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”
Here, in a nutshell, is why is set up this blog, podcast and YouTube Channel. I think.
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”
This is a video I recorded earlier today, focusing on the memory of the Holocaust in Europe and America. I’ve already done quite a lot on debates surrounding the origins of the Holocaust so this is more focused on the contested memory of the final solution:
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”
In 1922 the Institute for Social Research was established in Frankfurt, bringing together many of the more disparate strands of leftist thinking in Europe in the aftermath of the First World War. Here’s a video on a small part of the institution’s vast impact on 20th Century thought.
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 development of suburbia affected, both positively and negatively, it should beContinue reading “Suburbia and Segregation”
One of the problems with the teaching of GCSE history is the tendency for narrative to insert itself into specific modules. This is perhaps unavoidable as history has been passed on as story for tens of thousands of years and taught as an intellectual discipline for a little over 200. It is important to beContinue reading “Teaching Happy Endings”
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”
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”