Category Archives: War

Book Review: Short Notices

Robert Dallek ~ Franklin D Roosevelt: a political life (2016) The title says everything you need to know about Roosevelt. Everything that he did was filtered through a meticulous political calculation. Sometimes the outcome was gruesome and unconscionable such as … Continue reading

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Book Review: Norman Mailer ~ The Naked and the Dead (1949)

How do you review a masterpiece? This is a work of staggering genius and, if possible, was better for a 50 year gap between readings. Obviously I bookmarked sections in preparation for this review, which is very easy in Kindle … Continue reading

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Karl Marx as a journalist

The ethos of the [Russian Crimean] army was dominated by the eighteenth-century parade-ground culture of the tsarist court, in which promotion, to quote Karl Marx, was limited to ‘martinets, whose principal merit consists of stolid obedience and ready servility added … Continue reading

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A J P Taylor on the Nuremberg Trials

Twenty years ago [1963] I published a book about the origins of the Second World War. At the time it was dismissed as wrong-headed and controversial. Now it has become the accepted version for most people. But there still lurks … Continue reading

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Book Review: P J O’Rourke ~ Holidays in Hell (1988)

Satire notoriously ages badly. So much of it depends on the readers knowledge of the setting and personality of what is being satirised. Once the moment is gone so has the point of the humour. Consider the cartoon below. It … Continue reading

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Soldier Soldier

Great Granddad, soldier of the Dragoon Guards Impeccably immaculate, imperial in his uniform Young resolute, his features sit square He looks every bit, the soldier there. What was he thinking, as the photograph was snapped His portrait for posterity, generations … Continue reading

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The Birth of Northern Ireland, 1921

Ireland’s unique colony-plus status was established in 1801 as a response to the 1798 rebellion. Conflicts during the 19th and early 20th century led to the successful Irish War of Independence, which culminated in the 1921 peace treaty. Northern Ireland … Continue reading

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Hitler’s nightmare: Henry Morganthau’s plan

Henry Morgenthau was Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Treasury from 1934. To Hitler he epitomised ‘World Jewry’. He was Jewish Wall Street royalty, a close friend and colleague of Roosevelt. He rescued the US economy by ‘Keynesian’ financing of the New … Continue reading

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Book Review: John Lanchester ~ The Wall (2019)

Lanchester builds on the absurdity of Trump’s impenetrable wall to prevent immigration. He conceives of a wall around the British Isles. Naturally a wall isn’t enough. It must be defended, as all walls must be, which consumes enormous manpower. That … Continue reading

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Why Stalin thought El Alamein was a Sideshow

“Churchill sent a telegram to Stalin on 7th July [1941] promising every possible help…”* Churchill wrote the script of British understanding of the Second World War. One result of this is that the Soviet Union’s gigantic battles are virtually unknown. … Continue reading

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