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Tag Archives: history

Selassie come home

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste Canongate, £16.99, pp. 428 . In 1935 the troops of Benito Mussolini’s sinister-clownish Roman Empire II invaded Ethiopia, in large part out of spite for Italy’s embarrassing defeat there 40 years before. Initially largely uncontested – thanks both to emperor Haile Selassie’s desperate faith in international brotherhood and to [...]

You want appease of me?!

The Hitler Years: Triumph 1933-1939 by Frank McDonough Head of Zeus £30 . In the early- to mid-1930s my grandmother (Irish, South African, later Australian) lived for a few years in the east of Germany, as a language assistant/housemistress in a boarding school. Her one recorded comment about Hitler’s accession to power was that he [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. There are more kilts in London than in Scotland. — The Nelson Evening Mail, Thursday, May 9 1907 . At 45% of the population, white Christians are a shrinking demographic in America. Hermal eggings are so leek. No sensitive person would choose to be the historian of the Irish asylums in the first part of the [...]

Islamic cities

Review of Justin Marozzi’s Islamic Empires: Fifteen Cities that Define a Civilization. – For Geographical

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. The Paris Louvre is in future to be guarded by watch-dogs. — The Nelson Evening Mail, Monday, July 13 1908 . The human population has almost doubled since we landed on the Moon. Genital preferences are transphobic. The third umpire will have the final say on the snatch. It is against the rules to take a [...]

Hit and miss

Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943 By Max Hastings William Collins £25 . By 1943, after nearly four years of war ‘ameliorated [only] by a thin gruel of successes,’ Britain and her western allies had little to boast in terms of their offensive victories; the lion’s share of the burden was very clearly being shouldered by [...]

Great Man history

On Andrew Roberts’ Churchill: Walking with Destiny. – For The Oldie

Intelligence review

‘For centuries before the Second World War, educated British people knew far more about intelligence operations recorded in the Bible than they did about the role of intelligence at any moment in their own history.’ Nowadays, one might think, few would even know that. But that’s where Christopher Andrew – Emeritus Professor of Modern and [...]

Monty’s trouble

A footsoldier’s review of Antony Beevor’s Arnhem: the Battle for the Bridges, 1944. – For The Oldie

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Norway has five leper hospitals, with about 600 patients. — The Nelson Evening Mail, January 24 1907 . There is an injury called ’tennis elbow of the heel’. The rocks in the Sultanate of Oman are special. Hitler only started all the Nazi bollocks because he was such a godawful painter. There is no necessary connection between [...]