Donald Cameron Watt gained a first-class degree in PPE at the University of Oxford in 1951, where he developed an interest in the origins and progress of the Second World War. After a brief period as a documents’ editor—an activity he continued throughout his academic life—he joined the London School of Economics in 1954 to teach international history, where he remained for the rest of his career; he was promoted to a chair in 1972 and became Stevenson Professor in 1981. He published widely in contemporary history, emphasising the roles played by key individuals, for example by exploring decision-making within the various levels in the British foreign policy-making elite. His magnum opus, How War Came: the Immediate Origins of the Second World War 1938–1939, appeared in 1989 and won him the Wolfson History Prize in 1990; his other books included Personalities and Policies: Studies in the Formulation of British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century (1965) and Britain and the Suez Canal (1956).
Number of pages: 20 (pages 135-154)
Publication date: 6 Aug 2019
Author: Kathleen Burk