Norman Stone (born 8 March 1941) is a Scottish historian and author. He is currently Professor of European History in the Department of International Relations at Bilkent University, having formerly been a professor at the University of Oxford, lecturer at the University of Cambridge, and adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He is a board member of the Center for Eurasian Studies (AVIM).
Stone attended Glasgow Academy on a scholarship for the children of deceased servicemen – his father having been killed in World War II – and graduated with First Class Honours in History from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (1959–1962). Following his undergraduate degree, Stone did research in Central European history in Vienna and Budapest (1962–65).
Upon completion of his doctorate, Stone was offered a research fellowship by Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he later became an Assistant Lecturer in Russian and German History (1967), and a full Lecturer (1973). In 1971 he transferred from Caius to Jesus College.
Stone was subsequently accepted in 1984 as a Professor of Modern History at Oxford University, England. Stone's tenure at Oxford was not without controversy. Petronella Wyatt wrote that Stone "loathed the place as petty and provincial, and for its adherence to the Marxist-determinist view of history." He published a column in the Sunday Times between 1987 and 1992, and was also employed by the BBC, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and the Wall Street Journal. Stone became Margaret Thatcher's foreign policy advisor on Europe, as well as her speech writer.
In May 1994 Stone gave a half-hour Opinions lecture televised on Channel 4 and subsequently published in The Independent. That newspaper later reviewed the lecture as "Little England has never had such great lines: there were the Germans (They want to be good Europeans because it stops them being bad Germans), and the Scandinavians (They only unite around the principle of finding the goody-goody Swedes very irritating)... But as he led us through the corridors of EC lunacy, you saw the point: only through a Lewis Carroll mirror could you meet such grotesques as the Gatt kings: Not so long ago a cow cost more than a student. Nowadays, a non-cow costs even more...On 1 September 1939, the League (of Nations) ignored Hitler's invasion of Poland because it was embarrassing, it moved instead to discuss the standardisation of level-crossings."
In 2005 Stone transferred to Koç University, Istanbul. He later returned to Bilkent University to teach for the 2007-2008 academic year. He guest lectures at Bogazici University, Istanbul. Since moving to Turkey, Stone has been a frequent contributor to Cornucopia, a magazine about the history and culture of Turkey. In 2010, Stone published a book on Turkish history, from the 11th century to the present day, Turkey: A Short History.
Stone denies that the Armenian Genocide took place. In 2004, he took part in a notable letter exchange on the pages of the Times Literary Supplement, where he strongly criticized Peter Balakian's 2003 book The Burning Tigris, saying that Balakian "should stick to the poems." Stone has praised Guenter Lewy, Bernard Lewis and France-based scholar Gilles Veinstein, all of whom do not believe a genocide took place, either.
In 2009, he argued: "The myth of Winston Churchill is dangerous. Was it a sensible strategy in 1944 and 1945 to bomb Germany to bits? It was very bad realpolitik, whatever its moral purpose."
Stone's books of greatest note are The Eastern Front 1914-1917 (1975) which won the Wolfson History Prize. He also wrote Hitler (1980), Europe Transformed 1878-1919 (1983), which won the Fontana History of Europe Prize, and World War I: A Short History (2007). He mostly writes about historical events in the past century and specifically is an expert on both World Wars.
While in Vienna in the 1960s, Stone met his first wife Nicole, the niece of the finance minister in "Papa Doc" Duvalier's Haiti government. Their son Nick Stone is a thriller writer. His second wife, Christine, was a leading member of the British Helsinki Human Rights Group, a conservative contrarian organization not affiliated with Helsinki Watch.
[T]he British Helsinki group ... lost almost all its supporters when it threw its weight behind people like Mr Milosevic. Another leading member, Christine Stone, has also written approvingly of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.