Dr Andrew Whitehead

Honorary Professor in the School of History

I spent thirty-five years in BBC News, working variously as a news correspondent, programme and documentary maker and radio presenter;  I was the Editor of BBC World Service News when I took early retirement in the spring of 2015. Seven years working in India prompted my interest in using personal testimony to look again at the genesis of the Kashmir conflict, and the resulting book was the basis of a PhD by published works awarded by the University of Warwick.

You can also contact me via my personal email


My principal research interest is in the modern history of Kashmir, which has extended into working on a biography of Freda Bedi (1911-77), an English woman who became active in leftist and nationalist movements in India, including Kashmir, before taking ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. I also pursue a long-standing research interest in London - notably the radical politics of the city, its representations in fiction and the built environment of north London where I live.


On Kashmir:

  • A Mission in Kashmir, published in Delhi by Viking Penguin in 2007; translated into Tamil, 2011; republished by Gulshan Books in Srinagar in 2015  
  • 'The People's Militia: Communists and Kashmiri Nationalism in the 1940s', in Urvashi Butalia (ed), Partition: the Long Shadow, Zubaan and Penguin India/U. of Chicago Press, 2015. Initially published in as a journal article in 2010 -
  • ‘The Tribal Invasion of 1947’ in the Jammu & Kashmir section of Oxford Islamic Studies  

On London:

  • Curious Camden Town (with Martin Plaut), Five Leaves, 2015 
  • Curious Kentish Town (with Martin Plaut), Five Leaves, 2014 
  • 'John Sommerfield’s Box’, Literary London Journal, 11/1 (Spring 2014), pp.54–58,
  • London Fictions (co-edited with Jerry White), Five Leaves, 2013
  • ‘Clerkenwell as hell – Gissing’s “nether world”’, Gissing Journal, 46/4, 2010, pp.27-34

On political radicals:

  • ‘God gave the land to the people: The Liberal land song’, Journal of Liberal History, 76, 2012, pp.26-33
  • ‘Red London: radicals and socialists in late-Victorian Clerkenwell’, Socialist History, 18, 2000, pp.1-31
  • ‘Dan Chatterton and his “Atheistic Communistic Scorcher”’, History Workshop Journal, 25, 1988, pp.85-99
  • ‘Notes on the Labour Press: the New World and the O’Brienite colony in Kansas’, Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, 53/3, 1988, pp.40-3
  • ‘”Against the Tyranny of Kings and Princes”: radicalism in Workers in the Dawn’Gissing Newsletter, 22/4, 1986, pp.13-28
  • ‘”Quorum Pars Fui”: the autobiography of H.H. Champion’ [documentary essay], Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, 47, 1983, pp.17-35
  • Edited and wrote introduction and postscript to J.W. RounsfellOn the Road: journeys of a tramping printer, Caliban, 1982

Oral history deposits:

  • Interviews relating to the partition of India in 1947, deposited at the archive of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London - details here
  • Interviews with British political activists, deposited at the National Sound Archive - details here


Founder and moderator of multi-contributor websites:


  • Honorary Professor at the School of Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Nottingham
  • Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the King's India Institute, London
  • Knight Wallace Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan, fall semester 2003

Editorial Positions 

Appearances in the media

Numerous media contributions - TV, radio print and online. These have recently included pieces in the UK media about Indian politics and history:

 Contributions to the Indian media about British politics:

Writing on topical and other issues: