- Felipe Fernández-Armesto
Felipe Fernández-Armesto (born 1950) is a British
historianand author of several popular works of history.
He was born in London, his father was the Spanish
journalistFelipe Fernández Armesto and his mother was Betty Millan de Fernandez-Armesto, a British-born journalist and co-founder and editor of The Diplomatist, the in-house journal of the diplomatic corps in London. Fernández-Armesto is Professor of Global Environmental History at Queen Mary, University of London, and a member of the Faculty of Modern History at Oxford University.
From September 2005, he has been Principe de Asturias Chair in Spanish Culture and Civilization at
Awards and Honors
Fernández-Armesto has been honored with the award of the
Caird Medalof the National Maritime Museum in 1997 and the John Carter Brown Library Medal.
Fernández-Armesto gained media attention in 2007 for an incident on January 4th in which he was allegedly brutalized by 5 policemen led by Kevin Leonpacher in
Atlanta, Georgiaas a result of jaywalkingwhile in town for a conference of the American Historical Association. When told by 28-year-old officer Leonpacher that he was not supposed to cross where he had, he said he simply thanked him and continued on, claiming not to have known that Leonpacher was an officer because he was wearing a " bomber jacket" which covered his badge and obscured the uniform that Leonpacher claimed to have been visibly wearing. When Leonpacher ordered him to produce identification, the 56-year-old responded by questioning his authority to make such a demand and in turn, requesting to see the officer's ID. Upon asking that Leonpacher show him his credentials, he was subsequently "knocked" [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1987344,00.html Historian arrested for jaywalking] , Guardian.co.uk] , "thrown" [ [http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2007/01/09/his_crime_jaywalking/ His crime: jaywalking] , Boston Globe] [ [http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/breaking_news/16428363.htm] Dead link|date=August 2008] and/or "wrestled" [ [http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/01/10/ap3318279.html] Dead link|date=August 2008] to the ground after having his legs kicked from under him [ [http://news.bostonherald.com/offBeat/view.bg?articleid=176200] Dead link|date=August 2008] , and pinned there by the officers. Professor Lisa Kazmier, who witnessed the incident, was quoted as saying "It was like he was Osama Bin Laden or something." [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-2541133,00.html Jaywalking don hit by full force of the law] , Times Online] Leonpacher and the Atlanta Police Department deny that unnecessary or inappropriate measures were taken. After having been arrested and jailed for eight hours, Fernández-Armesto was released and charges of "disorderly conduct" against him were unofficially dropped following an appearance in traffic court the next day. [http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/2007/01/09/0110metwalk.html Officer says he used discretion before arresting prof] Dead link|date=August 2008, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2007-01-09] [ [http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/01/09/british_historian_arrested_for_jaywalking_in_atlanta/ British historian arrested for jaywalking in Atlanta] , Boston.com, 2007-01-09] Despite having once been mugged, he stated that "It was the most violence I've ever experienced in my life".
Officer Leonpacher has a different version of the events in the article "Officer Says He Used Discretion Before Arresting Prof". The five-year Atlanta Police Department veteran said when he asked Fernandez-Armesto why he didn't follow his instructions not to jaywalk, the author shrugged him off and walked away."Five times I asked him to stop," the officer said. He then asked him if he was hearing impaired. Once Fernandez-Armesto confirmed he wasn't, Leonpacher said he grabbed the professor's arm. "I let him go when he turned around to face me," he said. Leonpacher then says he repeatedly asked Fernandez-Armesto for his identification, but the professor responded by asking for the officer's I.D. When the historian allegedly repeatedly refused to produce ID, Leonpacher said he told him he was under arrest. The historian began to wrestle Leonpacher. "He was swinging, kicking wildly," Leonpacher said. Backup was called to assist in his detainment.
* "The Spanish Armada" (1990)
* "Millennium: A History of Our Last Thousand Years" (1995).
* "Truth: A History and a Guide for the Perplexed" (1997)
* "Civilizations" (2000).
* "Food: A History" (published as "Near a Thousand Tables" in US/Can) (2001).
* "The Americas" (2003).
* "Ideas That Changed the World" (2003).
* "Pathfinders: a Global History of Exploration" (2006)
* "The World: A Global History" (2007).
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENCa43r9jmY Interview with Fernandez-Armesto regarding the Atlanta incident]
* [http://www.history.qmul.ac.uk/staff/fernandez.html Professor Fernández-Armesto at Queen Mary] .
* [http://www.tmcq.co.uk/interviews/felipe-fernandez-armesto An interview with TMCQ] : "With my usual intellectual perversity, I thought it would be interesting to have a
history of the worldwritten from an imaginary perspective. I am interested in shifting perspective. I do believe in objective historical reality. I do believe that the truth is out there and I’m absolutely not a relativistor a postmodernist."
* [http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/000000005462.htm An interview with Spiked magazine] : "I defend people's right to deny the
Holocaustand to utter lies — so long as the rest of us remain aware that what they're saying is a lie."
* [http://hnn.us/articles/33409.html#Day3 History News Network video interview with Professor Fernández-Armesto] describing his arrest for jaywalking at the American Historical Association in Atlanta in January 2007.
* [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=427782&in_page_id=1770 Daily Mail: 'I was grabbed and thrown in U.S. jail for crossing road']
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENCa43r9jmY HNN: Historian's Arrest for Jaywalking] Youtube video circulated several days after the incident of Professor Fernandez-Armesto's account of being arrested and jailed.
* [http://www.pulse-berlin.com/index.php?id=146 Truth and Authenticity] Pulse Berlin
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