Saturday, 24 September 2011

A Senseless and Squalid War - Norman Rose LSE

Looking at the history of the Jews in the twentieth century it isn't hard to be sympathetic to them. Looking at the history of the Palestinians, it isn't hard to be sympathetic to them either.  But there was another people involved in the creation of the state of Israel in the forties who don't get talked about nearly so much.  The British Empire always regarded the Suez canal as of key strategic importance.  With the collapse of the empire, what would that mean for their policy to Palestine?  

Norman Rose examines that question in this lecture and finds that their motives were far from clear even to themselves.

Norman Rose Chair of International Relations at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem is the author of  A Senseless Squalid War': Voices from Palestine 1945-1948.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Was the British Empire a Force for Good? - Intelligence Squared Debate

The star of the show is undoubtedly Niall Ferguson who has the numbers up his sleeve and a an answer for every objection.   But there are some splendid cases made by some very eloquent speakers.  Personally, I am hopeless.  I found myself agreeing with whoever happened to be speaking at the time.  I suppose some of us are just natural followers.  But an entertaining and very educational listen, though probably more interesting for us Brits.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Queen Victoria Part 1 - The History Chicks

If you like your history with a human touch this is the history podcast for you.  Queen Victoria is someone everyone has some idea about, but this is a great description of what her life was really like.  Be warmed, the HC girls are usually amusing but the description of the wedding of Victoria and Albert is absolutely hilarious.  Do not make the mistake I made of listening to it with hot coffee in your mouth.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

This Week's Most Viewed Podcast Reviews

I've been out of action for a few days so this is a bit late, but here are the current most viewed podcast reviews.  It is a bit of a clean sweep for Ray Harris Junior this week.  And his some time collaborator Laslow Montgomery is up there too.  Only History Books Review breaks into the top five as well.

23 Jun 2011, 2 comments
14 Pageviews

Friday, 16 September 2011

Heretics - History Books Review Colin Sanders

Christianity conquered the late Roman Empire under Constantine.  But which version of Christianity would prevail?  This podcast is basically one prolonged punch up between the factions.  By the end of it Colin sounds tired and upset.  I get the feeling he didn't enjoy researching this one much.  But it does make for good listening.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

When Christ and his Saints Slept - History of England David Crowther

Despite the name, this episode is a lot about explaining why the anarchy of the reign of Stephen wasn't as bad as it is often portrayed.

If you like the kings, dates and battles approach to history this series is the one for you.  Personally I like a mixture of the narrative and the social so I could live with a bit more about ordinary people's lives.  But this is a good explanation of the complex dynastic goings on of the time which is well worth a listen to get the KD&B side straight. If you really aren't interested in who did what when you might want to give it a skip because that is pretty much all this particular episode delivers.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Afgansty - New Books in History Rodric Braithwaite

Rodric Braithwaite in a former generation would quite likely have been running a colony in the British Empire somewhere.  But without an empire to run, the British have finally got around to learning to cook and to writing a few books.  This one sounds like a very interesting inside story on the Russian involvement in Afghanistan in the early eighties.  There are obvious parallels and lessons for today, but those are for other countries than Britain.