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History, music, cooking, travel, books, theatre, film - but also with an eye on the 'culture wars', nationalism and identity.

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Topic: History
Year: 2020
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Tear Down the Tyrants, Reappraise the Past

, 8 June 2020
As the Black Lives Matter movement removes a symbol of slavery and Empire from the heart of Bristol, Otto English explains why misplaced reverence for these relics of a shameful past has had its time

Postcards from the Red Wall: Victory Celebrations for a Nation at War with Itself

, 19 May 2020
Graham Williamson reports on how the COVID-19 phase of the culture wars in Middlesborough are an endless re-run of the 1940s

Britain's Chernobyl: COVID-19 and the Cost of Lies

, 15 May 2020
Hardeep Matharu finds echoes of the nuclear explosion that helped end the Soviet Union and the UK's response to COVID-19, which has resulted in one of the highest Coronavirus death rates in the world.

VE DAY COMMEMORATION: Shots in the Dark - A Night in Umbria

, 5 May 2020
As Britain prepares to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe, Otto English cuts through the myths with his father's first-hand account of war.

THE UPSIDE DOWN: Keep Clean and Carry On

, 4 May 2020
John Mitchinson explores how pandemics can have odd and unexpected consequences and ponders what the new 'normal' will be post-COVID-19

Social Distancing With Scarlet Fever: COVID-19 Brings Back Memories of my Mother’s Childhood Isolation in a Fever Hospital

, 3 April 2020
Stephen Colegrave gains new insight into his mother's diaries about her time in isolation with Scarlet fever during her wartime evacuation in Scotland.

The UPSIDE DOWN: This Too Shall Pass – What Defoe’s Plague Journal Can Still Teach Us

, 30 March 2020
As the Coronavirus pandemic changes all of our lives, John Mitchinson reflects on how the observations of humanity revealed in such moments of crisis transcend time and place.

THE UPSIDE DOWN: Raising Hell – The Long Afterlife of William Blake

, 16 March 2020
John Mitchinson explores the lasting resonance of the works of the English poet and artist who attracted little acclaim during his lifetime.

THE UPSIDE DOWN: The Lie of the Land – We Need to Talk about the Enclosures

, 9 March 2020
John Mitchinson considers the economic and psychic dangers of land appropriation.

From Sunderland to the Bullingdon Club: Englishness Unravelled

, 26 February 2020
Unsatisfied with George Orwell's description of patriotism, John Mitchinson digs deep into his own personal history to untangle the complex roots of his Englishness.

THE UPSIDE DOWN: Reasons to be Cheerful

, 24 February 2020
John Mitchinson sets out why the Greek philosopher Epicurus' legacy has been claimed by hedonism but actually represents the opposite and is so relevant for our anxious times.

EXCLUSIVE History and the Cult of Victory: The Kremlin’s Revisionist "Soft Power"

, 20 February 2020
As Putin rewrites the past in order to control the future, Kseniya Kirillova reveals what it tells us about Russia’s strategic goals.

Eugenics was Behind Some of the Policy Disasters of the 20th Century

, 20 February 2020
Samir Jeraj considers the role British elites gave to eugenics as a deeply flawed method of providing the nation with a healthy stock of soldiers.

THE UPSIDE DOWN: Mongrel Tongue – Is English Really So Special?

, 17 February 2020
John Mitchinson on why we should celebrate the success of the flexibility of the English language which enables its richness.

Eugenics and the Intellectuals

, 17 February 2020
Stephen Unwin explores how some of the most civilised and intelligent thinkers have supported one of the most dark and barbaric philosophies in modern history.

The Day I Discovered My Ancestor was a Slave Owner

, 11 February 2020

Fear – the Most Infectious Contagion

, 10 February 2020

GOLD DUST WOMAN: The Story of Sybilla von Anhalt

, 28 January 2020

'1917' Review: Tales my Grandfather Never Told Me

, 22 January 2020

The Fires of Bamberg are Still Burning

, 16 January 2020
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