Hester Vaizey studied for her BA, M Phil and PhD at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. She then took up a Hanseatic Scholarship from Oxford University. Following this she began teaching at Clare College, where she is currently a College Lecturer and the Admissions Tutor for the Arts.
Her book Surviving Hitler's War (Palgrave, 2010) examines how the family relationships of Germans were affected by separation and reunion during and after the Second World War. Using first-hand accounts from letters and diaries, it captures the experiences of ordinary Germans in wartime. Surviving Hitler's War won the Fraenkel Prize for Contemporary History in 2009.
Hester has also edited a collection of government propaganda posters from the postwar era, which shows how the British government sought to influence everything from the jobs people did to what they ate and drank, how they saved their money and behaved on the road. This collection is called Keep Britain Tidy and other posters from the Nanny State.
Her new book, Born in the GDR, Living in the Shadow of the Wall, tells the stories of eight East Germans who went from living under communism one minute to capitalism the next after the Berlin Wall fell.
Hester has written for the books pages of the Financial Times, the Guardian, History Today, the Independent, the Spectator and the THES. She has also done research for the Financial Times, the Guardian and the Commission for Looted Art in Europe. She lives in London with her husband.