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’”

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”

Putting dictators to shame

One key aspect of British imperial nostalgia is the argument that most former colonies from the 1950s onwards were mired in corruption. Whilst countries like Kenya and Uganda saw wealth from natural resources and loans from western banks syphoned off into the accounts of presidents and generals, the purpose of this article isn’t to offerContinue reading “Putting dictators to shame”

The Eighth Airforce Over Germany: In Conversation with David Dean Barrett

Last year, David came on the Explaining History Podcast to discuss the last days of the Pacific War and the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Tonight, David was kind enough to return to the show to share his expertise with me on the American air war over Europe. We discussedContinue reading “The Eighth Airforce Over Germany: In Conversation with David Dean Barrett”

Conspiracy theories old and new

One of the defining features of American political discourse in the 21st Century is the almost unstoppable rise of political lying. Throughout the Obama presidency an ecosystem of right wing think tanks, commentators and of course Fox News has propagated everything from willful distortions of events and selective readings of policy to outright fabrication. DonaldContinue reading “Conspiracy theories old and new”

The concentration of media ownership in Britain and the resulting corruption of British politics.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing journalist Mic Wright, whose newsletter Conquest of the Useless critiques the British media landscape. We explored the accumulation of media power by a tiny coterie of oligarchs and the broken state of British politics.