Over-teaching the Holocaust

  In 2014 I attended a forum held by No 10 Downing Street at Wembley Arena. Holocaust survivors and their families were being invited to participate in the Prime Minister’s commission for a permanent memorial for the Holocaust in Britain. Since the 1990s, successive British Prime Ministers have each attempted to out-do their predecessors inContinue reading “Over-teaching the Holocaust”

Problems with teaching about dictatorships

By the time most teachers have started delivering GCSE or A level lessons on Nazi Germany, their pupils will already have consumed hours of movies, documentaries and YouTube clips about Hitler. This, you might think, is an advantage. Rarely can a classroom teacher expect their learners to come prepared with subject knowledge so when theyContinue reading “Problems with teaching about dictatorships”

Lawrence of Arabia

In 1918, at the end of the First World War, Thomas Edward Lawrence was unknown to the vast majority of the British population. Throughout the 1920s, however, his wartime activities were popularised and he became a military celebrity that ranked alongside Horatio Nelson. Lawrence had been British intelligence in Egypt’s liaison with the Arab rebelsContinue reading “Lawrence of Arabia”

Suburbia and Segregation

When I studied American history about 27 years ago, during the late 1980s, we gave a cursory look at the development of post war suburbia. In a packed syllabus there was little time to do the topic justice. Considering the many millions of Americans the developmentĀ of suburbia affected, both positively and negatively, it should beContinue reading “Suburbia and Segregation”

The Jarrow March, 1936

By 1934, Britain appeared to have survived the worst effects of the great depression. Unemployment had begun to decline and new light industries in the south and the midlands had developed, supplying consumer goods for an affluent middle class. Britain’s economic problems were regionalised, however, and in the worst affected areas such as South WalesContinue reading “The Jarrow March, 1936”

Britain’s involvement in Vietnam 1945

From 1943 onwards, long before the outcome of Britain’s war against Japan in Asia was certain, British colonial administrators pondered about what to do with French Indochina (occupied by Japan in 1941), once the Japanese were defeated. They knew comparatively little about the colony and believed it would be best to return it to theContinue reading “Britain’s involvement in Vietnam 1945”