Friday, 21 October 2016

Professor Andrew Wheatcroft 1944-2016

Professor Andrew Wheatcroft  
20 July 1944-18 Oct 2016

Andrew (‘Andy’) Wheatcroft was proud of sharing his birthday with the date of the von Stauffenberg plot to assassinate Hitler. He was born in Surrey and educated at St John’s School, Leatherhead before going up to Cambridge to read history at Christ’s College where former alumni Milton and Darwin had established a tradition of questioning.  His contemporary Simon Schama observed that of their small and talented group, Andrew was the most brilliant European historian. He spent a year at the University of Madrid working on the theme of the use of national image for propaganda, ‘soft power’ and the misuse of stereotypes to whip up  hatred. His subjects for later books focused on the Ottoman and Hapsburg empires.  He served as a senior commissioning editor for publishers Routledge and Keegan Paul, and Weidenfeld and Nicolson, also as Professor of Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling. As a result of teaching many Chinese students of publishing, he was appointed Foreign Adviser in Publishing to the Chinese government and was due to address a seminar of 100 Chinese managing executives in publishing in Oxford yesterday.   He and his wife Janet married in 1970, and came to live at Craigieburn House just outside Moffat  in 1983 with their four young children.  Andy and Janet became Trustees of Moffat Book Events in 2012, and Andy, as chair, co-signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the State Library for Foreign Literature. Andrew was a kind, thoughtful man who wore his academic gifts and learning lightly, was always helpful and direct, never pompous or patronizing. He delighted in good company, good food and laughter. He will be sadly missed. R.I.P.

ER 21.10.16

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