Participant Info

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Modern British history, Second World War, postwar, reconstruction, political history, economic history, local history, planning history, architectural history, garden history, European history, American history particularly early American and women's history since 1600.
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Personal Info

About Me

I’m a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. I have a multi-disciplinary background. Originally educated in landscape architecture and architectural history (two advanced degrees), I then worked professionally in the design professions in London and Boston. At the same time I led educational tours and taught guides in Boston on American history from the colonial era to the 20th century. When I returned to academia I took an MA and PhD in modern British history because I was interested in the backstory to the built environment. I work mainly on political and economic impacts on cities and urban planning but have taught widely in British, American and global history. Most recently I have taught on U.S. women’s history since 1600. I am comfortable working in and discussing: urban history; political, economic and social history; planning or architectural history. I have appeared on television and radio for the BBC, the Travel Channel and WB (Boston) as well as a heavily subscribed YouTube channel. I have also been on NPR & American Public Media radio. I am a long time guide of walking tours in Boston and Oxford.

Recent Publications


Rebuilding Britain’s Blitzed Cities: Hopeful Dreams, Stark Realities (Bloomsbury, December 2018/paperback 2020) ISBN 9781350067622

Other peer-reviewed:

‘The Peculiarity of British Post-War Reconstruction?’ (2023) for the Municipal Dreams blog (20k subscribers), published January 24 & 31, 2023. Link to Part I:

‘Hull’s Postwar Plans’ for It’s Never Dull in Hull (co-author John Broughton) a public project/zine for The Modernist (2021). ISBN: 9781916471818

‘Forgetful or Purposeful? The Remaking of Place After the Blitz’ Storia Urbana (Italy) n. 158 (2018), 61-85. DOI:10.3280/SU2018-158004

‘The impact of the automobile on post-war city centre plans’ in ‘Infrastructure and the rebuilt post-war city’, Working Paper No 22, ed. Peter Larkham (Birmingham City University 2013).

‘Reconstruction Constraints: Political and Economic Realities’, Chapter 7 in The Blitz and Its Legacy, eds. Mark Clapson and Peter Larkham (Ashgate 2014).

“‘The City of Our Dreams?’ The Political and Economic Realities of Rebuilding Britain’s Blitzed Cities, 1945-1954”, Twentieth Century British History, 23:2 (2012), 221-245.

“‘Exeter Phoenix’: Politics and the Rebuilding of a Blitzed City”, Southern History, Vol. 30 (2008), 104-127.

Media Coverage
BBC, NPR, local news
Country Focus
United Kingdom, Europe, United States
Expertise by Geography
England, United Kingdom, United States
Expertise by Chronology
17th century, 18th century, 19th century, Modern, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Economic History, Gender, Libraries & Archives, Local & Regional, Material Culture, Politics, Public History, Urban History, Women, World War II