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Professor John Pollard Litt.D., F.R.Hist.S.

Emeritus Fellow, Trinity Hall

Trinity Hall
Cambridge CB2 1TJ


The Papacy in the Age of Totalitarianism, 1914-1958, OUP, 2014

Departments and Institutes

Trinity Hall:

Research Interests

History of Italy and the Papacy (especially its diplomacy and finances) in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, fascist and neo-fascist movements (particularly the ideology of present-day neo-Nazism), and political and social Catholicism.

Current British Academy-funded research project, ' A Transnational history of skinhead fascism'.


















































Research Supervision

Currently supervising PhD thesis on the post First World War Italian letteratura di Guerra 


John Pollard supervises on Part I, Paper 18, Europe since 1890. He also supervises MPhil and PhD students.

Other Professional Activities

Emeritus Professor of Modern European History, Anglia Ruskin University

Member of the Research Board of the John XXIII Foundation for the Religious Sciences, Bologna, Italy.

Frequently broadcasts on BBC News Channel, World Service, local radio, and also foreign tv and radio stations on Vatican matters.


  • International History
  • Global History

Key Publications


  • The Vatican and Italian Fascism, 1929-1932: A Study in Conflict, CUP, 1985
  • Papal Diplomacy in the Modern Age, edited with Peter Kent, Praeger, 1994
  • The Fascist Experience in Italy, Routledge, 1998
  • The Unknown Pope: Benedict XV(1914-1922) and the Pursuit of Peace, Geoffrey Chapman, 1999(published by Edizioni S. Paolo, 2001, as Il Papa Sconosciuto)
  • Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy: Financing the Vatican, 1850-1950, CUP, 2004(published by Corbaccio, Milan, 2006, as L'Obolo di Pietro: Le finanze del papato moderno, 1850-1950 and by Merlusina, Barcelona, 2007, as El Vaticano y sus banqueros
  • Catholicism in Modern Italy: Religion, Society and Politics since 1861, Routledge, 2008
  • 'Fascism and Catholicism', in R.J.B. Bosworth(ed.), The Handbook of Fascism, OUP, 2009 
  • 'Fascism and Religion', in A. Costa Pinto(ed.), Re-thinking the Nature of Fascism: Comparative Perspectives, Palgrave MacMillan, 2011
  • The Papacy in the Age of Totalitarianism, 1914-1958, OUP, 2014


Other Publications

'Skinhead Culture: The ideologies, mythologies, religions and conspiracy theories of racist skinheads', in Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 50, Numbers 4-5, September-December, 2016, pp. 398-419

'Corporatism and political Catholicism: the impact of Catholic corporatism in inter-war Europe', in A. Costa Pinto (ed.), Corporatism and Fascism: The Corporatist Wave in Europe, Routledge, 2017, pp. 42-59

'The Unpublished Encyclicals of the Pontificate of Pius XI, De Ecclesia Christi, 1931', in Cristianesimo nella Storia,38, 3/2017, pp. 813-825