Peter Watson (born 1943) is an intellectual historian and former journalist, now perhaps best known for his work in the history of ideas.
He was educated at the universities of Durham, London, and Rome. Watson was deputy editor of New Society, and was for four years a member of the Insight team at The Sunday Times. He was New York correspondent of The Times and has written for The Observer, Punch, The Spectator and The New York Times. His journalistic work has included detailed investigation of auction houses and the international market in stolen antiquities, which has resulted in books and TV documentaries.
In June 1997 Watson became a research associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at Cambridge. He has published thirteen books, including The German Genius, published by Simon & Schuster in 2010.
- Watson, Peter (2014). The Age of Atheists: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1476754314.
- Watson, Peter (2012). The Great Divide: Nature and Human Nature in the Old World and the New. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780061672453.
- Watson, Peter (2010). The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century. New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-076023-0.
- Watson, Peter; Cecilia Todeschini (2007). The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities—From Italy's Tomb Raiders to the World's Greatest Museums. Jackson, TN: PublicAffairs/Perseus Books. ISBN 1-58648-438-9.
- Watson, Peter (2005). Ideas: a History, from Fire to Freud. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
- Watson, Peter (2006). Ideas: a History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud. New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-093564-2.
- Watson, Peter (2009). Ideas: a History, from Fire to Freud. 2 vols, London: The Folio Society.
- Watson, Peter (2005). Landscape of Lies (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries). New York: Felony & Mayhem Press. ISBN 1-933397-18-7.
- Watson, Peter (2000). A Terrible Beauty: the People and Ideas that Shaped the Modern Mind. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
- Watson, Peter (2001). The Modern Mind: An Intellectual History of the 20th Century. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-008438-3.
- Watson, Peter (2009). Ideas: a History from Wittgenstein to the World Wide Web. 2 vols, London: The Folio Society.
- Watson, Peter (1998). Sotheby's: The Inside Story. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-41403-7.
- Watson, Peter (1989). Wisdom and Strength, the Biography of a Renaissance Masterpiece. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-09-174637-X.
- Watson, Peter (1984). The Caravaggio Conspiracy. New York: Penguin/Doubleday. ISBN 0-14-007635-2.
- Watson, Peter (1978). War on the Mind: the Military Uses and Abuses of Psychology. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-09065-6.