Talk by Roger Moorhouse: First to Fight

First to Fight is the first history of the Polish war for almost half a century. Drawing on letters, memoirs and diaries by generals and politicians, soldiers and civilians from all sides, Roger Moorhouse’s dramatic account of the military events is entwined with a tragic human story of courage and suffering, and a dark tale of diplomatic betrayal.

Roger Moorhouse is a historian and author, specialising in Nazi Germany, Poland and World War Two in Europe. A fluent German speaker, and a visiting professor at the College of Europe in Warsaw, he is the author of a number of books – including “Berlin at War” (2010), “The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin 1939-1941” (2014) and the recent “First to Fight: The Polish War 1939”, which was published in the UK in September 2019. He has been published in over 20 languages. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is also a book reviewer for the national and specialist history press. He lives in Hertfordshire, UK.

The event will be chaired by Professor Norman Davies FBA.

Thursday, 6 February 2020 | 5pm – 7pm

Seminar Room
The European Studies Centre
St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford
70 Woodstock Road
Oxford OX2 6HR

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The event supported by The Polish Cultural Institute in London will be hosted by the European Studies Centre, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Organised by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building in partnership with the Oxford Polish Association.


“[A] chilling, indignant narrative… Moorhouse has expertly laid bare…[the] truth” (Roger Boyes The Times)

“Moorhouse’s book remedies that gap [in history of The Polish War], weaving together archival material, first-hand accounts, perceptive analysis and heartbreaking descriptions of Poland’s betrayal, defeat and dismemberment” (Economist)

“[A] fascinating book… Moorhouse has mastered a large body of material… this is…a very valuable book, as it gathers a mass of detail into a lucid narrative for general readers” (Noel Malcolm Sunday Telegraph)

“An important book. Roger Moorhouse has a wonderful knack of reminding us about the parts of the Second World War that we are in danger of forgetting” (Dan Snow)