Hugh Thomas

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Person.png Hugh Thomas   Amazon PowerbaseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(historian, writer)
Hugh Thomas.png
Born21 October 1931
Windsor, England
Died7 May 2017 (Age 85)
Parents • Hugh Whitelegge Thomas
• Margery Angela Augusta née Swynnerton
SpouseVanessa Jebb
Member ofKönigswinter/Speakers, Le Cercle, The Other Club
UK historian. Chairman of the neoliberal and military hawkish Centre for Policy Studies.

Hugh Swynnerton Thomas was a UK historian.

Establishment background

Hugh was the only son of Hugh Thomas, a British colonial officer based in what was then the Gold Coast (now Ghana), and his wife Margery (nee Swynnerton), who worked in the Colonial Nursing Service. His uncle, Sir Shenton Thomas, was the governor of Singapore who surrendered to the Japanese in 1942.

Non-writing Career

From 1954 to 1957, Thomas worked in the Foreign Office partly as secretary of the British Delegation to the sub-committee of the UN Disarmament Commission, partly in the embassy in Paris, where he "quit before he was fired".

In 1957, he had a brief stint as a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. From 1966 to 1975, he was professor of History at the University of Reading, and chairman of the European committee.

Thomas then became chairman of the neoliberal and military hawkish Centre for Policy Studies in London from 1979 to 1991, which worked for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. At the Centre for Policy Studies, he tried to help fellow Conservative Keith Joseph to re-establish a sense of the glories of English history that they both believed had been obscured.[1]


At Queens’ College, Cambridge, he was leader of his Conservative student union. He shifted somewhat towards Labour Party, being a member until 1974, before going back to his Tory roots. He became a life peer as Baron Thomas of Swynnerton, of Notting Hill in Greater London on 16 June 1981 and sat as a Conservative, before he joined the Liberal Democrats in 1998. He later sat as a crossbencher.

In 1985, he signed a petition against the government of Nicaraguan government, the Sandinista National Liberation Front of Nicaragua, in support of the Contras, an anti-Sandinista paramilitary group and Reagan cause celebre. [2]

Thomas spoke at Georgetown University at several conferences sponsored by Of Human Rights, a organization presided by Elena Mederos and later by Cuban bishop in exile Eduardo Boza Masvidal. Frank Calzón, a human rights activist and director of the Center for a Free Cuba, and whom the Cuban government accuses of being a CIA agent, said Thomas favored the establishment of TV and Radio Marti, the notorious US-sponsored regime change media channel.[3]


Married to Vanessa Jebb, a painter and daughter of the first Acting United Nations Secretary-General ans Special Operations Executive-leader, Gladwyn Jebb.


He has written pro-European political works such as Europe: the Radical Challenge (1973), as well as many history books. He is also the author of three novels: The World's Game (1957), The Oxygen Age (1958), and Klara (1988).

His book the Spanish Civil War sold more than a million copies and made him financially independent.

His book Cuba, or the Pursuit of Freedom (1971) is a book of over 1,500 pages tracing the history of Cuba from Spanish colonial rule until the Cuban Revolution, in general having an anti-Cuban-revolution view on things.

The revolution on balance (1983), was published by the Cuban American National Foundation, an exile Cuban group based in the United States.