Peter calls himself a historian of ideas, a practically universal subject since ideas are present everywhere. His first research was on high politics in Victorian Britain (Gladstone and Disraeli), but he thought (and still thinks) the best clue to understanding them lay in the basic ideas of the political class. His current research commitments focus on Max Weber and the history of historical writing from the Renaissance to the present day. The attraction of both fields lies in their combination of breadth and depth. One of Weber’s most important lines was that specialization is absolutely necessary to academic work, but it is not enough, and we must rise above it. Being a nerd or geek is not the same as being educated.