Neal Ascherson

Neal Ascherson
Appearing on television discussion programme After Dark in 1987

Charles Neal Ascherson (born October 5, 1932) is a Scottish journalist and writer.



He was born in Edinburgh and educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, where he read history. He was described by the historian Eric Hobsbawm as "perhaps the most brilliant student I ever had. I didn't really teach him much, I just let him get on with it."[1]

Neal Ascherson is married to fellow journalist Isabel Hilton. They currently live in London with their two children, Iona and Alexander.


After graduating with a starred First,[2] he declined offers to pursue an academic career. Instead, he chose a career in journalism, first at the Manchester Guardian and then at The Scotsman (1959–1960), The Observer (1960–1990) and the Independent on Sunday (1990–1998). He contributed scripts for the 1974 documentary series World at War and the 1998 series The Cold War. In recent years, he has also been a regular contributor to the London Review of Books.

He has lectured and written extensively about Polish and Eastern Europe affairs.[3][4]

As of 2008 Ascherson is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.[5] He has been editor of Public Archaeology, an academic journal associated with UCL devoted to CRM and public archaeology issues and developments, since its inception in 1999.[6]

In 1991 Ascherson was awarded an honorary degree from the Open University as Doctor of the University.[citation needed]



  1. ^ "Neal Ascherson". Spartacus Schoolnet. 2003. Retrieved February 17, 2006. 
  2. ^ Nicholas Wroe "Romantic nationalist", The Guardian, 12 April 2003. Retrieved on 16 April 2007.
  3. ^ "UK writer Neal Ascherson discusses NATO, EU on Prague visit". Radio Prague. 2004. Retrieved May 13, 2004. 
  4. ^ "Neal Ascherson - fascinating memories of the Soviet invasion and much more". Radio Prague. 2004. Retrieved June 8, 2004. 
  5. ^ "Emeritus and Honorary Staff in 2007 / 2008". Our Staff. UCL Institute of Archaeology. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  6. ^ Carman, John (2002). Archaeology and Heritage: An Introduction. London and New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8264-5894-7. OCLC 48140490. 

External links

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