There have been two previous histories of the Union by ex-Presidents:
- Sir Percy Cradock’s Recollections of the Cambridge Union, 1815-1939 (Cambridge: Bowes & Bowes, 1953); and
- Prof. Ged Martin’s The Cambridge Union and Ireland, 1815-1914 (Edinburgh: Ann Barry, 2000).
In addition, a number of nineteenth-century volumes covering the early part of the Union’s history are now available in digital form:
- The Cambridge Union Society: Inaugural Proceedings (London and Cambridge: Macmillan and Co., 1866);
- Demosthenes Demobilised: a record of Cambridge Union Society debates, February, 1919 – June, 1920 (Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons, Ltd., 1920).
The latter includes a preface by Sir Austen Chamberlain (Vice-President, Lent 1885) and an introduction by Dr. J.R. Tanner (President, Easter 1883), who also wrote a short pamphlet to mark the Union’s centenary in 1915.
The Union has recently started to upload digital recordings of its debates to archive.org; a few much older recordings – such as this debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, Jr. on the motion ‘The American Dream is at the expense of the American Negro’ (Michaelmas 1965) – are also available online.
If you can’t wait to buy my book (hint…), and want to read more of my writing on the Union, you could take a glance at:
- ‘Emma and the Cambridge Union’, Emmanuel College Magazine, vol. LXXXVI (2003-4), pp.98-100; or
- ‘Debating and the Union Society’ in Peter Pagnamenta (ed.), The University of Cambridge: An 800th Anniversary Portrait (London: Third Millennium Ltd., 2008), pp.190-4.