Category Archives: History

Capital Punishment as Entertainment in England, 1649-1868

The King’s head was held up to the crowd. The spectators, some who had watched in approval and some in dismay, were quickly dispersed by officials, but a few sought grisly souvenirs of the event rushing forward to dip their … Continue reading

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Stalin’s Catch 22: the starvation of the Ukraine 1932-3

“Stalin never wrote down, or never preserved, any document ordering famine. But in practice [he] forced Ukrainian peasants to make a fatal choice. They could give up their grain reserves and die of starvation, or they could keep some grain … Continue reading

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Conservation: Is it worth it?

A confident nation builds so that future people may look back and marvel at their ancestors ingenuity and aesthetic vision. A nation in decline looks to the past in a vain attempt to “preserve” what was once great. Preservation is … Continue reading

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The price of naivety: Verdun 1916

The Bismarckian precept that two-front wars are disastrous shaped his foreign policy. He created a gigantic balance-of-power, which kept European peace from the formation of Germany in 1871 until 1914. Needless to relate 43 years of peace wasn’t a blessing … Continue reading

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Et tu, Brute?

“As he fell, Caesar cried out in Greek to Brutus, ‘You too, child’, which was either a threat (I’ll get you, boy!) or a poignant regret for the disloyalty of a young friend (You too, my child?), or even, as … Continue reading

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The Governor of the Bank of England and the Nazis in 1934

Monty* says that Hitler and Schacht** are the bulwarks of civilization in Germany and the only friends we have. *Montagu Norman, Governor of the Bank of England **Hjalmar Schacht, President of the Reichsbank (He was found not guilty of crimes … Continue reading

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Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Great Compromise 1962-3

  The 1958 installation of missiles in Italy and Turkey provided compelling evidence, for the Soviets, of the USA’s malign intentions. Khrushchev resolved to remove the American missile threat to the USSR’s existence. The Cuban Revolution in 1959 provided an … Continue reading

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