Archive for the ‘History’ Category


Today is International Slavery Day …

August 23rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

… or, to give it the full official name, International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic trans-Atlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history. 23 August of each year […]

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Why does Iran hate Britain?

July 23rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

They blame us (and the Russians) for the Persian famine of 1917-1919 when some two million (out of a population of 10M) died. Britain and Russia occupied the country at the time. More information here. They remember that we (and the Americans) emgineered a coup in 1953. This overthrew the democratically elected government of Mohammad […]

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A review of the new documentary film “Apollo 11”

July 16th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I was 21 and a student union leader when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon and I kept the student union building open all night so that we could witness this historic occasion live – even though they were hazy pictures on a small screen. So I thoroughly enjoyed the […]

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Did you know about these air crashes?

July 13th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This week, I saw a really good play titled “Napoli, Brooklyn” which featured an air crash. Only when I went on the Net did I find that the crash really happened. If you’re an American reader of this blog, did you know about the incident? On Friday, 16 December 1960, a United AirlinesDouglas DC-8, bound for […]

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How can we summarise the history of the United States? Let me try …

May 29th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

My review of “A Little History Of The United States” by James West Davidson This is not just a short account (300 pages) but it is conveniently broken up into 40 brief chapters and the writing style is very accessible, even conversational, with an emphasis on personalities and stories rather than dates and statistics. The overall […]

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Have you ever heard of the city of Potosi?

May 13th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I am currently reading “A Little History Of The United States” by James West Davidson. In one of the very early chapters, he makes a mention of a place called Potosi located in what is now Bolivia. When the Spanish conquered Latin America, they discovered a huge deposit of silver at Potosi which inconveniently is […]

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What was the population of America before it was ‘discovered’ by Europeans?

May 9th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I am currently reading “A Little History Of The United States” by James West Davidson. At my age, I prefer to read short books so that there is a reasonable chance that I’ll finish them. Davidson explains that, when in 1492, Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ America, around 8 million Indians lived in North America. At the […]

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The night that the United States bombed a Chinese embassy

May 7th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Twenty years ago today, on 7 May 1999, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia (Operation Allied Force), five US Joint Direct Attack Munition guided bombs hit the People’s Republic of China embassy in the Belgrade district of New Belgrade, killing three Chinese reporters and outraging the Chinese public. According to the U.S. government, the intention had been to bomb the nearby Yugoslav Federal Directorate for […]

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The making of American power (4): military dictatorships in Latin America

March 16th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This week, I attended week 4 of an eight-week evening class at London”s City Literary Institute. The title is “The making of American power: US foreign policy from the Cold War to Trump” and our lecturer is Jack Gain. Week 4 of the course was about the many interventions that the US has made in Central and […]

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The making of American power (3): the war in Vietnam

March 14th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Last week, I attended week 3 of an eight-week evening class at London”s City Literary Institute. The title is “The making of American power: US foreign policy from the Cold War to Trump” and our lecturer is Jack Gain. Week 3 of the course was on the war in Vietnam. I was reminded of my […]

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