Thu, 6 February 2020

6:45 pm - 8:00 pm

Leadership in Times of War

Andrew Roberts, General Sir Rupert Smith and Hannah MacInnes


The Royal Institution

21 Albemarle St, London


Historian Andrew Roberts meets ‘Britain’s outstanding soldier of modern times’ (Telegraph), Rupert Smith, to deliver essential lessons on the qualities of leadership in the modern world.

International warfare tests the mettle of a leader like no other trial. What qualities doom a leader to failure – and what lessons can be learned from those who are victorious? After two decades of Western military interventions have failed to deliver peace and political resolution, must we conclude that our leaders lack the qualities needed for success – or have they simply failed to recognise the changing nature of conflict in the modern world?

To answer these questions, How To Academy brings together two outstanding figures in the study and practice of leadership and war.

Andrew Roberts is the nation’s preeminent biographer and historian of military conflict. The prize-winning biographer of Churchill and Napoleon, Professor of War Studies at Kings College and a frequent broadcaster in both the UK and the United States, Prof Roberts has analysed the lives of the political and military leaders who fundamentally shaped the conflicts in which their nations were embroiled – from Eisenhower to Thatcher, Nelson to de Gaulle – in his new book Leadership in War.

He is joined by General Sir Rupert Smith. As General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland at the end of the Troubles, UN Protection Force Commander in Bosnia, and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe in the Kosovo War, General Smith is one of the most senior international practitioners in the use of force and author of a book informed by his four decades of professional military experience, The Utility of Force. His theory of a paradigm shift in global warfare – from the ‘industrial warfare’ begun by Napoleon to the terrorist and guerrilla led ‘war of the people’ – has been widely heralded as a profound and essential analysis that ought to be read by all politicians and military leaders.

Don’t miss this meeting between two of the greatest living thinkers on leadership and the art of war.

Praise for Rupert Smith:

‘One of the most provocative and startling books ever written by a British commander … an update of the two great thinkers on war and peace, Clausewitz and Sun Tsu, for our time … it is for anyone interested in the well-being of our world’ – Robert Fox, Evening Standard

‘Britain’s outstanding soldier of modern times … a book that will assure his reputation as a serious and original thinker among soldiers and strategists’ Sir – John Keegan, Daily Telegraph

‘It is hard to overstate the devastating nature of this book as an indictment of almost everything the West has done in recent years, and is doing today’ – Sir Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph


Praise for Andrew Roberts:

‘It’s the sort of biography that, one feels, Churchill himself would have wanted. Colossal, energetic, deeply knowledgeable, properly critical, but also sympathetic and, in places, deliciously funny’ – Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph

‘A stupendous achievement: lucid, erudite, intelligent, but also inspiring. Roberts catches the imperishable grandeur of Churchill’s life as no other historian has done’ – Daniel Johnson, Standpoint

‘A work of unequalled scholarship. Read it and you will not have to bother with the previous 1,000 biographies’ – Paul Routledge, Tablet

‘Brilliant, breathtaking, unputdownable … All Roberts’s past life has been but a preparation for this hour and this work, and this brilliant book is a fitting crown to his own career’ – Michael Gove, Evening Standard


Useful Information

Venue Address

The Royal Institution

21 Albemarle Street

London W1S 4BS

Event Times

Doors Open: 6:00pm

Event Starts: 6:45pm

Event Finishes: 8:00pm

Refund Policy

No refunds, no credit.

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