What? Who? Why?

If you’ve clicked on this link you no doubt wish to know who I am, what I’m doing, and what qualifies me to do it.

I’m Malcolm Craig, Senior Lecturer in History at Liverpool John Moores University. I’m formerly a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (IASH), University of Edinburgh. My current research – generously funded by a Visiting Fellowship at the British Library’s Eccles Centre for North American Studies – focuses on the ways in which the American and British governments of the 1980s attempted to manipulate public understanding of secret intelligence and nuclear issues, and the ways in which the media reacted to this. I’m also researching the origins and persistent of the “Islamic bomb” meme in the Western media up to the present day. My previous research has been published in Cold War History, The International History Review, and Intelligence and National Security (see below for publications list). My first book, which examines American and British nuclear non-proliferation policy towards Pakistan from 1974 to 1981, was published Palgrave Macmillan in mid-2017. I also co-host the American History Too! podcast with my friend and colleague Mark McLay.

My commentary on American history, nuclear proliferation, and international relations has appeared in a variety of outlets. I’ve been a talking head on the BBC, France 24, Sky News, and a number of other TV and radio broadcasters. I’ve also written for The Conversation and penned an op-ed for the Washington Post’s ‘Made by History‘ column.

At Edinburgh, I taught two honours courses: Confrontation, Proliferation, Representation: The Nuclear Cold War in Policy and in Public; and, A “Special Relationship”?: Anglo-American Relations from World War Two to the War on Terror. Additionally, I taught a full-year honours course ‘The United States and the Problem of Nuclear Proliferation’.

I returned to academic life in 2008, having graduated with a BA (Hons) in History & Sociology from Glasgow Caledonian University sometime in the mid-90s (longer ago than I really care to remember.)  After spending the best part of a decade working in marketing communications (which instilled in me a healthy sense of self loathing), I travelled the world and then in late 2008, ended up fulfiling my ambition of doing postgraduate work in history.

I did my MA thesis at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, on the the (lengthy title approaching) topic “The Truman Administration and the Non-use of the Atomic Bomb During the Korean War, June 1950 to January 1953.” I must have done something right, because my subsequent application to study for my Ph.D at Edinburgh was accepted.

My PhD project examined the UK-US axis and what motivated approaches to nuclear proliferation in the developing world during the 1970s. Mores specifically, I use Pakistan as a case study in an attempt to understand how cultural factors such as religion impacted in foreign policy. My research was funded by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and the Professor James F. McMillan Scholarship. My research also won the Edinburgh University Dalziel Prize for British History. I’m lucky enough to have been supervised by two fantastic scholars in the form of Dr Fabian Hilfrich and Dr Robert Mason, as well as being surrounded by many other excellent people.



America, Britain, and the Pakistani Nuclear Weapons Programme, 1974-1981 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)


‘Spycatcher’s little sister: the Thatcher government and the Panorama affair, 1980-81’, Intelligence and National Security, online (print issue TBC), December 2016

‘”I think we cannot refuse the order”: Britain, America, nuclear non-proliferation, and the Indian Jaguar deal, 1974-1978’, Cold War History, 16:1 (2016), 61-81

‘”Nuclear Sword of the Moslem World”?: The United States, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, and the “Islamic bomb”, 1977-1980’, The International History Review, published online February 2016 (print issue TBC)


Eric Schlosser, Command and Control: The story of nuclear weapons and the illusion of safety (London: Penguin, 2014), The Journal of American Studies, 49:4 (November, 2015), 942-943

 Or Rabinowitz, Bargaining on Nuclear Tests: Washington and its Cold War nuclear deals (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), History, the Journal of the Historical Association, 100:341 (July 2015), 504-505

 Jonathan Lyons, Islam Through Western Eyes: From the Crusades to the War on Terrorism (New York, NY; Columbia University Press, 2012), The Journal of American Studies, 47:3 (2013), 863-86

David M. Watry, Diplomacy at the Brink: Eisenhower, Churchill, and Eden in the Cold War (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2014), History, the Journal of the Historical Association, forthcoming


Trump’s U.S. could give up the fight to stop nuclear arms spreading‘, The Conversation (November 16, 2016)

What could a Trump presidency look like?‘, Liverpool John Moores YouTube channel (November 11, 2016)

The First Year Post-PhD‘ and ‘The Second Year Post-PhD‘, Pubs and Publications, (November 15, 2015 and  June 16, 2016)

‘Silence = Death: Podcasting the 1980s US AIDS Crisis’, British Association for American Studies (BAAS) US Studies Online (USSO) LGBT History Month series,  (February 29, 2016)

‘More Bang for your Buck?: Teaching Nuclear History’, BAAS USSO Teaching America series (September 21, 2015)

‘“Atomic Ayatollahs”: The “Islamic bomb” in 1980s American news media’, BAAS USSO Islam in America series (July 6, 2015)

Media Appearances

April 8 2016, BBC Radio Scotland, ‘Good Morning Scotland’, discussing Edinburgh Spy Week 2016 and the history of secret intelligence

April 6 2016, TBS Radio South Korea, ‘Primetime News’, discussing nuclear terrorism


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