British Labour History 1880-1914

Hi everyone, it’s been a while since my last post as I’m working on a new textbook on Chinese history, but here’s just one of the many video’s I’ll post on the next few days by way of compensation. It’s a recording on a very volatile period in British labour history in the three decades before World War One.

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Holocaust Day at Pencoed Comprehensive School

Here is a roundup of what I was talking about yesterday at Pencoed Comprehensive.



Here is a link to a podcast I recorded on Rudolf Hoess some time ago, it explains the moral problems surrounding his testimony and the book Commandant of Auschwitz)

(Below is Hoess’s house as seen from Auschwitz One).

Eichmann and Arendt

Here is another recording on the Wannsee Conference

Here is an article by the historian Tony Judt on Hannah Arendt and the ‘problem of evil’


A great place to start reading about the role of bystanders during the Holocaust is in the chapter German Moralities in Richard J Evans Third Reich At War.

And here is a narration of the book The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi


One final thing: Here a resources page for my website containing lots of materials on Nazi Germany (you need to scroll down a bit!).

Here too is an essay I wrote recently on new thinking in the Holocaust 

The origins of Mao’s Cultural Revolution

UnknownIn 1966, Mao staged a return to public life and attempted to wrest back control of the Chinese Communist Party following the disaster of the Great Leap Forward. He had been a marginal figure for four years since 1962, and in the mean time more pragmatic and less ideological figures such as Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping had steered party policy. Mao would appeal directly to China’s youth, a generation who had grown up after the revolution. He would direct the energies of young people against the establishment within the party, denouncing them as ‘rightists’. This was partly the result of Mao’s belief in bringing about ideological purity through a state of permanent ongoing revolution, but in large part it was his finala bid for power following widespread criticism.

The Nazi-Soviet Pact

In August 1939 the Nazi Soviet Pact shocked the world. Two dictators and sworn enemies, who were under no illusions about future conflict with each other signed a non aggression pact and trade deal. It contained a secret clause about the division and occupation of Poland, a state which neither viewed as legitimate and Stalin viewed as an existential threat. Here’s a short video on the agreement and its consequences.

MacArthur and Japan

By 1946 General Douglas MacArthur was installed as America’s imperial viceroy in Tokyo, with more power over the Japanese than any US president before or since has had over the American people. His tenure in Japan led to a revolution in the practices of government and the development of a modern constitutional monarchy. He was careful not to threaten the position of Emperor Hirohito, despite clear evidence of his guilt in war crimes across Asia.

The Fall of Budapest

The horrors of the fall of Berlin in April and May 1945 have been depicted in films and documentaries such as Oliver Hirschbeigel’s Downfall (2004). That Hitler spent his final days in a bunker and died by his own hand are facts th95nfpyat are widely understood and the mental image of a besieged and dying regime holding out ’til the end occupy a place in our darkest imaginings. The fate of Budapest in the same year is far less well known, but in many ways the two cities were in
timately connected in the horror of the war and the onslaught of the Red Army. Hitler ominously stated that Budapest, capital of his erstwhile ally Hungary, sould hold out and be devastated by the Red Army in order to buy Berlin time to prepare for the Nazi Regime’s last stand. Here’s a recent video I’ve created on the fate of Budapest:

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