Andrew Roberts, PhD

The Last King of America: The Misunderstood Reign of George III

Author and award-winning investigative historian Andrew Roberts, on his book, The Last King of America: The Misunderstood Reign of George III, the first biography of King George III in fifty years, and the definitive one for our generation, offering a cradle to grave biography in one volume.

The last king of America, George III, has been ridiculed as a complete disaster who frittered away the colonies and went mad in his old age. The truth is much more nuanced and fascinating–and will completely change the way readers and historians view his reign and legacy.

Most Americans dismiss George III as a buffoon–a heartless and terrible monarch with few, if any, redeeming qualities. The best-known modern interpretation of him is Jonathan Groff’s preening, spitting, and pompous take in Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway masterpiece. But this deeply unflattering characterization is rooted in the prejudiced and brilliantly persuasive opinions of eighteenth-century revolutionaries like Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, who needed to make the king appear evil in order to achieve their own political aims. After combing through hundreds of thousands of pages of never-before-published correspondence, award-winning historian Andrew Roberts has uncovered the truth: George III was in fact a wise, humane, and even enlightened monarch who was beset by talented enemies, debilitating mental illness, incompetent ministers, and disastrous luck.

In The Last King of America, Roberts paints a deft and nuanced portrait of the much-maligned monarch and outlines his accomplishments, which have been almost universally forgotten. Two hundred and forty-five years after the end of George III’s American rule, it is time for Americans to look back on their last king with greater understanding: to see him as he was and to come to terms with the last time they were ruled by a monarch.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Churchill and Napoleon

[Recorded April 14, 2022.]

Link to Book at Bookstore

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      Andrew Roberts (Photo by Anna Kunst)

      Andrew Roberts, PhD, (andrew-roberts.netTwitterFacebook) took a first in modern history from Cambridge University, from where he is an honorary senior scholar and received his PhD. He is the author of Napoleon: A Life, winner of the LA Times biography prize and a finalist for the Plutarch Prize for biography, The Storm of War, hailed by Timothy Snyder in the NY Times as “a brilliantly clear and accessible account of the Second World War in all its theatres… unerringly precise and strikingly bold,” Masters and Commanders, Churchill: Walking with Destiny (winner of a Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award) and Leadership in War, among other bestselling and award-winning books. He appears regularly on TV and radio and writes articles and reviews for  British and American newspapers. He sits on the academic board of five prominent British and American think-tanks, is a founder member of Jose Maria Aznar’s Friends of Israel Initiative, and is presently the Roger and Martha Mertz Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, the Lehrman Institute Distinguished Fellow at the New-York Historical Society and a visiting professor at the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London.

      Roberts is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Historical Society, a Trustee of the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust, and the chairman of judges of the Lehrman Institute-New York Historical Society $50,000 Military History Book Prize. He is also the President of the Cliveden Literary Festival, President of the History in Prisons Initiative, and is a recipient of the Bradley prize. He lives in London with his wife Susan Gilchrist, the global CEO of Brunswick Group.

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