Category Archives: History

The bombing of Laos: Obama and an American War Crime

The Ho Chi Minh Trail America became a full partner in the Vietnamese civil war in 1963 and north Vietnam took the strategic decision to supply the south through Laos. The CIA, without congressional approval, unilaterally decided to bomb this … Continue reading

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Italian peasants in the 1920s

Iris Origo and her husband bought an estate in Val d’Orcia, which was 3500 of parched eroded acres with 25 poverty-stricken farms: In a dark airless little room they found an old man dying and a woman giving birth in … Continue reading

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Overland by Stagecoach: Wyoming, circa 1900

  Nine people squeezed inside the stagecoach. Any additional passengers sometimes travelled on the roof. Passengers remained sandwiched together for about 22 days, with only brief stops for meals and changes of stock or equipment.

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The origin of Fish and Chips in Britain

The dish of white fish, typically cod or haddock, fried in a thin coat of flour, was a favourite particularly among Sephardic Jews, who fried it on Friday nights to prepare for the Sabbath, as the Mosaic laws prohibited cooking. … Continue reading

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Tourism in a finite world: London 2018

The British invented organised tourism in the 18th century. The Grand Tour was tourism for aristocratic young men. They were supposed to expose themselves to European influences and culture before settling down. Many young aristocrats brought European architectural ideas back … Continue reading

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Book Reviews: Sellar and Yeatman 1066 and All That (1930); O’Farrell An utterly impartial history of Britain

Sellar and Yeatman invented satire on school-boy history. They mocked history books which were current at the time which mostly created the myth that the British were naturally superior to all other countries. They developed the phrase ‘a good thing’ … Continue reading

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Film Review: Hostiles (Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike)

Captain Blocker (Bale) is a hugely conflicted soldier in the Old West. His colonel orders him to return a native Indian chief to Montana. He’s taunted by a journalist about his reputation for brutal treatment. Blocker then uses the Nazi … Continue reading

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