Getting Churchill wrong. Britain’s obsession with its ‘Greatest Briton’

In 2002, the British public decided by a considerable margin, in a BBC poll, that Sir Winston Spencer Leonard Churchill, Prime Minister from 1940-45 was the greatest Briton of all time. This, culturally, was a watershed moment in many ways. Firstly, it was the culmination of a war fetishism that had been developing for decadesContinue reading “Getting Churchill wrong. Britain’s obsession with its ‘Greatest Briton’”

Neville Chamberlain’s world view, 1937

British Prime Ministers in the 1920s and 1930s inherited a world created for them by David Lloyd George between 1919 and 1923, and were unable to cope with its challenges, complexities and risks. In the case of Stanley Baldwin, who ruled for most of the period as leader of a Conservative or National Government, theContinue reading “Neville Chamberlain’s world view, 1937”

Stalin and HG Wells

Here is another article from the archives, one that I enjoyed writing some years ago on my teaching blog: Ok, so this might be useful for teachers of modern Britain (1930s) and teachers of Soviet Russia. In the early 1930s the USSR had a complex relationship with western intellectuals, it has been described by historianContinue reading “Stalin and HG Wells”

The intellectual origins of Neoliberalism

This article was originally posted on the Explaining History Patreon in April. Neoliberalism is a term so over used as it is fast approaching redundancy. Marxists like David Harvey see it as a tool for class retrenchment and the erasing of the modest social democratic gains seen during the post war era in much ofContinue reading “The intellectual origins of Neoliberalism”

American Liberalism’s Rightward Shift

From 1932 to 1952 the Republican Party was unable to win a presidential election in the United States of America. The economic model that they had championed for much of the 1920s and which had only been partially abandoned by Herbert Hoover in 1931-32 was ditched far too late and was replaced firstly by Roosevelt’sContinue reading “American Liberalism’s Rightward Shift”

The bombing of Rotterdam

After the swift capitulation of Denmark and Norway, it was assumed by the Wehrmacht that the low countries would be easy to defeat. Whilst Belgium and the Netherlands stood no chance of victory in the long run, the Dutch Army showed surprising resiliance against the German invaders and fought tenaciously. It was this resistance thatContinue reading “The bombing of Rotterdam”

Lebensraum, Genocide and Nazi Racial Colonial Utopianism

Hitler, a cautious dictator for the first couple of years of his rule, had become reckless by 1941, and had gambled everything on a swift victory in the USSR. If Stalin’s regime could be crushed and thirty million Russians starved to death as a result, then there would be enough living space for Aryan GermanContinue reading “Lebensraum, Genocide and Nazi Racial Colonial Utopianism”