Born in 1943, John MacKenzie’s career took him around the world. Educated in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), Scotland and Canada, he pursued exceptionally adventurous journeys in Canada, Africa and India. These are described in the early chapters of the book. Other chapters chart the manner in which his travels and experience of university teaching influenced his career as a historian.
The development of his ideas and the passionate injection of these into his many innovative books and articles led him to be embroiled in much controversy about the history of the British Empire. Realising he was gay, he ‘came out’ as a teenager in the late 1950s and was defiant in his adherence to an honest approach to life at a time of persecution.
The chapters of the book describe the interweaving of his personal and professional life, his philosophy as teacher and scholar, his love of ships and the sea, as well as the debates which led him to appear on television and radio, as well as arguing (somewhat against his own left-wing views) in the celebrated Oxford Union.
He has enjoyed a highly productive relationship and marriage for more than forty years.
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