself there academically. The Vietnam War was on and turned him rightwards due to student attitude. When he came back he wrote a number of articles about the faults in Oxford teaching, of which he remained conscious throughout his time at Oxford. Next opportunity was Harvard, 1973-4. John Clive was taking a semester off. Nearly did go to America more long term. He was encouraged to apply for a Chair at Yale in 1975. Decided against going for various reasons. [19:19] He became more active in the College. Worried that Keith Thomas would be-come Vice Chancellor, which would require him to run the College, but fortunately remained only Vice President of the college, and not Acting President. In 1975 he went to Melbourne University on a six-week Fellowship. Able to interview a suffra-gette in Sydney then as well. Internal machinations obvious within the Dept. Went again to Australia in 1995 to the Australian National University for three months. Right-wing views within his mothers family. Does not believe in fundamental change within British politics. Never at the heart of History Workshop and in the late 1960s was moving rightwards. Keen on European Union. Went twice (1980, 2007) for a month to the Rockefeller Center in Italy to focus on writing.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Brian Harrison, original committee members of the Oral History Society and Emeritus Professor of history at University of Oxford.

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