Geoffrey Parker


Geoffrey Parker is Andreas Dorpalen Professor of European History and an Associate of the Mershon Center at The Ohio State University. He has published widely on the social, political and military history of early modern Europe, and in 2012 the Royal Dutch Academy recognized these achievements by awarding him its biennial Heineken Foundation Prize for History, open to scholars in any field, and any period, from any country.

Parker has written or co-written thirty-nine books, including The Great War and the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press, 2014), The Military Revolution: Military innovation and the rise of the West, 1500-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 1988), winner of the 'best book prize' from both the American Military Institute and the Society for the History of Technology; The Grand Strategy of Philip II (Yale University Press, 1998), which won the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize from the Society of Military History; and Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century (Yale University Press, 2013), which won the Society of Military History’s Distinguished Book Prize and also one of the three medals awarded in 2014 by the British Academy for ‘a landmark academic achievement… which has transformed understanding of a particular subject’.

Before moving to Ohio State in 1997, Parker taught at Cambridge and St Andrews universities in Britain, at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and at Illinois and Yale Universities in the United States, teaching courses on the Reformation, European history and military history at both undergraduate and graduate levels. He has directed or co-directed over thirty Doctoral Dissertations to completion, as well as several undergraduate theses. In 2006 he won an OSU Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award.

He lives in Columbus, Ohio, and has four children. In 1987 he was diagnosed as having Multiple Sclerosis. His latest book is Imprudent King: A New Life of Philip II (Yale University Press, 2014).


Parker has published over 100 articles and book chapters, as well as some Op-Ed pieces, including:

'What would Philip II have thought of Spain’s victory in the World Club' (ABC, Madrid, 27 July 2010)

'Lessons from the Little Ice Age' New York Times Sunday Review, 22 March 2014


Parker has delivered over 300 invited lectures and conference papers around the world, some of which were recorded:

Audio of a lecture given at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in 1980
Conscience and Power: Philip II of Spain, History and Legend

Video of a lecture given at Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne in 1992: 'After Columbus: Spain's Struggle for Atlantic Hegemony after 1492'

Podcast of the Katz Lecture given at Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2006:
Climate and Catastrophe: The World Crisis of the 17th Century


Finally, Parker has appeared on television and radio in North America and Europe, including:

Interview with Rolf Strøm-Olsen at Hay Festival, Segovia, in 2010

Interview on the Spanish TV program 'Para todos la dos' in 2011

Interview with Dutch Public Broadcasting program 'Hoe? Zo!' in 2012

Video profile shown when Parker received the Heineken history prize in Amsterdam in 2012

Titles by the Author