Archive for the ‘History’ Category


A review of a book on the Sri Lankan civil war

May 21st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

“This Divided Island” by Samantha Subramanian (2014) I read this book about the Sri Lankan civil war before and during a two-week trip to the island in which I ensured that I visited the Tamil part of the country as well as the more general areas populated by the majority Sinhalese. It is an unconventional […]

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I join the start of the Russian Revolution – well, at least the exhibition

April 27th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

As a blogger, I was invited to this morning’s media preview at the British Library of the new exhibition “Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths” which opens to to the general public tomorrow and runs until 29 August. We were shown around the exhibition by the curators Katya Rogatchevshaia and Susan Reed. This fascinating exhibition tells […]

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Did you know about the mass rape of Italian women by Allied troops in the Second World War?

April 20th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I’ve been reading the novel “Where My Heart Used To Beat” by Sebastian Faulks. Part of the novel is set in southern Italy in the last years of World War Two and reference is made to an incident of which I had previously been totally unaware. Apparently it has been given the term ‘Marocchinate’. ‘Marocchinate’ […]

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A short history of the Easter egg

April 5th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

In the midst of the ridiculous row over whether the National Trust’s “Great British Egg Hunt” has neglected the religious significance of Easter, in this article the “Guardian” newspaper offers a potted history of the Easter egg as follows: “Eggs at Easter are thought to have their origins in pagan rather Christian traditions. Now the consumption […]

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The Experiment: Georgia’s Forgotten Revolution 1918-1921

February 23rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Yesterday evening, I was at the Georgian Embassy in London to hear a fascinating talk by my good friend Eric Lee. The subject of the address was the content of a book which he has written and will be published by Zed Books in September 2017. He told us about a particular period in a […]

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Holocaust Memorial Day – and why we have to keep denying the deniers

January 27th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Here in the UK, it is Holocaust Memorial Day as we remember the six million Jews and other persecuted groups who died in the Nazi concentration camps and killing fields in Europe during the Second World War. Today also sees the release of the new film “Denial” about the 1996 court case in London when […]

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Who was Fidel Castro? – my review of what was essentially his memoir

November 26th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

When I heard of the death of Fidel Castro, I was reminded of when I read a 700 page book summarising a long series of interviews with the revolutionary leader. The book was called “My Life” and it was written by Ignacio Ramonet. You can read my review of the work here.

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The story of William Morgan, the “American comandante” who fought with Fidel Castro

November 26th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

This morning, I heard the news of the death of Fidel Castro and the American friends with whom I am staying outside Washington DC told me about a feature of the Cuban war of independence and its aftermath that was totally new to me. I learned that there was an “American comandante” called William Morgan […]

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Thanksgiving in the USA (5)

November 23rd, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Everyone knows that the American Civil War was a key period of US history that arguably still has resonances today and many Americans – including Mike – are fascinated by the personalities and engagements that made up that titantic struggle. Most non-Americans though would struggle to identify more than one of the civil war battles […]

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The 100th anniversary of the birth of Karel Kuttelwascher, the RAF’s greatest night intruder pilot

September 23rd, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of my wife’s father, a Czech pilot with the wartime RAF whose story I wrote in the book “Night Hawk” published by William Kimber in 1985 and to be reprinted by Fonthill Media in 2017. Flight Lieutenant Karel Kuttelwascher, DFC and BarKarel Kuttelwascher – or Kut as […]

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