Much the same deployment of experience as a touchstone for historical interpretation lies embedded in the work of one of the most serious historical thinkers of the century, a Polish-Russian who was sent to England for his education in order to avoid the threat of further Russian oppression in the region of Galicia. One wonders what sort of figure Lewis Bernstein Namier would have cut had he remained in his own country, because it seems overwhelmingly clear that his year at the London School of Economics, where he was impressed by the geopolitical perspectives of Halford Mackinder, and then the stimulus of Balliol College, Oxford, where he came into contact with the mind of Arnold Toynbee, played a critical role in fathering the man. And the migration to England, once achieved, would never be reversed. First in Oxford but then, after a period in business in the United States, in Manchester where he became professor of modern history, Namier brought to the study of both British and recent European history a formidable forensic intelligence which he used to celebrate the past of Britain’s elites and the future of Europe’s Jews, seeing, like Rostovtzeff, a fragility in civilization which barbarism would always threaten and, like so many Jewish intellectuals of the twentieth century, suspecting a predisposition in European society to marginalize and

victimize Jews. The first theme came out strongly in the early work on eighteenth-century politics, which Namier so powerfully reoriented that he gave the language a new verb: to Namierize. His method turned on a severe reliance on the scrutiny of individuals as central historical actors and the power of individual biography to explain events without recourse to sociological or ideological structures. The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (1929) showed that explanatory structures in the eighteenth century could be identified but they had to be understood at an atomized level of individual agents and families, not as an engagement between Whig and Tory principles in which he largely disbelieved and announced that his protagonists did also. His second thrust appeared in his studies of Europe in the age of the dictators, especially Europe in Decay (1950) and In the Nazi Era (1951). For all his lifelong attachment to ‘English’ values, his émigré status never quite left him and certainly never left his sense of which historical problems ought to be studied (see J.Namier 1971; Rose 1980; Colley 1989).