One hundred years ago today, on April 6th 1917, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve Woodrow Wilson’s call for a declaration of war against Germany to “make the world safe for democracy”. Although the United States was only directly involved in the First World War for a period of nineteen months, from 6 … More The USA and World War I
Writing a preview of the Cheltenham Literature Festival, I suggested all History students should read literature. I was reminded of this today when I read the (belated – he died in June) obituary of Michael Herr in The Guardian. Herr’s book, Dispatches (1977), was one of the most powerful pieces of writing dealing with the … More Literature, History, and the Vietnam War
On the face of it this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival does not offer a great deal of interest to the student of history. Yes, there are sessions on Rethinking the Somme, the Great War, Cheltenham in the Great War, and on shellshock, with contributions from Lyn MacDonald, Hugh Sebag-Montefiore, Allan Mallinson, and Taylor Dowling, plus … More History at the Cheltenham Literature Festival 2016
Having just been to see Race, the (rather boring, I have to say) bio-pic about the great African American athlete, Jesse Owens, I found myself thinking about people like Owens, and Joe Louis, and contrasting them with Muhammad Ali. How many people recall Owens and his achievements at the 1936 Olympics – four golds, three … More The Man – or his Times?
This Friday will witness the funeral of Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer in history and a figure whose importance transcended sport. Hundreds will attend his funeral and many thousands more around the world will mourn his passing because Ali was internationally loved. He was one of my heroes. Thousands of words have been written about … More The Passing of a Hero