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Martin Slater’s BBC History Podcast

Thursday, 5 July 2018

St Edmund Hall Emeritus Fellow Martin Slater has appeared in a podcast on History Extra, the BBC History Magazine’s podcast, following the recent publication of his book The National Debt: A Short History.

With BBC History Magazine editor Rob Attar, Martin discusses his new book, which the Financial Times has named as one of their Summer Books of 2018 for Economics. Written after Martin’s retirement from Teddy Hall in 2013, The National Debt gives a clear and fascinating account of the history of government borrowing, from the Glorious Revolution to the 2008 financial crisis and beyond.

In the podcast, Martin and Rob explore the concept of national debt and its development throughout history, often influenced by one key theme: war and peace. Indeed, the decision to write The National Debt was set in motion by a talk Martin gave in 2014 on the economic costs of the First World War, as part of the Hall’s centenary commemoration day. Other accounts of the national debt tended to be overly technical and difficult for most readers to understand. Martin’s aim, therefore, was to write an overview of the history of national debt that was both comprehensive and interesting to a wider audience including non-specialists, which he discusses with Rob Attar in the podcast.

Martin is an Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall and was an Economics tutor at the College from 1980 to 2013. For more information, see our article on the publication of The National Debt: A Short History and watch Martin’s 2017 talk, UK National Debt: A Historical Perspective.

The National Debt: A Short History is available in bookshops or can be purchased here.