What Vince and Rachel Cable have in common…

I started keeping a journal, intermittently, in 1996 – on holiday in Shetland. The first entry is a little watercolour of a beautiful – but dead – baby bird found near a beach. Twenty-five years later, there are nearly as many volumes, mostly written in haste. As writer Wendy Cope says of her poetry: “I […]

So, what is Secret History then?

What is ‘Secret History’? A good way to think about it is that Secret History sits at the crossroads where counter-factual fiction, faction, conspiracy theory and historical fiction all meet. Got it? Hmmm. Perhaps not quite. The first thing to say is that Secret History is fiction; Secret History books are novels. Clearly, they must […]

Why are we arguing again about appeasement and Munich crisis?

This post first appeared on the Aspects of History blog… Why are we arguing again about appeasement, the Munich crisis and Neville Chamberlain, UK prime minister from 1937-40? The immediate hook is the film of the Robert Harris novel, Munich: The edge of war – and its obvious agenda to rescue Chamberlain for history. You […]

New book and pamphlet by Edgar Cahn and Chris Gray

David Boyle writes: We are delighted to announce that the Real Press (based in Sussex UK) will be publishing a pamphlet and book by the legendary thinker, radical lawyer and social entrepreneurs Edgar Cahn and Chris Gray. Cahn has an extraordinary record of innovation, dating back to the 1960s, including the US National Legal Services programme, the Antioch […]

Missed opportunities – how to avoid them

Lesley Yarranton, author of Saving Munich 1945, writes… What exactly was it that melted Germany’s ‘Iron Chancellor’ into ferrous gloop this week? Political scientists probing the wet, shapeless mass puddling around their feet have barely started to come up with answers. No doubt alarm at estimates prediting that covid losses would shrink the Eurozone economy […]

The strange phenomenon of Distributism and Liberal equidistance

It was excised from the party’s playlist in 1993 on the grounds that, only when the Labour Party is electable that Tory voters will feel safe enough to switch to the Lib Dems. We will see whether Paddy Ashdown was right about that next month. But then, it may be that the situation is different […]

How we broke the news of D-Day

Noel Newsome was director of European broadcasts at the BBC European Service from 1939-44, one of the few who knew the secret date for D-Day. He was in many ways the architect of the BBC;s international reputation for truth – believing that truth was a potential weapon of war. This led him into constant struggles […]

Feeling sick that I work in a system that condones this shit

Ben Donner, the editor of Clinical Psycholoy Forum, has reviewed Craig Newnes’ impassioned book A Critical A-Z of Electroshock. This is what he wrote… Firstly, a note about the limitations of scholarship in scientific writing. A proper reference should not just be an author and year of publication, but also a page number placed as a […]

The strange mysogyny of the climate contrarians

Contemporary history requires us to take a second look at recent events. Richard Black does just that… Back in 2009, during the Copenhagen summit, Sunday Times columnist Charles Clover wrote an article noting that the contrarian interpretation of the emails hacked from the University of East Anglia ‘has unleashed upon the rest of us the […]

Dunkirk spirit? Boris may regret it…

I was fascinated by Peter Fischer Brown’s suggestion, on the Radix blog, that there are people in the Brexit camp who believe that a no-deal Brexit the hard way is likely to be as successful and unifying as our national escape from the Dunkirk beaches. This was, as I said in my book about Dunkirk, during […]