Norman Stone

For the American psychotherapist and art collector, see Norman C. Stone. For the Maryland state senator, see Norman R. Stone, Jr. For the English footballer, see Norman Stone (footballer).
Norman Stone
Born (1941-03-08) 8 March 1941
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Residence Oxford, England, UK
Education Glasgow Academy
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (BA, MA)
Employer University of Cambridge, Fellow Gonville and Caius Coll (1965–71)
Lecturer in Russian history (1968–84)
Fellow Jesus Coll (1971–79)
Fellow Trinity Coll (1979–84)
University of Oxford
Professor of Modern History (1984–97)
Fellow Worcester Coll (1984–97)
Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
Title Professor
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Marie Nicole Aubry (2 July 19661977)
Christine Margaret Booker, née Verity (11 August 1982died 15 November 2016)
Children Nicholas, 1966
Sebastian, 1972
Rupert, 1983
Parent(s) Flt Lt Norman Stone, RAF (KIA, 1942)
Mary Robertson, née Pettigrew (d 1991)

Norman Stone (born 8 March 1941) is a Scottish academic, historian, author and is currently a Professor in the Department of International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara. He is a former Professor at the University of Oxford, Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, and adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He is a board member of the Center for Eurasian Studies (AVIM).[2] He denies the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide.[3]

Early life and education

Stone attended Glasgow Academy on a scholarship for the children of deceased servicemen – his father having been killed in World War II[4] – and graduated with First Class Honours in History from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (19591962). Following his undergraduate degree, Stone did research in Central European history in Vienna and Budapest (1962–65).



Upon completion of his doctorate, Stone was offered a research fellowship by Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he later became an Assistant Lecturer in Russian and German History (1967), and a full Lecturer (1973). In 1971 he had transferred from Caius to Jesus College. In 1983 Stone criticized the recently deceased E. H. Carr in the London Review of Books.[5]

Some of his critics argued that his obituary bordered on the defamatory.[6]


Stone was subsequently accepted in 1984 as a Professor of Modern History at Oxford University, England.[7] Stone's tenure at Oxford was not without controversy. Petronella Wyatt wrote that Stone "loathed the place as petty and provincial, and for its adherence to the Marxist-determinist view of history."[8] He published a column in the Sunday Times between 1987 and 1992, and was also employed by the BBC, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and the Wall Street Journal.[9] Stone became Margaret Thatcher's foreign policy advisor on Europe,[7] as well as her speech writer.[10]


In 1997, Stone accepted retirement from Oxford and left to teach at the department of International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara.[11]

In 2005 Stone transferred to Koc University, Istanbul. He later returned to Bilkent University, Ankara, to teach for the 2007-2008 academic year. He guest lectures at Bogazici University, Istanbul. Since moving to Turkey, Stone has been a frequent contributor to Cornucopia, a magazine about the history and culture of Turkey. In 2010, Stone published a book on Turkish history, from the 11th century to the present day, Turkey: A Short History.[12][13]


Stone's tenure at Oxford was not without incident, largely based around his political views, which were considered to be highly conservative. Petronella Wyatt wrote that Stone "loathed the place as petty and provincial, and for its adherence to the Marxist-determinist view of history."[8] He published a regular column in the Sunday Times between 1987 and 1992, and helped comment for many news services, including the BBC, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and the Wall Street Journal.[9]

Stone's reputation was affected by an obituary he wrote in 1983 for the London Review of Books of E. H. Carr, and which some felt bordered on defamatory.[6]

During this same time Stone also became Margaret Thatcher's foreign policy advisor on Europe,[7] as well as her speech writer.[10]

Stone's second wife, Christine, was a leading member of the British Helsinki Human Rights Group, a conservative contrarian organization not affiliated with Helsinki Watch.[14]

Stone denies that the Armenian Genocide took place. In 2004, he took part in a notable letter exchange on the pages of the Times Literary Supplement, where he strongly criticized Peter Balakian's 2003 book The Burning Tigris, saying that Balakian "should stick to the poems." Stone has praised Guenter Lewy, Bernard Lewis and France-based scholar Gilles Veinstein, all of whom do not believe a genocide took place, either.[3]

In 2009, he argued: "The myth of Winston Churchill is dangerous. Was it a sensible strategy in 1944 and 1945 to bomb Germany to bits? It was very bad realpolitik, whatever its moral purpose."[15]


Stone's books of greatest note are The Eastern Front 1914-1917 (1975) which won the Wolfson History Prize.[16] He also wrote Hitler (1980), Europe Transformed 1878-1919 (1983), which won the Fontana History of Europe Prize, and World War I: A Short History (2007).[7] He mostly writes about historical events in the past century and specifically is an expert on both World Wars. His short histories have been especially popular and successful.

Personal life

While in Vienna in the 1960s, Stone met his first wife Nicole, the niece of the finance minister in "Papa Doc" Duvalier's Haiti government. Their son Nick Stone is a thriller writer.[16] Stone keeps a house in the Galata neighbourhood of Istanbul,[17] and divides his time between Turkey and England.

Published works


  1. Prof. Norman Stone profile at Debrett's People of Today. Debrett's Peerage Ltd., 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2009. via Fairfax County Public Library); accessed 13 September 2009 (Document Number: K2413027212)
  3. 1 2 Norman Stone, "A Bungled Case for the Prosecution", The Spectator, 24 April 2004; "Armenia and Turkey", Times Literary Supplement, 15 October 2004; "Armenia in History," Times Literary Supplement, 5 November 2004; World War One: a Short History, London: Penguin Books, 2008, pp. 72-73 and 209; and Turkey: a Short History, London: Thames & Hudson, 2010, pp. 147-148 and 181.
  4. Millard, Rosie (5 August 2007). "Britain's a terrible bore, that's why I left". The Times.
  5. Laqueur, Walter (1987). The Fate of the Revolution. New York City: Scribner. p. 235.
  6. 1 2 Grim Eminence, London Review of Books, Vol. 5 No. 1 · 10 January 1983, pages 3-8
  7. 1 2 3 4 Graduate Programs Dept., Bilkent University at the Wayback Machine (archived 22 March 2005)
  8. 1 2 Wyatt, Petronella (1 December 2012). "I was bullied out of Oxford for being a Tory". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  9. 1 2 "Univ. Prof. Dr. Norman Stone: Europe in the Turkish Mirror". Austrian-Turkish Forum of Sciences. 2 February 2003. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  10. 1 2 Griffiths, Lyndsay (13 April 1997). "Britain's Iron Lady is back, but who is she supporting?". Turkish Daily News. Reuters. Archived from the original on 14 November 2008.
  11. "Norman Stone: 'There is No Armenian Genocide' - Famous British Historian says he is ready to be prisoned by France" (PDF). Journal of the Turkish Weekly. Turkish Coalition of America. 20 October 2006. Retrieved 13 September 2009. (reproduced)
  12. Review #1 of Turkey: A Short History
  13. Review #2 of Turkey: A Short History
  14. "Yanukovich's friends". The Economist. 2 December 2004. Retrieved 2009-09-14. At first sight it seems baffling. Characters such as Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia, Alexander Lukashenka of Belarus, and Viktor Yanukovich, the purported winner of the Ukrainian election, are so vilified in the west that it is hard to imagine they have any fans at all. Yet that is, in effect, what members of the British Helsinki group are .... But the group lost almost all its supporters when it threw its weight behind people like Mr Milosevic. Another leading member, Christine Stone, has also written approvingly of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.
  15. Dominiczak, Peter (4 September 2009). "US politician puts blame on Churchill for Second World War". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  16. 1 2 "Interview: Norman Stone has both entered history and written it". The Independent. 3 August 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  17. Turkish delights, The Times
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