Archive for the ‘History’ Category


A review of the new film “The Trial Of The Chicago 7”

November 11th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The late 1960s was a terrible time in the United States with race riots and anti-war demonstrations. The film “Detroit” powerfully depicted the outcome of a riot in that city in 1967 and this movie looks at the aftermath of a demonstration in Chicago in 1968. Eight activists – one was severed from the case […]

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A review of “China’s War With Japan 1937-1945” by Rana Mitter

November 5th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The Second World War is generally thought to be clearly delineated as taking place from 1939-1945, although the two major allied nations – the Soviet Union and the United States – did not enter the conflict until 1941. For China, though, the Second World War can be seen as a major period in a wider […]

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Ever heard of the rape of Nanjing?

October 20th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

In 1931, Japan occupied a whole swath of north-east China called Manchuria. Then, in 1937, the Japanese moved to occupy as much as possible of the more-populated parts of China. At this time, the capital of China was Nanjing and, over six weeks from mid December 1937 to mid January 1938, Japanese troops occupied the […]

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Which countries suffered the greatest death tolls in the Second World War?

October 8th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

World War Two was the deadliest conflict in history. An estimated 70-85 million people perished. But some countries suffered very much more than others. Precise figures are impossible to determine and new research has revised some previous estimates. For the purpose of this blog posting, I am going to use figures from the Wikipedia page […]

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A review of “The Eight Hundred”, a controversial film on the battle for Shanghai in 1937

October 6th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

For more than seven decades, the American, British and Russian film industries have given us one war movie after another representing the successes of their nations in the Second World War. Now that the Chinese film sector is such a powerhouse, it is understandable that it would want to get in on the act. The […]

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“Presidents & Prime Ministers: What Makes Great Leaders In Times Of Crisis?”

September 16th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

This was the title of a talk given this week by Mark Malcolmson, Principal of the City Literary Institute in London, which I was able to attend online. Mark structured his address around three principles of leadership. Having a clear sense of what is right He cited as examples of this Gerald Ford’s pardoning of […]

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What did you do in the coronavirus lockdown, granddad? Well, one of the things I did was deliver over 30 online history lessons.

July 22nd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

When the country was suddenly plunged into lockdown and schools had to close their doors to most of their students, I was asked if I would help out with my nine year old granddaughter by doing an online history lesson with her once a week. When a young friend heard about this, she asked if […]

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Should Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia be a church, a mosque or a museum?

July 11th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

There are some locations which are so special that, although they are in a particular country, the world is concerned about them. Examples which I might suggest would include Stonehenge in Britain, St Mark’s Square in Italy, Auschwitz in Poland, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Giza pyramids in Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, Uluru […]

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The world understands so little of the history of Persia and Iran

July 7th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I’ve very much enjoyed watching the three-part BBC Four documentary series “Art Of Persia” presented by Samira Ahmed. I learned so much. For instance, I knew nothing about the lost city of Merv where an estimated 700,000 were slaughted. However, I do know something about the history of Persia/Iran from my reading of a couple […]

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A review of a 2001 biography of Winston Churchill by Roy Jenkins

June 9th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

In a public poll organised by the BBC in 2002, which generated more than one and a half million votes, Sir Winston Chuchill (1874-1965) was voted the greatest Briton ever. Certainly he was a remarkable man with some outstanding accomplishments, but he was a complex and controversial character. The son of a British Lord and […]

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