Monthly Archives: November 2020

Book Review: Kyril Bonfiglioli ~ Mortdecai (1973)

Kyril is heavily influenced by P G Wodehouse, which doesn’t mean that this novel is anything The Master would have written. But influenced yes. And so already in positive territory. His man Jeeves is a thug ready and willing to … Continue reading

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Making a getaway

Two burglars were robbing a Beverly Hills apartment when they heard the police outside. “Quick! Jump out of the window.” “But we’re on the 13th floor.” protested the other burglar. “This is no time to be superstitious!”

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Winston Churchill cedes British Sovereignty to the USA

Churchill ceded British sovereignty on 24th December, 1943 to the USA. Command of Britain’s armed forces became the responsibility of Dwight D. Eisenhower: after this date British generals reported to him. Churchill made his unique decision because Britain was incapable … Continue reading

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Edward R Murrow ‘Orchestrated Hell’

A YouTube audio clip of an iconic broadcast from the American journalist Edward R Murrow. It’s difficult to overstate his importance in shaping American opinion during the Second World War. His broadcasts are possibly the greatest radio journalism of all … Continue reading

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Competitive loungers

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F D Roosevelt and social class at Harvard 1900

Among the principal attractions of Harvard for these privileged students was the university’s commitment to segregating them from aspiring middle-class boys. The Groton graduates ate all their meals together and socialized only with one another or with alumni of elite … Continue reading

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A KGB agent visits a library

“What are you reading, old man?” He asks. “I’m learning Hebrew, comrade,” replies the old Jew. “Why are you learning Hebrew? You know it takes years to get a permission to travel to Israel? You will die before you get … Continue reading

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The Importance of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-5

Emperor Meiji began a modernisation programme of Japan’s armed forces from 1868 onwards by partnering with Britain and Germany. Naval officers were sent to Britain and army officers to Germany. These officers imbibed the military culture of their hosts. Equipment … Continue reading

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The great Groucho Marx

“Remember you’re fighting for this woman’s honour, which is probably more than she ever did.” Groucho Marx as Rufus T Firefly – Duck Soup (1933)

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Book Review: Gitta Sereny ~ Albert Speer: His battle with the truth (1995)

Anyone familiar with the history of Nazi Germany will know Speer was a senior member of Hitler’s entourage and therefore find the title surprising. The ‘Truth’ Gitta highlights is whether or not Speer knew about the Holocaust. It hardly seems … Continue reading

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