The contributions in this collection deal with three of the most important themes of historical studies: the way history is or ought to be written, the nature of dictatorships and the nature of wars. The primary focus is on modern Europe and two defining experiences in the first half of the twentieth century: the two world wars and totalitarian dictatorships. This volume seeks to honour Professor Richard J. Overy, one of the great historians of his generation. Richard Overy has shaped our understanding of the main themes of this volume with the publication of over 20 books - most recently, The Morbid Age: Britain Between the Wars (2009), The Times Complete History of the World (2007), The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia (2004). In a substantial conversation that serves as an introduction, he reflects on some of the key issues of this book.