He was Professor of Modern History, and later History, at the University of Bristol from 1970 until his retirement when he became Visiting Professor at the University of East Anglia. In the 1980s he was a controversial columnist for The Times and The Sun newspapers for four years, until students from the University of Bristol disrupted some of his lectures at his university and forced him to take two terms unpaid leave, but he continued his journalism and has also written for many other publications, including book reviews and articles for New Society, The New Statesman, the Listener, The Spectator, The London Review of Books, the Observer, the Sunday Times, and the Guardian. In 1995 Oxford University Press refused at the last minute to publish a book on history by Vincent, having commissioned and overseen much of its writing.
In his book on historiography, An Intelligent Person"s Guide to History, Vincent notes that if we went solely by the documentary standards most prized by modern historians nothing would be more historically certain than that there were witches in the Middle Ages, given that we have a large volume of solemnly sworn testimony in original documents.
(John Vincent Palozzi tells a few stories about himself an...)