Britain First Quotes

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They come in injured and mangled, we put them back together, then they stand in my halls making demands. A thankless lot to be sure.
Kristen Britain (First Rider's Call (Green Rider, #2))
Reveal yourself, mage! Only a coward stays cloaked in invisibility.
Kristen Britain (First Rider's Call (Green Rider, #2))
But he's the king!
Kristen Britain (First Rider's Call (Green Rider, #2))
Some say the Tudors transcend this history, bloody and demonic as it is: that they descend from Brutus through the line of Constantine, son of St Helena, who was a Briton. Arthur, High King of Britain, was Constantine's grandson. He married up to three women, all called Guinevere, and his tomb is at Glastonbury, but you must understand that he is not really dead, only waiting his time to come again. His blessed descendant, Prince Arthur of England, was born in the year 1486, eldest son of Henry, the first Tudor king. This Arthur married Katharine the princess of Aragon, died at fifteen and was buried in Worcester Cathedral. If he were alive now, he would be King of England. His younger brother Henry would likely be Archbishop of Canterbury, and would not (at least, we devoutly hope not) be in pursuit of a woman of whom the cardinal hears nothing good: a woman to whom, several years before the dukes walk in to despoil him, he will need to turn his attention; whose history, before ruin seizes him, he will need to comprehend. Beneath every history, another history.
Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1))
Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer. Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written.) Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague. But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles; Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far; One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind. Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would. Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation’s OK When you correctly say croquet, Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live. Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour. Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age. Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath. Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual. Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific. Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven. We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover; Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice; Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label. Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal. Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor. Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria. Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key. Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver. Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie. Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging. Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen, Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work. Pronunciation (think of Psyche!) Is a paling stout and spikey? Won’t it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits? It’s a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict. Finally, which rhymes with enough, Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough? Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!
Gerard Nolst Trenité (Drop your Foreign Accent)
Fuck you and your First World problems! If every cunt that had taken their first ecky commited adultery by jacksie-rifling the first psycho fucker who smiled at them, not one worthwhile relationship in Britain would still exist!
Irvine Welsh
Hey you, dragging the halo- how about a holiday in the islands of grief? Tongue is the word I wish to have with you. Your eyes are so blue they leak. Your legs are longer than a prisoner's last night on death row. I'm filthier than the coal miner's bathtub and nastier than the breath of Charles Bukowski. You're a dirty little windshield. I'm standing behind you on the subway, hard as calculus. My breath be sticking to your neck like graffiti. I'm sitting opposite you in the bar, waiting for you to uncross your boundaries. I want to rip off your logic and make passionate sense to you. I want to ride in the swing of your hips. My fingers will dig in you like quotation marks, blazing your limbs into parts of speech. But with me for a lover, you won't need catastrophes. What attracted me in the first place will ultimately make me resent you. I'll start telling you lies, and my lies will sparkle, become the bad stars you chart your life by. I'll stare at other women so blatantly you'll hear my eyes peeling, because sex with you is like Great Britain: cold, groggy, and a little uptight. Your bed is a big, soft calculator where my problems multiply. Your brain is a garage I park my bullshit in, for free. You're not really my new girlfriend, just another flop sequel of the first one, who was based on the true story of my mother. You're so ugly I forgot how to spell. I'll cheat on you like a ninth grade math test, break your heart just for the sound it makes. You're the 'this' we need to put an end to. The more you apologize, the less I forgive you. So how about it?
Jeffrey McDaniel
In fact this is precisely the logic on which the Bank of England—the first successful modern central bank—was originally founded. In 1694, a consortium of English bankers made a loan of £1,200,000 to the king. In return they received a royal monopoly on the issuance of banknotes. What this meant in practice was they had the right to advance IOUs for a portion of the money the king now owed them to any inhabitant of the kingdom willing to borrow from them, or willing to deposit their own money in the bank—in effect, to circulate or "monetize" the newly created royal debt. This was a great deal for the bankers (they got to charge the king 8 percent annual interest for the original loan and simultaneously charge interest on the same money to the clients who borrowed it) , but it only worked as long as the original loan remained outstanding. To this day, this loan has never been paid back. It cannot be. If it ever were, the entire monetary system of Great Britain would cease to exist.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
Again, we find that the space standards of twenty-first century luxury are below the required minimum for dockworkers in 1962.
Owen Hatherley (A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain)
London is one of the world's centres of Arab journalism and political activism. The failure of left and right, the establishment and its opposition, to mount principled arguments against clerical reaction has had global ramifications. Ideas minted in Britain – the notion that it is bigoted to oppose bigotry; 'Islamophobic' to oppose clerics whose first desire is to oppress Muslims – swirl out through the press and the net to lands where they can do real harm.
Nick Cohen
How does she do it? She makes it sound like she is so cut up to be giving them this information, and it's all just bumph out of her head. She never told them ANYTHING. I don't think she's given them the right name of any airfield in Britain except Mainsend and Buscot, which of course were where she was stationed. They could have easily checked. It's all so close to truth, and so glib--her aircraft identification is rather good considering what a fuss she makes about it. It makes me think of the first day I met her, giving those directions in German. So cool and crisp, such authority--suddenly she really was a radio operator, a German radio operator, she was so good at faking it. Or when I told her to be Jamie, how she just suddenly turned into Jamie. This confession of hers is rotten with error...
Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity)
Offer me?" A shrill note of indignation entered her voice. "Young man, there are three things that make Britain great. The first is our inability at playing sports." How does that make Britain great?" "Despite the certainty of loss, we try anyway with the absolute conviction that this year will be the one, regardless of all evidence to the contrary!" I raised my eyebrows, but that simply meant I could see my blood more clearly, so looked away and said nothing. "The second," she went on, "is the BBC. It may be erratic, tabloid, under-funded and unreliable, but without the World Service, obscure Dickens adaptions, the Today Program and Doctor Who, I honestly believe that the cultural and communal capacity of this country would have declined to the level of the apeman, largely owing to the advent of the mobile phone!" "Oh," I said, feeling that something was expected. "Oh" was enough. "And lastly, we have the NHS!" "This is an NHS service?" I asked incredulously. "I didn't say that, I merely pointed out that the NHS makes Britain great. Now lie still.
Kate Griffin (A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift, #1))
The complexities of the English language are such that even native speakers cannot always communicate effectively, as almost every American learns on his first day in Britain.
Bill Bryson (The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way)
The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Essays and Poems)
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings. I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Some say that because the United States was wrong before, it cannot possibly be right now, or has not the right to be right. (The British Empire sent a fleet to Africa and the Caribbean to maintain the slave trade while the very same empire later sent another fleet to enforce abolition. I would not have opposed the second policy because of my objections to the first; rather it seems to me that the second policy was morally necessitated by its predecessor.)
Christopher Hitchens (A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq)
All we can infer (from the archaeological shards dug up in Berkshire, Devon and Yorkshire) is that the first Britons, whoever they were and however they came, arrived from elsewhere. The land (Britain) was once utterly uninhibited. Then people came.
Robert Winder (Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain)
In contrast to what many people in Britain and the United States believe, the true figures on growth (as best one can judge from official national accounts data) show that Britain and the United States have not grown any more rapidly since 1980 than Germany, France, Japan, Denmark, or Sweden. In other words, the reduction of top marginal income tax rates and the rise of top incomes do not seem to have stimulated productivity (contrary to the predictions of supply-side theory) or at any rate did not stimulate productivity enough to be statistically detectable at the macro level.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
...it occurred to me, not for the first time, what a remarkably small world Britain is. That is its glory, you see--that it manages at once to be intimate and small scale, and at the same time packed to bursting with incident and interest. I am constantly filled with admiration at this--at the way you can wander through a town like Oxford and in the space of a few hundred yards pass the home of Christopher Wren, the buildings where Halley found his comet and Boyle his first law, the track where Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile, the meadow where Lewis Carroll strolled; or how you can stand on Snow's Hill at Windsor and see, in a single sweep, Windsor Castle, the playing fields of Eton, the churchyard where Gray wrote his "Elegy," the site where The Merry Wives of Windsor was performed. Can there anywhere on earth be, in such a modest span, a landscape more packed with centuries of busy, productive attainment?
Bill Bryson (Notes from a Small Island)
Ginger people! D'you know what they are? Our aborigines ... that's what! GINGERIGINES! Look at 'em ... they were 'ere first. All this is theirs! Al Murray, Pub Landlord
Neil Oliver (A History of Ancient Britain)
A case could be made, in fact, that the English were the first victims of the British empire: without their conquest, that empire could not have been built.
Paul Kingsnorth
The language of Shakespeare is the first and lasting affirmation of the great changes that took place in the sixteenth century, leaving the Middle English of Chaucer far behind. In many ways, the language has changed less in the 400 years since Shakespeare wrote than it did in the 150 years before he wrote.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
My policy is if they haven’t found a job in twelve months then they take the first one that’s offered them. And no choice in the matter. They’ve had twelve months to find the job they want, and they’ve done fuck all about it, so it’s time to grab them by the scruff of the neck and send them out to work. Agreed?  
Karl Wiggins (100 Common Sense Policies to make BRITAIN GREAT again)
by the late second and first centuries BC, across southern Britain, certain members of society enjoy well-equipped inhumation and cremation burial, the males usually distinguished by swords, the females by mirrors.
Barry W. Cunliffe (Britain Begins)
The Roman Empire necessarily became less Roman as it became more of an Empire; until not very long after Rome gave conquerors to Britain, Britain was giving emperors to Rome. Out of Britain, as the Britons boasted, came at length the great Empress Helena, who was the mother of Constantine. And it was Constantine, as all men know, who first nailed up that proclamation which all after generations have in truth been struggling either to protect or to tear down
G.K. Chesterton
I, the British Empire began as a primarily economic phenomenon, its growth powered by commerce and consumerism. The demand for sugar drew merchants tot he carribean. British were not the first Empire builders. They were IMERIAL IMMITATORS!
Niall Ferguson (Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World)
Attempts to locate oneself within history are as natural, and as absurd, as attempts to locate oneself within astronomy. On the day that I was born, 13 April 1949, nineteen senior Nazi officials were convicted at Nuremberg, including Hitler's former envoy to the Vatican, Baron Ernst von Weizsacker, who was found guilty of planning aggression against Czechoslovakia and committing atrocities against the Jewish people. On the same day, the State of Israel celebrated its first Passover seder and the United Nations, still meeting in those days at Flushing Meadow in Queens, voted to consider the Jewish state's application for membership. In Damascus, eleven newspapers were closed by the regime of General Hosni Zayim. In America, the National Committee on Alcoholism announced an upcoming 'A-Day' under the non-uplifting slogan: 'You can drink—help the alcoholic who can't.' ('Can't'?) The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled in favor of Britain in the Corfu Channel dispute with Albania. At the UN, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko denounced the newly formed NATO alliance as a tool for aggression against the USSR. The rising Chinese Communists, under a man then known to Western readership as Mao Tze-Tung, announced a limited willingness to bargain with the still-existing Chinese government in a city then known to the outside world as 'Peiping.' All this was unknown to me as I nuzzled my mother's breast for the first time, and would certainly have happened in just the same way if I had not been born at all, or even conceived. One of the newspaper astrologists for that day addressed those whose birthday it was: There are powerful rays from the planet Mars, the war god, in your horoscope for your coming year, and this always means a chance to battle if you want to take it up. Try to avoid such disturbances where women relatives or friends are concerned, because the outlook for victory upon your part in such circumstances is rather dark. If you must fight, pick a man! Sage counsel no doubt, which I wish I had imbibed with that same maternal lactation, but impartially offered also to the many people born on that day who were also destined to die on it.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
God, what a depressing day that was and what an irony that Britain’s first female prime minister had to be Margaret Thatcher. She was the woman who asked, ‘What has feminism ever done for me?’ Well, dear, if you need to ask that question then you’re obviously not very bright
Jo Brand (Look Back in Hunger)
His very first story, he told me as he was dying, was set in Camelot, the court of King Arthur in Britain: Merlin the Court Magician casts a spell that allows him to equip the Knights of the Round Table with Thompson submachine guns and drums of .45-caliber dumdums. Sir Galahad, the purest in heart and mind, familiarizes himself with this new virtue-compelling appliance. While doing so, he puts a slug through the Holy Grail and makes a Swiss cheese of Queen Guinevere.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Timequake)
None of them were equipped, trained, or mentally prepared for combat. For the first time in recent history, American ground units had been committed during the initial days of a war; there had been no allies to hold the line while America prepared. For the first time, many Americans could understand what had happened to Britain at Dunkirk.
T.R. Fehrenbach (This Kind of War: The Classic Military History of the Korean War)
British would use every means from persuasion to bribery in Morocco and when those failed the wives of British diplomats knew what they had to do to further Britain’s interests.
Margaret MacMillan (The War that Ended Peace: How Europe Abandoned Peace for the First World War)
It occurred to me, not for the first time, that if Britain is ever to sort itself out, it is going to require a lot of euthanasia.
Bill Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain)
In Britain, doctors now use exercise as a first-line treatment for depression, but it’s vastly underutilized in the United States,
John J. Ratey (Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain)
Coins were first introduced into the British Isles, in large quantities, from Belgic Gaul and Armorica in the period 130–80 bc and soon British tribes began to mint their own. Gallo-Belgic
Barry W. Cunliffe (Iron Age Britain)
Ramanujan was not the first foreigner to retreat into his shell in a new country; indeed, his was the typical response, not the exceptional one. One later study of Asian and African students in Britain observed that a sense of exclusion “from the life of the community … constituted one of the most serious problems with which they were confronted … [and had] a serious psychological effect” upon them. Another study, this time of Indian students in particular, reported that while 83 percent of them saw friends more or less every day back in India, just 17 percent did while in England.
Robert Kanigel (The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan)
And while he waited in the castle court, The voice of Enid, Yniol's daughter, rang Clear through the open casement of the hall, Singing; and as the sweet voice of a bird, Heard by the lander in a lonely isle, Moves him to think what kind of bird it is That sings so delicately clear, and make Conjecture of the plumage and the form; So the sweet voice of Enid moved Geraint; And made him like a man abroad at morn When first the liquid note beloved of men Comes flying over many a windy wave To Britain, and in April suddenly Breaks from a coppice gemmed with green and red, And he suspends his converse with a friend, Or it may be the labour of his hands, To think or say, 'There is the nightingale;' So fared it with Geraint, who thought and said, 'Here, by God's grace, is the one voice for me.
Alfred Tennyson (Idylls of the King)
Watching Nigel Farage rudely insult fellow members of the European Parliament today - the first occasion they were all assembled in Brussels since the tragic 'Brexit' referendum result - made me feel utterly ashamed to be British. Let it be known that Nigel Farage is the very epitomy of a narrow-minded 'Little Englander' who does not represent the vast majority of outward-looking people from Great Britain. His shameful and unofficial campaign to convince the British electorate to leave the European Union was peppered with lies and deceit. His populist and xenophobic rhetoric has also subsequently contributed to ugly scenes of racial abuse and hate crime directed at Eastern European nationals and ethnic minorities living and working in the UK, in the wake of the referendum result. Fellow Europeans, world citizens, let this be a wake-up call. Deny your own domestic peddlers of populism and nationalism the opportunity to follow the example of this unelected, disrespected maverick, intent on making a name for himself, for he has unwittingly unleashed a wrecking ball on Britain's future economic prosperity, cultural diversity and social harmony.
Alex Morritt (Impromptu Scribe)
In the United States radio listeners were gathered up by networks that saw them as consumers to be sold to; in Britain they were the masses to be instructed and improved; in Germany they were the people to be indoctrinated and misled.
Tom Standage (Writing on the Wall: Social Media - The First 2,000 Years)
Argentina was also one of the richest countries in the world in the nineteenth century, as rich as or even richer than Britain, because it was the beneficiary of the worldwide resource boom; it also had the most educated population in Latin America. But democracy and pluralism were no more successful, and were arguably less successful, in Argentina than in much of the rest of Latin America. One coup followed another, and as we saw in chapter 11, even democratically elected leaders acted as rapacious dictators. Even more recently there has been little progress toward inclusive economic institutions, and as we saw in chapter 13, twenty-first-century Argentinian governments can still expropriate their citizens’ wealth with impunity. All
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty)
President Trump displays less finesse than a bull in a china shop. Just as Prime Minister May managed - after many months of bitter wrangling - to reach a degree of consensus on what Britain's future relationship with the EU should look like, in comes the marauding beast upending all the finely balanced Wedgwood. Britain may well need some form of future trade deal with the US but it certainly isn't one that should be struck with the co-author of a lame business book more appropriately named 'Art of the Steal'.
Alex Morritt (Lines & Lenses)
Since 1688 there has been only one major war, the American War of Independence or Revolutionary War (1776-83), in which Britain has faced a hostile Europe without a major ally. It is no coincidence that this was the only one in which the British were defeated.
Gary D. Sheffield (Forgotten Victory. The First World War: Myths and Reality)
in 2147 governments still existed, but they were mostly for show, like the royal family in Great Britain had been for several centuries. This began in the twenty-first century, when the US Supreme Court ruled that corporations had the same rights as people. Then
Tal M. Klein (The Punch Escrow)
The gradual colonization of the west from the Irish kingdom of Dál Riata during the first half of the first millennium AD, and the consolidation of their Gaelic kingdom in Scotland following their defeat by the Ui Neill, had an immense cultural impact in Scotland.
Bryan Sykes (Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland)
Revolution was the great nightmare of eighteenth-century British society, and when first the American Revolution of 1776, then the French Revolution of 1789 overturned the accepted order, the United Kingdom exercised all its power so that revolution would not damage its own hardwon security and growing prosperity. Eighteenth-century writing is full of pride in England as the land of liberty (far ahead of France, the great rival, in political maturity), and saw a corresponding growth in national self-confidence accompanying the expansion of empire.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
The historical sequence is quite simple, really," she continued, warming to her theme. "The first catastrophe was the Reformation. The Reformation led to the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution created the British Empire. The British Empire necessitated the Public Schools. The Public Schools engendered the Class System. The Class System made Socialism inevitable. And Socialism - which by bad luck arrived just as it couldn't be afforded - brought about the collapse of the economy." "I shall vote Liberal next time," said Angela virtuously.
Angela Thirkell (High Rising (Barsetshire, #1))
in their supposed innocence of and opposition to empire, have become the mythic progenitors of the United States—almost as improbably as Solomon was of Ethiopia or Aeneas of Rome or his suppositious brother, Brut, of Britain. But almost everything most Americans think about the Plymouth colonists of 1620 is false. The truth is more credible. The first colonists in Massachusetts, exchanging accusations of “bestial, yea, diabolical affectations,” were as divided and conflicted as people usually are when fate flings them together. Their leaders did not seek
Felipe Fernández-Armesto (Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States)
The concept of an author, the single creative person who gives the text 'authority', only comes later in this period. Most Old English poetry is anonymous, even though names which are in no way comparable, such as Caedmon and Deor, are used to identify single texts. Caedmon and Deor might indeed be as mythical as Grendel, might be the originators of the texts which bear their names, or, in Deor's case only, the persona whose first-person voice narrates the poem. Only Cynewulf 'signed' his works, anticipating the role of the 'author' by some four hundred years.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
It was in the wake of these erosions of economic controls that intellectual challenges were then made to the role of government in the economy, first by the Physiocrats in France, who coined the term "laissez-faire," and then by Adam Smith in Britain, who became its leading champion.
Thomas Sowell (Conquests And Cultures: An International History)
Two literary figures bridge the gap between the mediaeval age and the Renaissance. They are Sir Thomas Malory, the author of Le Morte D'Arthur, and the first 'poet-laureate', John Skelton. In their entirely separate ways, they made distinctive contributions to the history of literature and to the growth of English as a literary language. ........ Le Morte D'Arthur is, in a way, the climax of a tradition of writing, bringing together myth and history, with an emphasis on chivalry as a kind of moral code of honour. The supernatural and fantastic aspects of the story, as in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, are played down, and the more political aspects, of firm government and virtue, emphasised. It was a book for the times. The Wars of the Roses ended in the same year as Le Morte D'Arthur was published. Its values were to influence a wide readership for many years to come. There is sadness, rather than heroism, in Arthur's final battle.. ...... John Skelton is one of the unjustly neglected figures of literature. His reputation suffered at the hands of one of the earliest critics of poetry, George Puttenham, and he is not easily categorised in terms of historical period, since he falls between clearly identified periods like 'mediaeval' and 'Renaissance'. He does not fit in easily either because of the kinds of poetry he wrote. But he is one of the great experimenters, and one of the funniest poets in English.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
This historic general election, which showed that the British are well able to distinguish between patriotism and Toryism, brought Clement Attlee to the prime ministership. In the succeeding five years, Labor inaugurated the National Health Service, the first and boldest experiment in socialized medicine. It took into public ownership all the vital (and bankrupted) utilities of the coal, gas, electricity and railway industries. It even nibbled at the fiefdoms and baronies of private steel, air transport and trucking. It negotiated the long overdue independence of India. It did all this, in a country bled white by the World War and subject to all manner of unpopular rationing and controls, without losing a single midterm by-election (a standard not equaled by any government of any party since). And it was returned to office at the end of a crowded term.
Christopher Hitchens
The King’s Ministers had long treasured a plan to send the enemies of Britain bad dreams. The Foreign Secretary had first proposed it in January 1808 and for over a year Mr Norrell had industriously sent the Emperor Napoleon Buonaparte a bad dream each night, as a result of which nothing had happened.
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
Chaucer's world in The Canterbury Tales brings together, for the first time, a diversity of characters, social levels, attitudes, and ways of life. The tales themselves make use of a similarly wide range of forms and styles, which show the diversity of cultural influences which the author had at his disposal. Literature, with Chaucer, has taken on a new role: as well as affirming a developing language, it is a mirror of its times - but a mirror which teases as it reveals, which questions while it narrates, and which opens up a range of issues and questions, instead of providing simple, easy answers.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
An amusing, if rather pathetic, case study in miracles is the Great Prayer Experiment: does praying for patients help them recover? Prayers are commonly offered for sick people, both privately and in formal places of worship. Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton was the first to analyse scientifically whether praying for people is efficacious. He noted that every Sunday, in churches throughout Britain, entire congregations prayed publicly for the health of the royal family. Shouldn’t they, therefore, be unusually fit, compared with the rest of us, who are prayed for only by our nearest and dearest?* Galton looked into it, and found no statistical difference.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
Not until the twenty-first century did the British government finally acknowledge officially that the Poles had indeed played a role in breaking Enigma. On July 12, 2001, a monument commemorating their contribution was installed on the grounds of Bletchley Park, Even so, it hardly did justice to the seminal nature of their work.
Lynne Olson (Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War)
Who knows what the citizens of Darden may be saying ten years from now about the girl who rode to town in her nightgown.” “They’d say nothing if you’d drop it,” Karigan said. Then the terrible thought occurred to her that this accursed incident might be the one thing in her entire life that anyone remembered her for. Her life’s legacy.
Kristen Britain (First Rider's Call (Green Rider, #2))
Denmark recently became the first country to pay worker compensation to women who had developed breast cancer after years of night-shift work in government-sponsored jobs, such as nurses and air cabin crew. Other governments—Britain, for example—have so far resisted similar legal claims, refusing payout compensation despite the science.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams)
In the early twenty-first century the train of progress is again pulling out of the station – and this will probably be the last train ever to leave the station called Homo sapiens. Those who miss this train will never get a second chance. In order to get a seat on it you need to understand twenty-first-century technology, and in particular the powers of biotechnology and computer algorithms. These powers are far more potent than steam and the telegraph, and they will not be used merely for the production of food, textiles, vehicles and weapons. The main products of the twenty-first century will be bodies, brains and minds, and the gap between those who know how to engineer bodies and brains and those who do not will be far bigger than the gap between Dickens’s Britain and the Mahdi’s Sudan. Indeed, it will be bigger than the gap between Sapiens and Neanderthals. In the twenty-first century, those who ride the train of progress will acquire divine abilities of creation and destruction, while those left behind will face extinction.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
The Renaissance did not break completely with mediaeval history and values. Sir Philip Sidney is often considered the model of the perfect Renaissance gentleman. He embodied the mediaeval virtues of the knight (the noble warrior), the lover (the man of passion), and the scholar (the man of learning). His death in 1586, after the Battle of Zutphen, sacrificing the last of his water supply to a wounded soldier, made him a hero. His great sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella is one of the key texts of the time, distilling the author's virtues and beliefs into the first of the Renaissance love masterpieces. His other great work, Arcadia, is a prose romance interspersed with many poems and songs.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
At the end of the 1400s, the world changed. Two key dates can mark the beginning of modern times. In 1485, the Wars of the Roses came to an end, and, following the invention of printing, William Caxton issued the first imaginative book to be published in England - Sir Thomas Malory's retelling of the Arthurian legends as Le Morte D'Arthur. In 1492, Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas opened European eyes to the existence of the New World. New worlds, both geographical and spiritual, are the key to the Renaissance, the 'rebirth' of learning and culture, which reached its peak in Italy in the early sixteenth century and in Britain during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, from 1558 to 1603.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
The first century of the plague had seen the country turned upside down. In the twilight years of Edward III it seemed that nothing could damage the greatness of the Plantagenet royal estate. But the world of the village went from impoverished claustrophobia to traumatized infection. A hundred years later, everything had been upended, courtesy of King Death.
Simon Schama (A History of Britain: Volume 1)
In this book we paint an unprecedented portrait of Britain’s first ‘false memory’ retraction and show that, like other ‘false memory’ cases which appeared in the public domain, memory itself was always a false trail – these women never forgot. We are not challenging people’s right to tell their own story and then to change it. But we do assert that the chance should be interpreted in the context that created it. Thousands of accounts of sexual and physical abuse in childhood cannot be explained by a pseudo-scientific ‘syndrome’. We have been shifted to the wrong debate, a debate about the malignancy of survivors and their allies, rather than those who have hurt them. That’s why the arguments have become so elusive. […]
Beatrix Campbell (Stolen Voices: The People And Politics Behind The Campaign To Discredit Childhood Testimony)
Cixi’s lack of formal education was more than made up for by her intuitive intelligence, which she liked to use from her earliest years. In 1843, when she was seven, the empire had just finished its first war with the West, the Opium War, which had been started by Britain in reaction to Beijing clamping down on the illegal opium trade conducted by British merchants. China was defeated and had to pay a hefty indemnity. Desperate for funds, Emperor Daoguang (father of Cixi’s future husband) held back the traditional presents for his sons’ brides – gold necklaces with corals and pearls – and vetoed elaborate banquets for their weddings. New Year and birthday celebrations were scaled down, even cancelled, and minor royal concubines had to subsidise their reduced allowances by selling their embroidery on the market through eunuchs. The emperor himself even went on surprise raids of his concubines’ wardrobes, to check whether they were hiding extravagant clothes against his orders. As part of a determined drive to stamp out theft by officials, an investigation was conducted of the state coffer, which revealed that more “than nine million taels of silver had gone missing. Furious, the emperor ordered all the senior keepers and inspectors of the silver reserve for the previous forty-four years to pay fines to make up the loss – whether or not they were guilty. Cixi’s great-grandfather had served as one of the keepers and his share of the fine amounted to 43,200 taels – a colossal sum, next to which his official salary had been a pittance. As he had died a long time ago, his son, Cixi’s grandfather, was obliged to pay half the sum, even though he worked in the Ministry of Punishments and had nothing to do with the state coffer. After three years of futile struggle to raise money, he only managed to hand over 1,800 taels, and an edict signed by the emperor confined him to prison, only to be released if and when his son, Cixi’s father, delivered the balance. The life of the family was turned upside down. Cixi, then eleven years old, had to take in sewing jobs to earn extra money – which she would remember all her life and would later talk about to her ladies-in-waiting in the court. “As she was the eldest of two daughters and three sons, her father discussed the matter with her, and she rose to the occasion. Her ideas were carefully considered and practical: what possessions to sell, what valuables to pawn, whom to turn to for loans and how to approach them. Finally, the family raised 60 per cent of the sum, enough to get her grandfather out of prison. The young Cixi’s contribution to solving the crisis became a family legend, and her father paid her the ultimate compliment: ‘This daughter of mine is really more like a son!’ Treated like a son, Cixi was able to talk to her father about things that were normally closed areas for women. Inevitably their conversations touched on official business and state affairs, which helped form Cixi’s lifelong interest. Being consulted and having her views acted on, she acquired self-confidence and never accepted the com“common assumption that women’s brains were inferior to men’s. The crisis also helped shape her future method of rule. Having tasted the bitterness of arbitrary punishment, she would make an effort to be fair to her officials.
Jung Chang (Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China)
For a quarter-century British governments had tried and failed to combine economic growth, increased social service provision and a high level of employment. The second depended ultimately on the first, but when difficulty arose, the first had always been sacrificed to the other two. The United Kingdom was, after all, a democracy whose votes, greedy and gullible, had to be placated.
J.M. Roberts (The New Penguin History of The World)
To be sure, it would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of the intuitive knowledge that everyone acquires about contemporary wealth and income levels, even in the absence of any theoretical framework or statistical analysis. Film and literature, nineteenth-century novels especially, are full of detailed information about the relative wealth and living standards of different social groups, and especially about the deep structure of inequality, the way it is justified, and its impact on individual lives. Indeed, the novels of Jane Austen and Honoré de Balzac paint striking portraits of the distribution of wealth in Britain and France between 1790 and 1830. Both novelists were intimately acquainted with the hierarchy of wealth in their respective societies.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
It is the voice of everyday people, rather than of a self-conscious 'artist', that we hear in Caedmon's Hymn, and in such texts as Deor's Lament (also known simply as Deor) or The Seafarer. These reflect ordinary human experience and are told in the first person. They make the reader or hearer relate directly with the narratorial 'I', and frequently contain intertextual references to religious texts. Although they express a faith in God, only Caedmon's Hymn is an overtly religious piece. Already we can notice one or two conventions creeping in; ways of writing which will be found again and again in later works. One of these is the use of the first-person speaker who narrates his experience, inviting the reader or listener to identify with him and sympathise with his feelings.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
David Lloyd George had been to Germany, and been so dazzled by the Führer that he compared him to George Washington. Hitler was a ‘born leader’, declared the befuddled former British Prime Minister. He wished that Britain had ‘a man of his supreme quality at the head of affairs in our country today’. This from the hero of the First World War! The man who had led Britain to victory over the Kaiser!
Boris Johnson (The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History)
No." Laurence said, "I mean to retire when we have returned. I have enough money to keep Temeraire now, and enough of a countenance to ask my brother to put us up on one of the farms." Or they might return to Australia, or to China. Temeraire has every right to ask that of him now that the war was won. Laurence did not mean to refuse him, he only hoped to go back to Wollaton Hall first and find a way to carry it with him somehow. He longed in a deep inward part for Britain, for home, and the house standing at twilight with all the windows lit. A child's memory of peace. He would even be grateful there for the counterfeit honors that had been heaped onto his head, if they gave his mother some peace, and his brother need not be ashamed to give him a field for Temeraire to sleep in, for a little while.
Naomi Novik (League of Dragons (Temeraire, #9))
Over a million Indian soldiers – or sepoys (Indian soldiers serving for Britain) – fought for Britain during the First World War.7 Britain had promised these soldiers that their country would be free from colonial rule if they did so. Sepoys travelled to Britain in the belief that they would not only be fighting for Britain, but by doing so they would be contributing to their country’s eventual freedom.
Reni Eddo-Lodge (Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race)
be that your cousin has influenced you in some way—but as for our Junior Surgeon,” he turned to Carausius, “I remember that when first he was posted here, you yourself, Caesar, were not too sure of his good faith. This is surely some plot of Maximian’s, to cast doubt and suspicion between the Emperor of Britain and the man who, however unworthily, serves him to the best of his ability as chief minister.” Justin stepped forward, his hands clenched at his sides. “That is a foul lie,” he said, for once without a trace of his stutter. “And you know it, Allectus; none better.” “Will you grant me also a space to speak?” Carausius said quietly, and silence fell like a blight on the lamplit chamber. He looked round at all three of them, taking his time. “I remember my doubts, Allectus. I remember also that the
Rosemary Sutcliff (The Silver Branch)
Ireland, like Ukraine, is a largely rural country which suffers from its proximity to a more powerful industrialised neighbour. Ireland’s contribution to the history of tractors is the genius engineer Harry Ferguson, who was born in 1884, near Belfast. Ferguson was a clever and mischievous man, who also had a passion for aviation. It is said that he was the first man in Great Britain to build and fly his own aircraft in 1909. But he soon came to believe that improving efficiency of food production would be his unique service to mankind. Harry Ferguson’s first two-furrow plough was attached to the chassis of the Ford Model T car converted into a tractor, aptly named Eros. This plough was mounted on the rear of the tractor, and through ingenious use of balance springs it could be raised or lowered by the driver using a lever beside his seat. Ford, meanwhile, was developing its own tractors. The Ferguson design was more advanced, and made use of hydraulic linkage, but Ferguson knew that despite his engineering genius, he could not achieve his dream on his own. He needed a larger company to produce his design. So he made an informal agreement with Henry Ford, sealed only by a handshake. This Ford-Ferguson partnership gave to the world a new type of Fordson tractor far superior to any that had been known before, and the precursor of all modern-type tractors. However, this agreement by a handshake collapsed in 1947 when Henry Ford II took over the empire of his father, and started to produce a new Ford 8N tractor, using the Ferguson system. Ferguson’s open and cheerful nature was no match for the ruthless mentality of the American businessman. The matter was decided in court in 1951. Ferguson claimed $240 million, but was awarded only $9.25 million. Undaunted in spirit, Ferguson had a new idea. He approached the Standard Motor Company at Coventry with a plan, to adapt the Vanguard car for use as tractor. But this design had to be modified, because petrol was still rationed in the post-war period. The biggest challenge for Ferguson was the move from petrol-driven to diesel-driven engines and his success gave rise to the famous TE-20, of which more than half a million were built in the UK. Ferguson will be remembered for bringing together two great engineering stories of our time, the tractor and the family car, agriculture and transport, both of which have contributed so richly to the well-being of mankind.
Marina Lewycka (A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian)
When I’d finished STILL LIFE, the first book, I sent it out to every agent and publisher I could think of and it was rejected by everyone. And the most common reason? No one would be interested in a crime novel set in Canada. I was shocked. Especially given the wonderful novels that are set in Canada. Some publishers and agents suggested if I changed the location, to somewhere in the US or Britain, they might consider it.
Mobile Library (Louise Penny Quotes and Believes and Books Quiz: Get to know better this proud Canadian, creator of Inspector Gamache (Motivational & Inspirational Quotes))
I love America for an idea. The reality is important but ambiguous. In Senegal, there stands a building where slaves were stored before they were sent on to the New World. It was built in the same year as the American Declaration of Independence. I love America for the clear idea behind the cloudy reality. Without the idea, the joys of America would be mere accident, the ephemera tossed up by the hand of fate, to disappear in the wind. And what is that idea? It is the idea of hope, that grand, audacious idea that makes the Britisher blush with embarrassment. It may be an idea not everyone cares for, but it is one I need, I want. I love her for her thought, first, of where you’re going, not where you’re from; for her majestic optimism against the gray resistances of Europe, most pure in Britain, so that in America I feel like—I am—a sexual being.
Zia Haider Rahman (In the Light of What We Know)
diary. “I couldn’t help but think how ill conditioned Churchill looked and the fact that there was a tray with plenty of liquor on it alongside him and he was drinking a Scotch highball, which I felt was indeed not the first one he had drunk that night. . . . The affairs of Great Britain might be in the hands of the most dynamic individual in Great Britain, but certainly not in the hands of the best judgment in Great Britain.
John Kelly (Never Surrender)
Of the works of this mind history is the record. Its genius is illustrated by the entire series of days. Man is explicable by nothing less than all his history. Without hurry, without rest, the human spirit goes forth from the beginning to embody every faculty, every thought, every emotion, which belongs to it, in appropriate events. But the thought is always prior to the fact; all the facts of history preexist in the mind as laws. Each law in turn is made by circumstances predominant, and the limits of nature give power to but one at a time. A man is the whole encyclopaedia of facts. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man. Epoch after epoch, camp, kingdom, empire, republic, democracy, are merely the application of his manifold spirit to the manifold world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Essays: First and Second Series)
Women, as we know, used to be judged incapable of medicine. That changed in 1876, when, after a tenacious fight led by Britain’s first female doctor, Elizabeth Garret Anderson, the law was changed to prohibit women’s exclusion from medical schools. Now, more than 140 years later, female medical students outnumber men. Yet, according to Lawson, our predisposition to avoid antisocial hours and put family before career means we are more
Rachel Clarke (Your Life In My Hands - a Junior Doctor's Story)
The dynamics of the global distribution of capital are at once economic, political, and military. This was already the case in the colonial era, when the great powers of the day, Britain and France foremost among them, were quick to roll out the cannon to protect their investments. Clearly, the same will be true in the twenty-first century, in a tense new global political configuration whose contours are difficult to predict in advance.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
In London, Jean Monnet – who had by now risen to be head of the Anglo-French Coordination Committee, launched a daring, last-minute emergency plan: he wanted France and Great Britain to become one. A joint pool of shipping space had already been set up, just as in the First World War, but this time Monnet wanted to go much further. In a memorandum of less than five pages he proposed that the two countries become united: their armies, their
Geert Mak (In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century)
Firstly, contrary to popular leftist dogma, speed does not cause accidents. In our towns and cities cyclists, pedestrians and elderly drivers cause accidents. On the country roads it is cyclists and dangerous drivers and on the motorways it is dangerous driving which causes accidents, obviously the faster a vehicle is travelling the greater the damage which will result from an accident however that is just a consequence rather than the cause.
Joe Cater (Titanic Britain: 50 Years of the Left-Wing Liberal Iceberg)
IT BEGAN WITH A GUN. On September 1, 1939, the German army invaded Poland. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany. In the October 1939 issue of Detective Comics, Batman killed a vampire by shooting silver bullets into his heart. In the next issue, Batman fired a gun at two evil henchmen. When Whitney Ellsworth, DC’s editorial director, got a first look at a draft of the next installment, Batman was shooting again. Ellsworth shook his head and said, Take the gun out.1 Batman had debuted in Detective Com-ics in May 1939, the same month that the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in United States v. Miller, a landmark gun-control case. It concerned the constitutionality of the 1934 National Firearms Act and the 1938 Federal Firearms Act, which effectively banned machine guns through prohibitive taxation, and regulated handgun ownership by introducing licensing, waiting period, and permit requirements. The National Rifle Association supported the legislation (at the time, the NRA was a sportsman’s organization). But gun manufacturers challenged it on the grounds that federal control of gun ownership violated the Second Amendment. FDR’s solicitor general said the Second Amendment had nothing to do with an individual right to own a gun; it had to do with the common defense. The court agreed, unanimously.2
Jill Lepore (The Secret History of Wonder Woman)
I HAD TO GO to America for a while to give some talks. Going to America always does me good. It’s where I’m from, after all. There’s baseball on the TV, people are friendly and upbeat, they don’t obsess about the weather except when there is weather worth obsessing about, you can have all the ice cubes you want. Above all, visiting America gives me perspective. Consider two small experiences I had upon arriving at a hotel in downtown Austin, Texas. When I checked in, the clerk needed to record my details, naturally enough, and asked for my home address. Our house doesn’t have a street number, just a name, and I have found in the past that that is more deviance than an American computer can sometimes cope with, so I gave our London address. The girl typed in the building number and street name, then said: “City?” I replied: “London.” “Can you spell that please?” I looked at her and saw that she wasn’t joking. “L-O-N-D-O-N,” I said. “Country?” “England.” “Can you spell that?” I spelled England. She typed for a moment and said: “The computer won’t accept England. Is that a real country?” I assured her it was. “Try Britain,” I suggested. I spelled that, too—twice (we got the wrong number of T’s the first time)—and the computer wouldn’t take that either. So I suggested Great Britain, United Kingdom, UK, and GB, but those were all rejected, too. I couldn’t think of anything else to suggest. “It’ll take France,” the girl said after a minute. “I beg your pardon?” “You can have ‘London, France.’ ” “Seriously?” She nodded. “Well, why not?” So she typed “London, France,” and the system was happy. I finished the check-in process and went with my bag and plastic room key to a bank of elevators a few paces away. When the elevator arrived, a young woman was in it already, which I thought a little strange because the elevator had come from one of the upper floors and now we were going back up there again. About five seconds into the ascent, she said to me in a suddenly alert tone: “Excuse me, was that the lobby back there?” “That big room with a check-in desk and revolving doors to the street? Why, yes, it was.” “Shoot,” she said and looked chagrined. Now I am not for a moment suggesting that these incidents typify Austin, Texas, or America generally or anything like that. But it did get me to thinking that our problems are more serious than I had supposed. When functioning adults can’t identify London, England, or a hotel lobby, I think it is time to be concerned. This is clearly a global problem and it’s spreading. I am not at all sure how we should tackle such a crisis, but on the basis of what we know so far, I would suggest, as a start, quarantining Texas.
Bill Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island)
Literature is as old as human language, and as new as tomorrow's sunrise. And literature is everywhere, not only in books, but in videos, television, radio, CDs, computers, newspapers, in all the media of communication where a story is told or an image created. It starts with words, and with speech. The first literature in any culture is oral. The classical Greek epics of Homer, the Asian narratives of Gilgamesh and the Bhagavad Gita, the earliest versions of the Bible and the Koran were all communicated orally, and passed on from generation to generation - with variations, additions, omissions and embellishments until they were set down in written form, in versions which have come down to us. In English, the first signs of oral literature tend to have three kinds of subject matter - religion, war, and the trials of daily life - all of which continue as themes of a great deal of writing.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
The prime principle of employing force in pursuit of national objectives is to ensure that it is effective. The Germans failed to achieve this against Britain in 1940–41, a first earnest of one of the great truths of the conflict: while the Wehrmacht often fought its battles brilliantly, the Nazis made war with startling ineptitude. The Luftwaffe, instead of terrorising Churchill’s people into bowing to Hitler’s will, merely roused them to acquiesce in defiance.
Max Hastings (Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945)
I can only use my imagination.” Bard shook with laughter. “My, but it makes an amusing picture—and tale.” “Don’t you dare!” She wouldn’t put it past Bard to make some outrageous ditty of it. His talent for fashioning absurd lyrics was going to drive the more conventional masters at Selium out of their minds. “There once was a girl from Corsa,” he began, “who rode a big red horsa—” “Ugh!” Karigan scooped up handfuls of pine needles from the ground and tossed them at him.
Kristen Britain (First Rider's Call (Green Rider, #2))
First, in almost every part of Great Britain there is a distinction, even in the lowest species of labour, between summer and winter wages. Summer wages are always highest. But on account of the extraordinary expense of fuel, the maintenance of a family is most expensive in winter. Wages, therefore, being highest when this expense is lowest, it seems evident that they are not regulated by what is necessary for this expense; but by the quantity and supposed value of the work.
Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations (Pilgrim Classics Annotated))
The world’s first commercial railroad opened for business in 1830, in Britain. By 1850, Western nations were criss-crossed by almost 25,000 miles of railroads – but in the whole of Asia, Africa and Latin America there were only 2,500 miles of tracks. In 1880, the West boasted more than 220,000 miles of railroads, whereas in the rest of the world there were but 22,000 miles of train lines (and most of these were laid by the British in India).5 The first railroad in China opened only in 1876. It was 15 miles long and built by Europeans – the Chinese government destroyed it the following year. In 1880 the Chinese Empire did not operate a single railroad. The first railroad in Persia was built only in 1888, and it connected Tehran with a Muslim holy site about 6 miles south of the capital. It was constructed and operated by a Belgian company. In 1950, the total railway network of Persia still amounted to a meagre 1,500 miles, in a country seven times the size of Britain.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
In the early nineteenth century imperial Britain outlawed slavery and stopped the Atlantic slave trade, and in the decades that followed slavery was gradually outlawed throughout the American continent. Notably, this was the first and only time in history that a large number of slaveholding societies voluntarily abolished slavery. But, even though the slaves were freed, the racist myths that justified slavery persisted. Separation of the races was maintained by racist legislation and social custom.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
[In response to atrocities against Armenians] the British government issued a joint memo with France and Russia on 24 May 1915. The first draft, proposed by Russia, contained the phrase "crimes against Christianity and civilization," but France and Britain feared this would offend their own colonial Muslim populations and succeeded in changing the phrase to "crimes against humanity." This paved the way for the concept to assume its place after the war as one of the most important categories in international law.
Taner Akçam
Maria Orsic, a stunning beauty and an unusual medium was not an obscure personality. She was known to many celebrities of the era and had a fleet of very powerful admirers and friends both in Germany and abroad; famous, brilliant and influential people like Charles Lindbergh, Nikola Tesla, Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, Henry Ford, Eva Peron, and the most illustrious figures in the spiritualism, parapsychological and psychical research in Great Britain. This was reported by Allies intelligence and documented by OSS operatives in Europe.
Jean-Maximillien De La Croix de Lafayette (Volume I. UFOs: MARIA ORSIC, THE WOMAN WHO ORIGINATED AND CREATED EARTH'S FIRST UFOS (Extraterrestrial and Man-Made UFOs & Flying Saucers))
The novels of Daniel Defoe are fundamental to eighteenth-century ways of thinking. They range from the quasi-factual A Journal of the Plague Year, an almost journalistic (but fictional) account of London between 1664 and 1665 (when the author was a very young child), to Robinson Crusoe, one of the most enduring fables of Western culture. If the philosophy of the time asserted that life was, in Hobbes's words, 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short', novels showed ways of coping with 'brutish' reality (the plague; solitude on a desert island) and making the best of it. There was no questioning of authority as there had been throughout the Renaissance. Instead, there was an interest in establishing and accepting authority, and in the ways of 'society' as a newly ordered whole. Thus, Defoe's best-known heroine, Moll Flanders, can titillate her readers with her first-person narration of a dissolute life as thief, prostitute, and incestuous wife, all the time telling her story from the vantage point of one who has been accepted back into society and improved her behaviour.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
One of the first books of travel, giving European readers some insight into the unfamiliar world of the Orient, was published in 1356-67 in Anglo-Norman French. Called simply Travels, it was said to be by Sir John Mandeville, but a French historian, Jean d'Outremeuse, may well have written the book. It is a highly entertaining guide for pilgrims to the Holy Land, but goes beyond, taking the reader as far as Tartary, Persia, India and Egypt, recounting more fantasy than fact, but containing geographical details to give the work credence. Mandeville's book whetted the Western European reader's appetite for the travel book as a journal of marvels: dry scientific detail was not what these readers wanted. Rather it was imagination plus information. Thus, myths of 'the fountain of youth' and of gold-dust lying around 'like ant-hills' caught the Western imagination, and, when the voyagers of the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries found 'new worlds' in the Americas, these myths were enlarged and expanded, as Eldorado joined the Golden Road to Samarkand in the imagination of readers concerning distant lands.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
I neither oblige the belief of other person, nor overhastily subscribe mine own. Nor have I stood with others computing or collating years and chronologies, lest I should be vainly curious about the time and circumstance of things, whereof the substance is so much in doubt. By this time, like one who had set out on his way by night, and travelled through a region of smooth or idle dreams, our history now arrives on the confines, where daylight and truth meet us with a clear dawn, representing to our view, though at a far distance, true colours and shapes.
John Milton (The History of Britain; That Part Especially Now Called England, from the First Traditional Beginning Continued to the Norman Conquest)
On June 3, Britain, France and Italy announced their full support for Polish, Czech and Yugoslav statehood. On the following day, encouraged to do so by the British, Dr Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader, met the Emir Feisal, the leader of the Arab Revolt, near the port of Akaba, and worked out with him what seemed to be a satisfactory Arab support for a Jewish National Home in Palestine. A senior British general noted after the meeting that both T.E. Lawrence, who helped set the meeting up, and Weizmann, ‘see the lines of Arab & Zionist policy converging in the not distant future
Martin Gilbert (The First World War: A Complete History)
Any true definition of preaching must say that that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people. If you prefer the language of Paul, he is 'an ambassador for Christ'. That is what he is. He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people. In other words he is not there merely to talk to them, he is not there to entertain them. He is there - and I want to emphasize this - to do something to those people; he is there to produce results of various kinds, he is there to influence people. He is not merely to influence a part of them; he is not only to influence their minds, not only their emotions, or merely to bring pressure to bear upon their wills and to induce them to some kind of activity. He is there to deal with the whole person; and his preaching is meant to affect the whole person at the very centre of life. Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again. Preaching, in other words, is a transaction between the preacher and the listener. It does something for the soul of man, for the whole of the person, the entire man; it deals with him in a vital and radical manner. I remember a remark made to me a few years back about some studies of mine on “The Sermon on the Mount.” I had deliberately published them in sermonic form. There were many who advised me not to do that on the grounds that people no longer like sermons. The days for sermons, I was told, were past, and I was pressed to turn my sermons into essays and to give them a different form. I was most interested therefore when this man to whom I was talking, and he is a very well-known Christian layman in Britain, said, "I like these studies of yours on “The Sermon on the Mount” because they speak to me.” Then he went on to say, “I have been recommended many books by learned preachers and professors but,” he said, “what I feel about those books is that it always seems to be professors writing to professors; they do not speak to me. But,” he said, “your stuff speaks to me.” Now he was an able man, and a man in a prominent position, but that is how he put it. I think there is a great deal of truth in this. He felt that so much that he had been recommended to read was very learned and very clever and scholarly, but as he put it, it was “professors writing to professors.” This is, I believe, is a most important point for us to bear in mind when we read sermons. I have referred already to the danger of giving the literary style too much prominence. I remember reading an article in a literary journal some five or six years ago which I thought was most illuminating because the writer was making the selfsame point in his own field. His case was that the trouble today is that far too often instead of getting true literature we tend to get “reviewers writing books for reviewers.” These men review one another's books, with the result that when they write, what they have in their mind too often is the reviewer and not the reading public to whom the book should be addressed, at any rate in the first instance. The same thing tends to happen in connection with preaching. This ruins preaching, which should always be a transaction between preacher and listener with something vital and living taking place. It is not the mere imparting of knowledge, there is something much bigger involved. The total person is engaged on both sides; and if we fail to realize this our preaching will be a failure.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Preaching and Preachers)
Note, however, the sharp correction in the Italian real estate market in 1994–1995 and the bursting of the Internet bubble in 2000–2001, which caused a particularly sharp drop in the capital/income ratio in the United States and Britain (though not as sharp as the drop in Japan ten years earlier). Note, too, that the subsequent US real estate and stock market boom continued until 2007, followed by a deep drop in the recession of 2008–2009. In two years, US private fortunes shrank from five to four years of national income, a drop of roughly the same size as the Japanese correction of 1991
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
No one can understand history without continually relating the long periods which are constantly mentioned to the experiences of our own short lives. Five years is a lot. Twenty years is the horizon to most people. Fifty years is antiquity. To understand how the impact of destiny fell upon any generation of men one must first imagine their position and then apply the time-scale of our own lives. Thus nearly all changes were far less perceptible to those who lived through them from day to day than appears when the salient features of an epoch are extracted by the chronicler. We peer at these scenes through dim telescopes of research across a gulf of nearly two thousand years. We cannot doubt that the second and to some extent the third century of the Christian era, in contrast with all that had gone before and most that was to follow, were a Golden Age for Britain. But by the early part of the fourth century shadows had fallen upon this imperfect yet none the less tolerable society. By steady, persistent steps the sense of security departed from Roman Britain. Its citizens felt by daily experience a sense that the world-wide system of which they formed a partner province was in decline.
Winston S. Churchill (The Birth of Britain (A History of the English Speaking Peoples #1))
In the United States radio was centralized to maximize advertising revenue; in Britain to preserve and promote the values of the elite; and in Germany to advance Nazi propaganda. Whatever the reason, the result was the most centralized medium in history. In the United States radio listeners were gathered up by networks that saw them as consumers to be sold to; in Britain they were the masses to be instructed and improved; in Germany they were the people to be indoctrinated and misled. In each case there was a striking “us and them” division between broadcasters and the faceless mass of their listeners.
Tom Standage (Writing on the Wall: Social Media - The First 2,000 Years)
Two centuries ago, the United States settled into a permanent political order, after fourteen years of violence and heated debate. Two centuries ago, France fell into ruinous disorder that ran its course for twenty-four years. In both countries there resounded much ardent talk of rights--rights natural, rights prescriptive. . . . [F]anatic ideology had begun to rage within France, so that not one of the liberties guaranteed by the Declaration of the Rights of Man could be enjoyed by France's citizens. One thinks of the words of Dostoievski: "To begin with unlimited liberty is to end with unlimited despotism." . . . In striking contrast, the twenty-two senators and fifty-nine representatives who during the summer of 1789 debated the proposed seventeen amendments to the Constitution were men of much experience in representative government, experience acquired within the governments of their several states or, before 1776, in colonial assembles and in the practice of the law. Many had served in the army during the Revolution. They decidedly were political realists, aware of how difficult it is to govern men's passions and self-interest. . . . Among most of them, the term democracy was suspect. The War of Independence had sufficed them by way of revolution. . . . The purpose of law, they knew, is to keep the peace. To that end, compromises must be made among interests and among states. Both Federalists and Anti-Federalists ranked historical experience higher than novel theory. They suffered from no itch to alter American society radically; they went for sound security. The amendments constituting what is called the Bill of Rights were not innovations, but rather restatements of principles at law long observed in Britain and in the thirteen colonies. . . . The Americans who approved the first ten amendments to their Constitution were no ideologues. Neither Voltaire nor Rousseau had any substantial following among them. Their political ideas, with few exceptions, were those of English Whigs. The typical textbook in American history used to inform us that Americans of the colonial years and the Revolutionary and Constitutional eras were ardent disciples of John Locke. This notion was the work of Charles A. Beard and Vernon L. Parrington, chiefly. It fitted well enough their liberal convictions, but . . . it has the disadvantage of being erroneous. . . . They had no set of philosophes inflicted upon them. Their morals they took, most of them, from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. Their Bill of Rights made no reference whatever to political abstractions; the Constitution itself is perfectly innocent of speculative or theoretical political arguments, so far as its text is concerned. John Dickinson, James Madison, James Wilson, Alexander Hamilton, George Mason, and other thoughtful delegates to the Convention in 1787 knew something of political theory, but they did not put political abstractions into the text of the Constitution. . . . Probably most members of the First Congress, being Christian communicants of one persuasion or another, would have been dubious about the doctrine that every man should freely indulge himself in whatever is not specifically prohibited by positive law and that the state should restrain only those actions patently "hurtful to society." Nor did Congress then find it necessary or desirable to justify civil liberties by an appeal to a rather vague concept of natural law . . . . Two centuries later, the provisions of the Bill of Rights endure--if sometimes strangely interpreted. Americans have known liberty under law, ordered liberty, for more than two centuries, while states that have embraced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, with its pompous abstractions, have paid the penalty in blood.
Russell Kirk (Rights And Duties: Reflections On Our Conservative Constitution)
Jowell fell back on the same justification for funding the arts that the first chairman of the Arts Council, John Maynard Keynes, had deployed in 1945. Art was something produced by people with special skills, who set their own standards of excellence; they needed to be supported to do this, and the audience needed to be encouraged to appreciate this excellence, by being given subsidised access to it. And for all of Jowell’s attempts to transcend instrumentalism, the purpose of culture continued to be to help the government ‘to transform our society into a place of justice, talent and ambition where individuals can fulfil their true potential’.22
Robert Hewison (Cultural Capital: The Rise and Fall of Creative Britain)
J. M. W. Turner is regarded by many as Britain’s greatest artist, whose works have become iconic symbols of the Romantic art movement. He became known as ‘the painter of light’, due to his increasing interest in brilliant colours and the contrast between light and dark in his many landscapes and seascapes. Turner was born on 23 April 1775 in London. His father, William Turner (1745-1829), was a barber and wig maker and his mother, Mary Marshall, came from a family of butchers. In 1785, his mother suffered from severe mental illness and was admitted first to St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics in Old Street in 1799 and then Bethlem Hospital in 1800, where she died four years later.
J.M.W. Turner (Delphi Collected Works of J. M. W. Turner (Illustrated) (Masters of Art Book 5))
India had a very long independence movement. It started in 1886, [with] the first generation of Western-educated Indians. They were all liberals. They followed the Liberal Party in Britain, and they were very proud of their knowledge of parliamentary systems, parliamentary manners. They were big debaters. They [had], as it were, a long apprenticeship in training for being in power. Even when Gandhi made it a mass movement, the idea of elective representatives, elected working committees, elected leadership, all that stayed because basically Indians wanted to impress the British that they were going to be as good as the British were at running a parliamentary democracy. And that helped quite a lot.
Meghnad Desai
There was something very poetic about lying on the hay, beneath the polythene roof. This was how we had spent our first night, on the hay next to the bull in Harry Mann’s barn. During the 18 days in-between we had slept in a posh hotel, a canal boat, a student house, a pub, a tent in a car park, a hitman’s sitting room, an elderly lady’s spare bedroom, a hostel, a bunk house, a farm house, our own self-contained flat, our own house, and now we were back on the hay. We had gone full circle. Out of all of the different types of accommodation, our two nights on the hay were undoubtedly our most comfortable. Next time you hear the nativity story, don’t feel sorry for Mary and Joseph; they had it very lucky indeed.
George Mahood (Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain)
An unexpected but important additional advantage of living in Kampung Jawa in this respect was the presence nearby, established as recently as 1955, of the Muslim College, Malaya’s first national tertiary institution of Islamic higher education. I was able to use its small library, and came to know well Dr Muhammad Abdul Ra’uf and Dr Muhammad Zaki Badawi, Egyptians engaged to lead the college who also taught at the University of Malaya and later became prominent Muslim intellectuals in the United States and Britain respectively. Along with other members of staff, including the charismatic Pan-Malayan Islamic Party politician Dr Zulkifli Muhammad, they did much to extend my knowledge of Islamic education and wider Muslim issues.
William R. Roff (Studies on Islam and Society in Southeast Asia)
What silliness that we must consider the proper order of milk and tea when pouring a cup." Callie swallowed back a laugh. "I suppose you do not place much stock in such ceremony in Venice?" "No. It is liquid. It is warm. It is not coffee. Why worry?" Juliana's smile flashed, showing a dimple in her cheek. "Why indeed?" Callie said, wondering, fleetingly, if Juliana's brothers had such an endearing trait. "Do not be concerned," Juliana held up a hand dramatically. "I shall endeavor to remember tea first, milk second. I should hate to cause another war between Britain and the Continent." Callie laughed, accepting a cup of perfectly poured tea from the younger woman. "I am certain that Parliament will thank you for your diplomacy.
Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1))
No." Laurence said, "I mean to retire when we have returned. I have enough money to keep Temeraire now, and enough of a countenance to ask my brother to put us up on one of the farms." Or they might return to Australia, or to China. Temeraire has every right to ask that of him now that the war was won. Laurence did not mean to refuse him, he only hoped to go back to Wollaton Hall first and find a way to carry it with him somehow. He longed in a deep inward part for Britain, for home, and the house standing at twilight with all the windows lit. A child's memory of peace. He would even be grateful there for the counterfeit honors that had been heaped onto his head, if they gave his mother some peace, and his brother need not be ashamed to give him a field for Temeraire to sleep in, for a little while.
Naomi Novik, Blood of Tyrants
Although our American friends, some of whose generals visited us, took a more alarmist view of our position, and the world at large regarded the invasion of Britain as probable, we ourselves felt free to send overseas all the troops our available shipping could carry and to wage offensive war in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Here was the hinge on which our ultimate victory turned, and it was in 1941 that the first significant events began. In war armies must fight. Africa was the only continent in which we could meet our foes on land. The defence of Egypt and of Malta were duties compulsive upon us, and the destruction of the Italian Empire the first prize we could gain. The British resistance in the Middle East to the triumphant Axis Powers and our attempt to rally the Balkans and Turkey against them are the theme and thread of our story now.
Winston S. Churchill (The Second World War 3. the Grand Alliance)
Ten years after the first commercial train service began operating between Liverpool and Manchester, in 1830, the first train timetable was issued. The trains were much faster than the old carriages, so the quirky differences in local hours became a severe nuisance. In 1847, British train companies put their heads together and agreed that henceforth all train timetables would be calibrated to Greenwich Observatory time, rather than the local times of Liverpool, Manchester or Glasgow. More and more institutions followed the lead of the train companies. Finally, in 1880, the British government took the unprecedented step of legislating that all timetables in Britain must follow Greenwich. For the first time in history, a country adopted a national time and obliged its population to live according to an artificial clock rather than local ones or sunrise-to-sunset
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Last Victorian and Edwardian Britain saw a mega-change in reading habits. For the first time fiction took the primary place in book publishing, and the medium was taken up by briliant and entertaining authors with an agenda for 'a brave new world'. Such men as Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw were the opinion-makers for coming generations. 'With the next phase of Victorian fiction', wrote G. K. Chesterton, 'we enter a new world; the later, more revolutionary, more continental, freer but in some ways weker world in which we live today.' Chesterton did not live to see the full consequences of the change but W. R. Inge predicted what was coming when he wrote: No God. No country. No family. Refusal to serve in war. Free love. More play. Less work. No punishments. Go as you please. It is difficult to imagine any programme which, if carried out, would be more utterly ruinous to a country situated as Great Britain is today.
Iain H. Murray (The Undercover Revolution)
It did not take Bunch very long, amid the politicking and the revelry, to discover the darker side of life in Charleston’s homes. “The frightful atrocities of slaveholding must be seen to be described,” he wrote in a private letter that wound up prominently positioned in the official slave-trade correspondence of the Foreign Office. “My next-door neighbor, a lawyer of the first distinction and a member of the Southern Aristocracy, told me himself that he flogged all his own people—men and women—when they misbehaved. I hear also that he makes them strip, and after telling them that they were to consider it as a great condescension on his part to touch them, gives them a certain number of lashes with a cow-hide. The frightful evil of the system is that it debases the whole tone of society—for the people talk calmly of horrors which would not be mentioned in civilized society. It is literally no more to kill a slave than to shoot a dog.
Christopher Dickey (Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South)
I remember the very day, sometime during the first two weeks of my five-year amorous sojourn in Brutland, when I was made privy to one of the most arcane of their utterings. The time was ripe for that major epiphany, my initiation into the sacred knowledge—or should I say gnosis?—of that all-important, quintessentially Brutish slang term, the word that endless hours of scholastic education by renowned mentors, plus years of scrupulous scrutiny into scrofulous texts, had disappointingly failed to impart to me, leaving me with that deep sense of emptiness begotten by hemimathy; the time was finally ripe for me to be transported by the velvety feel of the unvoiced palato-alveolar fricative, the élan of the unpronounceable and masochistically hedonistic front open-rounded vowel, and, last but not least, the (admittedly short) ejaculatory quality of the voiced velar stop: all three of them combined together to form that miraculous lexical item, the word shag.
Spiros Doikas (No Sex Please, We're Brutish!: The Exploits of a Greek Student in Britain)
The Restoration did not so much restore as replace. In restoring the monarchy with King Charles II, it replaced Cromwell's Commonwealth and its Puritan ethos with an almost powerless monarch whose tastes had been formed in France. It replaced the power of the monarchy with the power of a parliamentary system - which was to develop into the two parties, Whigs and Tories - with most of the executive power in the hands of the Prime Minister. Both parties benefited from a system which encouraged social stability rather than opposition. Above all, in systems of thought, the Restoration replaced the probing, exploring, risk-taking intellectual values of the Renaissance. It relied on reason and on facts rather than on speculation. So, in the decades between 1660 and 1700, the basis was set for the growth of a new kind of society. This society was Protestant (apart from the brief reign of the Catholic King James II, 1685-88), middle class, and unthreatened by any repetition of the huge and traumatic upheavals of the first part of the seventeenth century. It is symptomatic that the overthrow of James II in 1688 was called The 'Glorious' or 'Bloodless' Revolution. The 'fever in the blood' which the Renaissance had allowed was now to be contained, subject to reason, and kept under control. With only the brief outburst of Jacobin revolutionary sentiment at the time of the Romantic poets, this was to be the political context in the United Kingdom for two centuries or more. In this context, the concentration of society was on commerce, on respectability, and on institutions. The 'genius of the nation' led to the founding of the Royal Society in 1662 - 'for the improving of Natural Knowledge'. The Royal Society represents the trend towards the institutionalisation of scientific investigation and research in this period. The other highly significant institution, one which was to have considerably more importance in the future, was the Bank of England, founded in 1694.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
Arthur and his partner – shifting fridges is a two man job – are not employed by the delivery company directly, but rather have a contract that requires them to undertake a certain amount of deliveries while paying the company for the use of their liveried van. You read that correctly. Arthur pays for the privilege of going to work in a van owned by a company that pays him no sick pay, holiday pay or pension contributions. While technically self-employed, he is obviously unable to work for any other company or employer except over and above his already full-time schedule. Indeed, if one of them is ill or otherwise indisposed and unable to source their own replacement, the rent for the van is still due. It means that, in twenty-first-century Britain, getting sick while holding down a relatively menial job sees the sick person not just lose their wage for the days they’re off sick, but actually pay money to their employer (who’s not technically their employer) for every day they’re off the road.
James O'Brien (How To Be Right… in a World Gone Wrong)
Double-clicking on his inbox, Jason noted that one of the three messages was from Suzy, aka ButterfliesInMyTummy, and his mood lifted. It was the fourth or fifth message they’d exchanged, and they were just starting to move beyond the tedious small-talk stage. He skimmed through the message, growing increasingly impatient. Suzy favoured those little face icons. The whole page was littered with them – smiley faces, sad faces, surprised faces, embarrassed faces. Why couldn’t she just use words like everyone else? She also put five or six exclamation marks after a sentence, or added extra vowels to words, so everything was sooooooooo much fun or soooooooooo boring. It wound Jason up when people couldn’t write properly. He wasn’t asking for brain of Britain, but he liked a woman to be able to write a sentence that started with a capital letter and ended with a full stop and at least made an attempt at the Queen’s English. At least it wasn’t in text speak. He refused to answer the messages that spelled thanks ‘tnx’. Britain didn’t go through two World Wars so that the English language could be mutilated beyond recognition.
Tammy Cohen (First One Missing)
We may think of volcanic islands like Ascension as unusual because their recent origin and remoteness mean their ecosystems are made up of a motley crew of mariner migrants. But much of the world is like that. Nature is constantly in flux, and few ecosystems go back very far. Only ten thousand years ago, much of Europe and North America were covered in thick ice. All soil had been scraped away and with it most forms of life. Everything we see today in these former glaciated zones has either returned or arrived for the first time since the ice retreated. Looked at from this perspective, the spread of alien species today is merely a continuation of a natural process of the colonization begun when the ice retreated. A broad time horizon shows there is no such thing as a native species. All lodgings are temporary and all ecosystems in a constant flux, the victims of circumstance and geological accident. As the pioneer British ecologist Charles Elton argued, “Were it not for the ice age, we [in Britain] should probably have wonderful mixed forests with wild magnolias and laurels and epiphytic orchids, such as . . . in China.
Fred Pearce (The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature's Salvation)
There is an art to navigating London during the Blitz. Certain guides are obvious: Bethnal Green and Balham Undergrounds are no-goes, as is most of Wapping, Silvertown and the Isle of Dogs. The further west you go, the more you can move around late at night in reasonable confidence of not being hit, but should you pass an area which you feel sure was a council estate when you last checked in the 1970s, that is usually a sign that you should steer clear. There are also three practical ways in which the Blitz impacts on the general functioning of life in the city. The first is mundane: streets blocked, services suspended, hospitals overwhelmed, firefighters exhausted, policemen belligerent and bread difficult to find. Queuing becomes a tedious essential, and if you are a young nun not in uniform, sooner or later you will find yourself in the line for your weekly portion of meat, to be eaten very slowly one mouthful at a time, while non-judgemental ladies quietly judge you Secondly there is the slow erosion-a rather more subtle but perhaps more potent assault on the spirit It begins perhaps subtly, the half-seen glance down a shattered street where the survivors of a night which killed their kin sit dull and numb on the crooked remnants of their bed. Perhaps it need not even be a human stimulus: perhaps the sight of a child's nightdress hanging off a chimney pot, after it was thrown up only to float straight back down from the blast, is enough to stir something in your soul that has no rare. Perhaps the mother who cannot find her daughter, or the evacuees' faces pressed up against the window of a passing train. It is a death of the soul by a thousand cuts, and the falling skies are merely the laughter of the executioner going about his business. And then, inevitably, there is the moment of shock It is the day your neighbour died because he went to fix a bicycle in the wrong place, at the wrong time. It is the desk which is no longer filled, or the fire that ate your place of work entirely so now you stand on the street and wonder, what shall I do? There are a lot of lies told about the Blitz spirit: legends are made of singing in the tunnels, of those who kept going for friends, family and Britain. It is far simpler than that People kept going because that was all that they could really do. Which is no less an achievement, in its way.
Claire North (The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August)
Whatever their contradictions, Americans were consistent, before and after their first revolution, in deeply distrusting government. Having been left on their own for so long, the colonists saw as sinister any British action affecting them: “[ T] he most minor incidents,” the historian Gordon Wood has shown, “erupted into major constitutional questions involving the basic liberties of the people.” 49 Allergies that extreme don’t easily disappear, and this one lasted long after Great Britain accepted the independence of the United States in 1783. The Americans simply turned it upon themselves. Perhaps victory made forbearance less necessary. Perhaps it exposed an issue they’d so far evaded: had the revolution secured equality of opportunity—the right to rise to inequality—or of condition—the obligation not to? Perhaps corruptions in British society had now, like smallpox, infected its American counterpart. Perhaps legislation, if unchecked, always produced tyranny, whether in parliaments or confederations. Perhaps the people themselves weren’t to be trusted. Perhaps the British had been right, some Americans thought but couldn’t say, in having tried to replace neglect with a heavier hand.
John Lewis Gaddis (On Grand Strategy)
Nevertheless, the idea that Europeans have simply stopped having enough children and must as a result ensure that the next generation is comprised of immigrants is a disastrous fallacy for several reasons. The first is because of the mistaken assumption that a country’s population should always remain the same or indeed continue rising. The nation states of Europe include some of the most densely populated countries on the planet. It is not at all obvious that the quality of life in these countries will improve if the population continues growing. What is more, when migrants arrive in these countries they move to the big cities, not to the remaining sparsely populated areas. So although among European states Britain, along with Belgium and the Netherlands, is one of the most densely populated countries, England taken on its own would be the second most densely populated country in Europe. Migrants tend not to head to the Highlands of Scotland or the wilds of Dartmoor. And so a constantly increasing population causes population problems in areas that are already suffering housing supply problems and where infrastructure like public transport struggles to keep up with swiftly expanding populations.
Douglas Murray (The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam)
The BFMSS [British False Memory Syndrome Society] The founder of the 'false memory' movement in Britain is an accused father. Two of his adult daughters say that Roger Scotford sexually abused them in childhood. He denied this and responded by launching a spectacular counter-attack, which enjoyed apparently unlimited and uncritical air time in the mass media and provoke Establishment institutions that had made no public utterance about abuse to pronounce on the accused adults' repudiation of it. p171-172 The 'British False Memory Syndrome Society' lent a scientific aura to the allegations - the alchemy of 'falsehood' and 'memory' stirred with disease and science. The new name pathologised the accusers and drew attention away from the accused. But the so-called syndrome attacked not only the source of the stories but also the alliances between the survivors' movement and practitioners in the health, welfare, and the criminal justice system. The allies were represented no longer as credulous dupes but as malevolent agents who imported a miasma of the 'false memories' into the imaginations of distressed victims. Roger Scotford was a former naval officer turned successful property developer living in a Georgian house overlooking an uninterrupted valley in luscious middle England. He was a rich man and was able to give up everything to devote himself to the crusade. He says his family life was normal and that he had been a 'Dr Spock father'. But his first wife disagrees and his second wife, although believing him innocent, describes his children's childhood as very difficult. His daughters say they had a significantly unhappy childhood. In the autumn of 1991, his middle daughter invited him to her home to confront him with the story of her childhood. She was supported by a friend and he was invited to listen and then leave. She told him that he had abused her throughout her youth. Scotford, however, said that the daughter went to a homeopath for treatment for thrush/candida and then blamed the condition on him. He also said his daughter, who was in her twenties, had been upset during a recent trip to France to buy a property. He said he booked them into a hotel where they would share a room. This was not odd, he insisted, 'to me it was quite natural'. He told journalists and scholars the same story, in the same way, reciting the details of her allegations, drawing attention to her body and the details of what she said he had done to her. Some seemed to find the detail persuasive. Several found it spooky. p172-173
Beatrix Campbell (Stolen Voices: The People And Politics Behind The Campaign To Discredit Childhood Testimony)
In North America, there is no nostalgia for the postwar period, quite simply because the Trente Glorieuses never existed there: per capita output grew at roughly the same rate of 1.5–2 percent per year throughout the period 1820–2012. To be sure, growth slowed a bit between 1930 and 1950 to just over 1.5 percent, then increased again to just over 2 percent between 1950 and 1970, and then slowed to less than 1.5 percent between 1990 and 2012. In Western Europe, which suffered much more from the two world wars, the variations are considerably greater: per capita output stagnated between 1913 and 1950 (with a growth rate of just over 0.5 percent) and then leapt ahead to more than 4 percent from 1950 to 1970, before falling sharply to just slightly above US levels (a little more than 2 percent) in the period 1970–1990 and to barely 1.5 percent between 1990 and 2012. Western Europe experienced a golden age of growth between 1950 and 1970, only to see its growth rate diminish to one-half or even one-third of its peak level during the decades that followed. [...] If we looked only at continental Europe, we would find an average per capita output growth rate of 5 percent between 1950 and 1970—a level well beyond that achieved in other advanced countries over the past two centuries. These very different collective experiences of growth in the twentieth century largely explain why public opinion in different countries varies so widely in regard to commercial and financial globalization and indeed to capitalism in general. In continental Europe and especially France, people quite naturally continue to look on the first three postwar decades—a period of strong state intervention in the economy—as a period blessed with rapid growth, and many regard the liberalization of the economy that began around 1980 as the cause of a slowdown. In Great Britain and the United States, postwar history is interpreted quite differently. Between 1950 and 1980, the gap between the English-speaking countries and the countries that had lost the war closed rapidly. By the late 1970s, US magazine covers often denounced the decline of the United States and the success of German and Japanese industry. In Britain, GDP per capita fell below the level of Germany, France, Japan, and even Italy. It may even be the case that this sense of being rivaled (or even overtaken in the case of Britain) played an important part in the “conservative revolution.” Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the United States promised to “roll back the welfare state” that had allegedly sapped the animal spirits of Anglo-Saxon entrepreneurs and thus to return to pure nineteenth-century capitalism, which would allow the United States and Britain to regain the upper hand. Even today, many people in both countries believe that the conservative revolution was remarkably successful, because their growth rates once again matched continental European and Japanese levels. In fact, neither the economic liberalization that began around 1980 nor the state interventionism that began in 1945 deserves such praise or blame. France, Germany, and Japan would very likely have caught up with Britain and the United States following their collapse of 1914–1945 regardless of what policies they had adopted (I say this with only slight exaggeration). The most one can say is that state intervention did no harm. Similarly, once these countries had attained the global technological frontier, it is hardly surprising that they ceased to grow more rapidly than Britain and the United States or that growth rates in all of these wealthy countries more or less equalized [...] Broadly speaking, the US and British policies of economic liberalization appear to have had little effect on this simple reality, since they neither increased growth nor decreased it.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
The Prime Minister, who was in close contact with the Queen and Prince Charles, captured the feelings of loss and despair when he spoke to the nation earlier in the day from his Sedgefield constituency. Speaking without notes, his voice breaking with emotion, he described Diana as a ‘wonderful and warm human being.’ ‘She touched the lives of so many others in Britain and throughout the world with joy and with comfort. How difficult things were for her from time to time, I’m sure we can only guess at. But people everywhere, not just here in Britain, kept faith with Princess Diana. They liked her, they loved her, they regarded her as one of the people. She was the People’s Princess and that is how she will stay, how she will remain in all our hearts and memories for ever.’ While his was the first of many tributes which poured in from world figures, it perfectly captured the mood of the nation in a historic week which saw the British people, with sober intensity and angry dignity, place on trial the ancient regime, notably an elitist, exploitative and male-dominated mass media and an unresponsive monarchy. For a week Britain succumbed to flower power, the scent and sight of millions of bouquets a mute and telling testimony to the love people felt towards a woman who was scorned by the Establishment during her lifetime. So it was entirely appropriate when Buckingham Palace announced that her funeral would be ‘a unique service for a unique person’. The posies, the poems, the candles and the cards that were placed at Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and elsewhere spoke volumes about the mood of the nation and the state of modern Britain. ‘The royal family never respected you, but the people did,’ said one message, as thousands of people, most of whom had never met her, made their way in quiet homage to Kensington Palace to express their grief, their sorrow, their guilt and their regret. Total strangers hugged and comforted each other, others waited patiently to lay their tributes, some prayed silently. When darkness fell, the gardens were bathed in an ethereal glow from the thousands of candles, becoming a place of dignified pilgrimage that Chaucer would have recognized. All were welcome and all came, a rainbow of coalition of young and old of every colour and nationality, East Enders and West Enders, refugees, the disabled, the lonely, the curious, and inevitably, droves of tourists. She was the one person in the land who could connect with those Britons who had been pushed to the edges of society as well as with those who governed it.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
I will show that this spectacular increase in inequality largely reflects an unprecedented explosion of very elevated incomes from labor, a veritable separation of the top managers of large firms from the rest of the population. One possible explanation of this is that the skills and productivity of these top managers rose suddenly in relation to those of other workers. Another explanation, which to me seems more plausible and turns out to be much more consistent with the evidence, is that these top managers by and large have the power to set their own remuneration, in some cases without limit and in many cases without any clear relation to their individual productivity, which in any case is very difficult to estimate in a large organization. This phenomenon is seen mainly in the United States and to a lesser degree in Britain, and it may be possible to explain it in terms of the history of social and fiscal norms in those two countries over the past century. The tendency is less marked in other wealthy countries (such as Japan, Germany, France, and other continental European states), but the trend is in the same direction. To expect that the phenomenon will attain the same proportions elsewhere as it has done in the United States would be risky until we have subjected it to a full analysis—which unfortunately is not that simple, given the limits of the available data.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
Isis is the Egyptian mother goddess of magick, whose worship prevailed in the Greco-Roman world.  Her name means “Throne”, reflected in her headdress which is shaped like a throne.  Her spouse was originally Osiris, but became Serapis in the Greco-Roman myths, and her son became transformed from Horus to Harpocrates. Evidence of her worship in Britain has been found in an inscription on a jug  found in Southwark (London).[369]  The inscription on the jug indicates an Iseum (Isis temple) in London, but the location of this temple has yet to be determined.  An altar found in Blackfriars records the restoration of a temple to Isis in the third century CE, further reinforcing evidence of her worship.[370]  It has been suggested by some modern writers that the river Isis in Oxfordshire was named after this goddess, though this may in fact be a coincidence. The name of the river Isis is most probably a contraction of the name Thamesis. It is likely that "Thamesis" is a Latinisation of the Celtic river names "Taom"(Thames) and"Uis"(is), giving "Taom-Uis"meaning "The pouring out of water". An engraved onyx intaglio found at Wroxeter (Shropshire) dating to the third century CE shows Isis bearing a sistrum in her right hand.[371]  Another gem from Lockleys (Hertfordshire) dating to the fourth century CE shows Isis standing between Bes and a lioness, all surrounded by a serpent ouroboros.[372]
David Rankine (The Isles of the Many Gods: An A-Z of the Pagan Gods & Goddesses of Ancient Britain Worshipped During the First Millenium Through to the Middle Ages)
In the first place, this is a history of Europe’s reduction. The constituent states of Europe could no longer aspire, after 1945, to international or imperial status. The two exceptions to this rule—the Soviet Union and, in part, Great Britain—were both only half-European in their own eyes and in any case, by the end of the period recounted here, they too were much reduced. Most of the rest of continental Europe had been humiliated by defeat and occupation. It had not been able to liberate itself from Fascism by its own efforts; nor was it able, unassisted, to keep Communism at bay. Post-war Europe was liberated—or immured—by outsiders. Only with considerable effort and across long decades did Europeans recover control of their own destiny. Shorn of their overseas territories Europe’s erstwhile sea-borne empires (Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal) were all shrunk back in the course of these years to their European nuclei, their attention re-directed to Europe itself. Secondly, the later decades of the twentieth century saw the withering away of the ‘master narratives’ of European history: the great nineteenth-century theories of history, with their models of progress and change, of revolution and transformation, that had fuelled the political projects and social movements that tore Europe apart in the first half of the century. This too is a story that only makes sense on a pan-European canvas: the decline of political fervor in the West (except among a marginalized intellectual minority) was accompanied—for quite different reasons—by the loss of political faith and the discrediting of official Marxism in the East. For a brief moment in the 1980s, to be sure, it seemed as though the intellectual Right might stage a revival around the equally nineteenth-century project of dismantling ‘society’ and abandoning public affairs to the untrammelled market and the minimalist state; but the spasm passed. After 1989 there was no overarching ideological project of Left or Right on offer in Europe—except the prospect of liberty, which for most Europeans was a promise now fulfilled. Thirdly, and as a modest substitute for the defunct ambitions of Europe’s ideological past, there emerged belatedly—and largely by accident—the ‘European model’. Born of an eclectic mix of Social Democratic and Christian Democratic legislation and the crab-like institutional extension of the European Community and its successor Union, this was a distinctively ‘European’ way of regulating social intercourse and inter-state relations. Embracing everything from child-care to inter-state legal norms, this European approach stood for more than just the bureaucratic practices of the European Union and its member states; by the beginning of the twenty-first century it had become a beacon and example for aspirant EU members and a global challenge to the United States and the competing appeal of the ‘American way of life’.
Tony Judt (Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945)
On Sunday, November 10, Kaiser Wilhelm II was dethroned, and he fled to Holland for his life. Britain’s King George V, who was his cousin, told his diary that Wilhelm was “the greatest criminal known for having plunged the world into this ghastly war,” having “utterly ruined his country and himself.” Keeping vigil at the White House, the President and First Lady learned by telephone, at three o’clock that morning, that the Germans had signed an armistice. As Edith later recalled, “We stood mute—unable to grasp the significance of the words.” From Paris, Colonel House, who had bargained for the armistice as Wilson’s envoy, wired the President, “Autocracy is dead. Long live democracy and its immortal leader. In this great hour my heart goes out to you in pride, admiration and love.” At 1:00 p.m., wearing a cutaway and gray trousers, Wilson faced a Joint Session of Congress, where he read out Germany’s surrender terms. He told the members that “this tragical war, whose consuming flames swept from one nation to another until all the world was on fire, is at an end,” and “it was the privilege of our own people to enter it at its most critical juncture.” He added that the war’s object, “upon which all free men had set their hearts,” had been achieved “with a sweeping completeness which even now we do not realize,” and Germany’s “illicit ambitions engulfed in black disaster.” This time, Senator La Follette clapped. Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Lodge complained that Wilson should have held out for unconditional German surrender. Driven down Capitol Hill, Wilson was cheered by joyous crowds on the streets. Eleanor Roosevelt recorded that Washington “went completely mad” as “bells rang, whistles blew, and people went up and down the streets throwing confetti.” Including those who had perished in theaters of conflict from influenza and other diseases, the nation’s nineteen-month intervention in the world war had levied a military death toll of more than 116,000 Americans, out of a total perhaps exceeding 8 million. There were rumors that Wilson planned to sail for France and horse-trade at the peace conference himself. No previous President had left the Americas during his term of office. The Boston Herald called this tradition “unwritten law.” Senator Key Pittman, Democrat from Nevada, told reporters that Wilson should go to Paris “because there is no man who is qualified to represent him.” The Knickerbocker Press of Albany, New York, was disturbed by the “evident desire of the President’s adulators to make this war his personal property.” The Free Press of Burlington, Vermont, said that Wilson’s presence in Paris would “not be seemly,” especially if the talks degenerated into “bitter controversies.” The Chattanooga Times called on Wilson to stay home, “where he could keep his own hand on the pulse of his own people” and “translate their wishes” into action by wireless and cable to his bargainers in Paris.
Michael R. Beschloss (Presidents of War: The Epic Story, from 1807 to Modern Times)
Now because Britain, France, and recently the United States are imperial powers, their political societies impart to their civil societies a sense of urgency, a direct political infusion as it were, where and whenever matters pertaining to their imperial interests abroad are concerned. I doubt that it is controversial, for example, to say that an Englishman in India or Egypt in the later nineteenth century took an interest in those countries that was never far from their status in his mind as British colonies. To say this may seem quite different from saying that all academic knowledge about India and Egypt is somehow tinged and impressed with, violated by, the gross political fact—and that is what I am saying in this study of Orientalism. For if it is true that no production of knowledge in the human sciences can ever ignore or disclaim its author’s involvement as a human subject in his own circumstances, then it must also be true that for a European or American studying the Orient there can be no disclaiming the main circumstances of his actuality: that he comes up against the Orient as a European or American first, as an individual second. And to be a European or an American in such a situation is by no means an inert fact. It meant and means being aware, however dimly, that one belongs to a power with definite interests in the Orient, and more important, that one belongs to a part of the earth with a definite history of involvement in the Orient almost since the time of Homer.
Edward W. Said (Orientalism)
From the days of the Assyrians and the Qin, great empires were usually built through violent conquest. In 1914 too, all the major powers owed their status to successful wars. For instance, Imperial Japan became a regional power thanks to its victories over China and Russia; Germany became Europe’s top dog after its triumphs over Austria-Hungary and France; and Britain created the world’s largest and most prosperous empire through a series of splendid little wars all over the planet. Thus in 1882 Britain invaded and occupied Egypt, losing a mere fifty-seven soldiers in the decisive Battle of Tel el-Kebir. Whereas in our days occupying a Muslim country is the stuff of Western nightmares, following Tel el-Kebir the British faced little armed resistance, and for more than six decades controlled the Nile Valley and the vital Suez Canal. Other European powers emulated the British, and whenever governments in Paris, Rome or Brussels contemplated putting boots on the ground in Vietnam, Libya or Congo, their only fear was that somebody else might get there first. Even the United States owed its great-power status to military action rather than economic enterprise alone. In 1846 it invaded Mexico, and conquered California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming and Oklahoma. The peace treaty also confirmed the previous US annexation of Texas. About 13,000 American soldiers died in the war, which added 2.3 million square kilometres to the “United States (more than the combined size of France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy). It was the bargain of the millennium.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
One night, around the campfire after a dinner of bully-beef stew, someone opened an extra bottle of rum. ‘As it grew darker, the men began to sing, at first slightly self-conscious and shy, but picking up confidence as the song spread.’ Their songs were not the martial chants of warriors, but the schmaltzy romantic popular tunes of the time: ‘I’ll Never Smile Again’, ‘My Melancholy Baby’, ‘I’m Dancing with Tears in My Eyes’. The bigger and burlier the singer, Pleydell noted, the more passionate and heartfelt the singing. Now the French contingent struck up, with a warbling rendition of ‘Madeleine’, the bittersweet song of a man whose lilacs for his lover have been left to wilt in the rain. Then it was the turn of the German prisoners who, after some debate, belted out ‘Lili Marleen’, the unofficial anthem of the Afrika Korps, complete with harmonies: ‘Vor der Kaserne / Vor dem grossen Tor / Stand eine Laterne / Und steht sie noch davor …’ (Usually rendered in English as: Underneath the lantern, by the barrack gate, darling I remember, how you used to wait.) As the last verse died away, the audience broke into loud whistles and applause. To his own astonishment, Pleydell was profoundly moved. ‘There was something special about that night,’ he wrote years later. ‘We had formed a small solitary island of voices; voices which faded and were caught up in the wilderness. A little cluster of men singing in the desert. An expression of feeling that defied the vastness of its surroundings … a strange body of men thrown together for a few days by the fortunes of war.’ The doctor from Lewisham had come in search of authenticity, and he had found it deep in the desert, among hard soldiers singing sentimental songs to imaginary sweethearts in three languages.
Ben Macintyre (Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War)
Germany’s rearmament was first met with a “supine”134 response from its future adversaries, who showed “little immediate recognition of danger.”135 Despite Winston Churchill’s dire and repeated warnings that Germany “fears no one” and was “arming in a manner which has never been seen in German history,” Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain saw Hitler as merely trying to right the wrongs of Versailles, and acquiesced to the German annexation of the Sudetenland at Munich in September 1938.136 Yet Chamberlain’s anxiety grew as Hitler’s decision to occupy the remainder of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 indicated his broader aims. Chamberlain asked rhetorically: “Is this the end of an old adventure, or is it the beginning of a new? Is this the last attack upon a small State, or is it to be followed by others? Is this, in fact, a step in the direction of an attempt to dominate the world by force?”137 France, meanwhile, as Henry Kissinger explains, “had become so dispirited that it could not bring itself to act.”138 Stalin decided his interests were best served by a non-aggression pact signed with Germany, which included a secret protocol for the division of Eastern Europe.139 One week after agreeing to the pact with Stalin, Hitler invaded Poland, triggering the British and French to declare war on September 3, 1939. The Second World War had begun. Within a year, Hitler occupied France, along with much of Western Europe and Scandinavia. Britain was defeated on the Continent, although it fought off German air assaults. In June 1941, Hitler betrayed Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union. By the time Germany was defeated four years later, much of the European continent had been destroyed, and its eastern half would be under Soviet domination for the next forty years. Western Europe could not have been liberated without the United States, on whose military power it would continue to rely. The war Hitler unleashed was the bloodiest the world had ever seen.
Graham Allison (Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?)
In conclusion, the American century is not over, if by that we mean the extraordinary period of American pre-eminence in military, economic, and soft power resources that have made the United States central to the workings of the global balance of power, and to the provision of global public goods. Contrary to those who proclaim this the Chinese century, we have not entered a post-American world. But the continuation of the American century will not look like it did in the twentieth century. The American share of the world economy will be less than it was in the middle of the last century, and the complexity represented by the rise of other countries as well as the increased role of non-state actors will make it more difficult for anyone to wield influence and organize action. Analysts should stop using clichés about unipolarity and multipolarity. They will have to live with both in different issues at the same time. And they should stop talking and worrying about poorly specified concepts of decline that mix many different types of behavior and lead to mistaken policy conclusions. Leadership is not the same as domination. America will have to listen in order to get others to enlist in what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called a multipartner world. It is important to remember that there have always been degrees of leadership and degrees of influence during the American century. The United States never had complete control. As we saw in Chapter 1, even when the United States had preponderant resources, it often failed to get what it wanted. And those who argue that the complexity and turmoil of today’s entropic world is much worse than the past should remember a year like 1956 when the United States was unable to prevent Soviet repression of a revolt in Hungary, French loss of Vietnam, or the Suez invasion by our allies Britain, France, and Israel. One should be wary of viewing the past through rose-tinted glasses. To borrow a comedian’s line, “hegemony ain’t what it used to be, but then it never was.” Now, with slightly less preponderance and a much more complex world, the United States will need to make smart strategic choices both at home and abroad if it wishes to maintain its position. The American century is likely to continue for a number of decades at the very least, but it will look very different from how it did when Henry Luce first articulated it.
Joseph S. Nye Jr. (Is the American Century Over? (Global Futures))
He remembered an old tale which his father was fond of telling him—the story of Eos Amherawdur (the Emperor Nightingale). Very long ago, the story began, the greatest and the finest court in all the realms of faery was the court of the Emperor Eos, who was above all the kings of the Tylwydd Têg, as the Emperor of Rome is head over all the kings of the earth. So that even Gwyn ap Nudd, whom they now call lord over all the fair folk of the Isle of Britain, was but the man of Eos, and no splendour such as his was ever seen in all the regions of enchantment and faery. Eos had his court in a vast forest, called Wentwood, in the deepest depths of the green-wood between Caerwent and Caermaen, which is also called the City of the Legions; though some men say that we should rather name it the city of the Waterfloods. Here, then, was the Palace of Eos, built of the finest stones after the Roman manner, and within it were the most glorious chambers that eye has ever seen, and there was no end to the number of them, for they could not be counted. For the stones of the palace being immortal, they were at the pleasure of the Emperor. If he had willed, all the hosts of the world could stand in his greatest hall, and, if he had willed, not so much as an ant could enter into it, since it could not be discerned. But on common days they spread the Emperor's banquet in nine great halls, each nine times larger than any that are in the lands of the men of Normandi. And Sir Caw was the seneschal who marshalled the feast; and if you would count those under his command—go, count the drops of water that are in the Uske River. But if you would learn the splendour of this castle it is an easy matter, for Eos hung the walls of it with Dawn and Sunset. He lit it with the sun and moon. There was a well in it called Ocean. And nine churches of twisted boughs were set apart in which Eos might hear Mass; and when his clerks sang before him all the jewels rose shining out of the earth, and all the stars bent shining down from heaven, so enchanting was the melody. Then was great bliss in all the regions of the fair folk. But Eos was grieved because mortal ears could not hear nor comprehend the enchantment of their song. What, then, did he do? Nothing less than this. He divested himself of all his glories and of his kingdom, and transformed himself into the shape of a little brown bird, and went flying about the woods, desirous of teaching men the sweetness of the faery melody. And all the other birds said: "This is a contemptible stranger." The eagle found him not even worthy to be a prey; the raven and the magpie called him simpleton; the pheasant asked where he had got that ugly livery; the lark wondered why he hid himself in the darkness of the wood; the peacock would not suffer his name to be uttered. In short never was anyone so despised as was Eos by all the chorus of the birds. But wise men heard that song from the faery regions and listened all night beneath the bough, and these were the first who were bards in the Isle of Britain.
Arthur Machen (The Secret Glory)
If we do not stop these mar-makers not,...it will soon be too late. We are the only nation that can halt this crusade. It might be too late in America, but it isn't too late here. Without British support the whole scheme would collapse. For that reason the future of all nations depends upon the policy which is decided in this House. More than that, the final position of Britain in the world is being decided. If we support these anti-Communist crusades through the world as we have supported it in Greece, then our good name and existence will be threatened by the hatred of all free-thinking men. We cannot suppress all desire in Europe and Asia for social change by branding it communism from Russia and persecuting its supporters. Social change doesn't have to come from Russia, whatever the Foreign Office or the Americans say. It is a product of the miserable conditions under which the majority of the earth's population exist. There are fighters for social change in every land, here as well as anywhere.... We Socialists are among them. That is the reason for our predominance in the House to-day. The very men that we try to suppress in other countries are asking for far less liberty than we enjoy here, far less social change than we Socialists hope to initiate in Great Britain. Are we going to betray these men by labelling them Communists and crushing them wherever we find them until we have launched ourselves at Russia herself in a war that will wipe this island off the face of the earth? The American imperialists say that this is the American Century. ARe we to sacrifice ourselves for that great ideal, or are we to stand beside the people of Europe and Asia and other lands who seek independence, economic stability, self-determination, and the right to conduct their own affairs? Are we going to partake in an anti-Red campaign when we ourselves are Reds? ...... Some among us might think that there is political expediency in following this anti-Russian crusade without really getting enmeshed in it, creating a Third Force in Europe of their friends, a balancing force for power politics. In that you have the real policy of our Government to-day. But how can we avoid final involvement? Our American vanguard will stop at nothing. They hold their atom bomb aloft with nervous fingers. It has become their talisman and their faith. It is their new weapon of anti-Communism, a more efficient Belsen and Maidenek. Its first usage was morally anti-Russian. It was used to end Japan quickly so that Russia would play no part in the final settlement with that country. No doubt they would have used it on Russia already if they could be certain that Russian did not have an equal or better atomic weapon. That terrible uncertainty goads them into fiercer political and economic activity against the world's grim defenders of great liberties. In that you have the heart of this American imperial desperation. They cannot defeat the people of Europe and Asia with the atomic bomb alone. They cannot win unless we lend them our name and our support and our political cunning. To-day they have British support, in policy as well as in international councils where the decisions of peace and security are being made. With our support America is undermining every international conference with its anti-Russian politics.
James Aldridge (The Diplomat)
Any true definition of preaching must say that that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people. If you prefer the language of Paul, he is 'an ambassador for Christ'. That is what he is. He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people. In other words he is not there merely to talk to them, he is not there to entertain them. He is there - and I want to emphasize this - to do something to those people; he is there to produce results of various kinds, he is there to influence people. He is not merely to influence a part of them; he is not only to influence their minds, not only their emotions, or merely to bring pressure to bear upon their wills and to induce them to some kind of activity. He is there to deal with the whole person; and his preaching is meant to affect the whole person at the very centre of life. Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again. Preaching, in other words, is a transaction between the preacher and the listener. It does something for the soul of man, for the whole of the person, the entire man; it deals with him in a vital and radical manner I remember a remark made to me a few years back about some studies of mine on “The Sermon on the Mount.” I had deliberately published them in sermonic form. There were many who advised me not to do that on the grounds that people no longer like sermons. The days for sermons, I was told, were past, and I was pressed to turn my sermons into essays and to give them a different form. I was most interested therefore when this man to whom I was talking, and he is a very well-known Christian layman in Britain, said, "I like these studies of yours on “The Sermon on the Mount” because they speak to me.” Then he went on to say, “I have been recommended many books by learned preachers and professors but,” he said, “what I feel about those books is that it always seems to be professors writing to professors; they do not speak to me. But,” he said, “your stuff speaks to me.” Now he was an able man, and a man in a prominent position, but that is how he put it. I think there is a great deal of truth in this. He felt that so much that he had been recommended to read was very learned and very clever and scholarly, but as he put it, it was “professors writing to professors.” This is, I believe, is a most important point for us to bear in mind when we read sermons. I have referred already to the danger of giving the literary style too much prominence. I remember reading an article in a literary journal some five or six years ago which I thought was most illuminating because the writer was making the selfsame point in his own field. His case was that the trouble today is that far too often instead of getting true literature we tend to get “reviewers writing books for reviewers.” These men review one another's books, with the result that when they write, what they have in their mind too often is the reviewer and not the reading public to whom the book should be addressed, at any rate in the first instance. The same thing tends to happen in connection with preaching. This ruins preaching, which should always be a transaction between preacher and listener with something vital and living taking place. It is not the mere imparting of knowledge, there is something much bigger involved. The total person is engaged on both sides; and if we fail to realize this our preaching will be a failure.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The interaction between these two analyses of culture – culture as an expression of the people and culture as imposition on the people – has been crucial to the development of cultural studies, first in Britain and then elsewhere.
Anonymous
was the first president to use the Internal Revenue Service as a weapon against opponents.
Norman Moss (Nineteen Weeks: America, Britain, and the Fateful Summer of 1940)
ten or twelve men, especially between brothers and between fathers and sons; but the offspring of these unions are counted as the children of the man with whom a particular woman cohabited first.
Winston S. Churchill (The Birth of Britain (A History of the English Speaking Peoples #1))
In Britain, things were done differently: more slowly and with less passion.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
The Nazi leaders, land creatures, lacked understanding of the difficulty of achieving hemispheric hegemony against a formidable sea power while themselves lacking an effective navy. Churchill owed a large debt to Hitler for a succession of unforced errors. First, by launching the Luftwaffe against the RAF’s Fighter Command, Germany’s leader offered Britain its only conceivable opportunity to salvage a victory from the ashes of strategic defeat in the summer of 1940.
Anonymous
by the time this teacher was telling me that Wilberforce had set Africans free I already had some knowledge of the rebel slaves known as ‘Maroons’ across the Caribbean, and of the Haitian Revolution, so I had some idea that the enslaved had not just sat around waiting for Wilberforce, or anyone else for that matter, to come and save them. While it’s certainly true that Britain had a popular abolitionist movement to a far greater degree than the other major slaveholding powers in Europe at the time, and this is in its own way interesting and remarkable, generations of Brits have been brought up to believe what amount to little more than fairy tales with regard to the abolition of slavery. If you learn only three things during your education in Britain about transatlantic slavery they will be: 1. Wilberforce set Africans free 2. Britain was the first country to abolish slavery (and it did so primarily for moral reasons) 3. Africans sold their own people. The first two of these statements are total nonsense, the third is a serious oversimplification. What does it say about this society that, after two centuries of being one of the most successful human traffickers in history, the only historical figure to emerge from this entire episode as a household name is a parliamentary abolitionist? Even though the names of many of these human traffickers surround us on the streets and buildings bearing their names, stare back at us through the opulence of their country estates still standing as monuments to king sugar, and live on in the institutions and infrastructure built partly from their profits – insurance, modern banking, railways – none of their names have entered the national memory to anything like the degree that Wilberforce has. In fact, I sincerely doubt that most Brits could name a single soul involved with transatlantic slavery other than Wilberforce himself. The ability for collective, selective amnesia in the service of easing a nation’s cognitive dissonance is nowhere better exemplified than in the manner that much of Britain has chosen to remember transatlantic slavery in particular, and the British Empire more generally
Akala (Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire)
The picture is nevertheless complicated in Britain – at home, if not in its former empire – and might provide some of the reasons why white people here sometimes find terms like ‘white supremacy’ and ‘white privilege’ either inapplicable to Britain or hard to understand. First, Britain never practised open white supremacy on domestic soil as it did in the colonies, so those of us who hail from the colonies have a different understanding of British racial governance, even if we were born here. Second, the most deprived and violent regions of Britain remain areas that are almost exclusively white, such as the rough parts of Glasgow, Belfast and north-east England, a subject to which we will return later. Can the white people who burned to death in Grenfell Tower along with the ‘ethnics’, or were crushed to death at Hillsborough and then demonised in the press as thieves, or the dead at Aberfan, be said to have had ‘white privilege’? I can totally see why this might at first seem absurd to some people. Especially in relation to Kensington and Chelsea, where the working-class Muslim population in the north of the borough so visible during the Grenfell fire contrasts sharply with another large population of Muslims in the south of the borough who hail from the Gulf states, and are rich enough for the paupers to know not to aim their hatred of Muslims at them as they drive up Kensington High Street in their Louis Vuitton-patterned Lamborghinis.
Akala (Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire)
Haiti declared itself independent in 1804. This was the first and only successful slave revolution in human history, and only the second colony in the Americas to be free of European rule. Haiti abolished slavery immediately upon independence – thirty years before Britain would do so in its Caribbean possessions – and became the first state in the world to outlaw racism in its constitution, despite everything done in the name and practice of white supremacy on the island over the preceding centuries.
Akala (Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire)
A full and painstaking account of the day’s fighting, from which this summary is largely derived, is given by Alfred Price in the work which gave this day its name. First published in 1979, it remains one of the best books yet written about the Battle of Britain.
Stephen Bungay (The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain)
In Britain, centuries-old protections for the accused are set aside in the zeal to punish those routinely labeled not as “defendants” but as “abusers.” “Special domestic violence courts” allow third parties such as civil servants and feminist groups to use “relaxed rules of evidence and the lower burden of proof” by bringing “civil actions” against those they label as batterers, even if their alleged “victim” brings no charges—or does not exist. “Victim support groups,” with no first-hand knowledge of the alleged deed, can now act in the name of anonymous alleged victims—with no proof that such alleged victims even exist—to loot men who have been convicted of no crime.
Stephen Baskerville
And here we come to the old adage, the third slavery fact we learned in school and offered to us again by Geldof and so many others: 'Africans sold their own people’. There are a number of obvious problems with the ‘Africans sold their own people’ cliche, but that still does not seem to have stopped people offering it as an ‘argument’. First and foremost, does the fact that Britain had ‘African’ accomplices rid it of any and all wrongdoing? According to many, it does. Second, there was no continental ‘African’ identity before industrial technology, the Scramble for Africa, the redrawing of borders and the modern pan-Africanist movement created it in the twentieth century, and that African identity is still fraught with contradictions and conflicts. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, Africa was not a paradise where all humans sat together around the campfire in their loincloths singing ‘Kumbaya’ in one huge - but obviously primitive - black kingdom covering the entire continent and littered with quaint looking mud huts, any more than all of Europe or Asia was one big happy family. Africa had and has ethnic, cultural, class and imperial rivalries that every scholar of the period acknowledges are the very divisions that colonisers and slave traders played on. In fact, as the award-winning historian Sylviane A. Diouf notes, in none of the slave narratives that have survived do the formerly enslaved talk about being sold by other ‘Africans’, or by ‘their own people’ and only Sancho - who lived in England - even mentions the ‘blackness’ of those that sold him. The victims of the transatlantic traffic did not think that they were being sold out by their ‘black brothers and sisters’ any more than the Irish thought that their ‘white brothers and sisters’ from England were deliberately starving them to death during the famine.
Akala (Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire)
France was about to fall to the Germans, and Neville Chamberlain was about to resign as Prime Minister of Great Britain. He called Winston Churchill and Lord Halifax into his office. He said, “Well, one of you two will have to replace me. Who’s it going to be?” Churchill wrote, “I knew no Englishman could ever say ‘Give it to me’. So whoever spoke first would be the loser. It was the longest 30 seconds of my life, but nothing would induce me to speak.” Eventually Halifax couldn’t bear it any longer. He cracked. He said, “Well, I suppose you’d better give it to Winston.” Churchill accepted, and became Prime Minister. Imagine the course of history if Churchill had spoken first.
Dave Trott (Creative Mischief)
We have heard over and over that blacks are the only people who were brought to America against their will, and that this terrible blow explains their failures centuries later. In fact, hundreds of thousands of European criminals and paupers were forcibly exiled to America, and Britain was still dumping its human refuse in America as late as 1885—more than a century after independence.286 Other whites came to America in bondage as indentured servants. They ran away, were recaptured, and flogged just like slaves. One scholar estimates that more than half of the white immigrants to the thirteen original colonies came as bondsmen.287 But more to the point, it is exquisitely irrelevant whether anyone’s great-great-great-great grandparents came to America by free will or not. No one chooses his birthplace, so except for first-generation immigrants, no one in America has any more choice over his homeland than do the descendants of slaves. This does not stop people from blaming slavery for everything from drug addiction to murder rates to illegitimacy.
Jared Taylor (Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America)
Quite early the “first takes” were joined by other interpretations. The obviously obsessive character of some fascists cried out for psychoanalysis. Mussolini seemed only too ordinary, with his vain posturing, his notorious womanizing, his addiction to detailed work, his skill at short-term maneuvering, and his eventual loss of the big picture. Hitler was another matter. Were his Teppichfresser (“carpet eater”) scenes calculated bluffs or signs of madness? His secretiveness, hypochondria, narcissism, vengefulness, and megalomania were counterbalanced by a quick, retentive mind, a capacity to charm if he wanted to, and outstanding tactical cleverness. All efforts to psychoanalyze him have suffered from the inaccessibility of their subject, as well as from the unanswered question of why, if some fascist leaders were insane, their publics adored them and they functioned effectively for so long. In any event, the latest and most authoritative biographer of Hitler concludes rightly that one must dwell less on the Führer’s eccentricities than on the role the German public projected upon him and which he succeeded in filling until nearly the end. Perhaps it is the fascist publics rather than their leaders who need psychoanalysis. Already in 1933 the dissident Freudian Wilhelm Reich concluded that the violent masculine fraternity characteristic of early fascism was the product of sexual repression. This theory is easy to undermine, however, by observing that sexual repression was probably no more severe in Germany and in Italy than in, say, Great Britain during the generation in which the fascist leaders and their followers came of age. This objection also applies to other psycho-historical explanations for fascism. Explanations of fascism as psychotic appear in another form in films that cater to a prurient fascination with supposed fascist sexual perversion. These box-office successes make it even harder to grasp that fascist regimes functioned because great numbers of ordinary people accommodated to them in the ordinary business of daily life.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
IN 1066, WILLIAM OF NORMANDY CROSSED THE CHANNEL FROM FRANCE TO INVADE ENGLAND. ONCE HE BECAME KING, WILLIAM STARTED BUILDING CASTLES ALL OVER ENGLAND. CHEPSTOW WAS THE VERY FIRST CASTLE HE BUILT. IT WAS IN AN IMPORTANT SPOT. THE CASTLE GUARDED THE MAIN RIVER CROSSING FROM ENGLAND INTO WALES. HUNDREDS OF YEARS EARLIER, THE ROMANS HAD A FORT IN THE SAME PLACE. WILLIAM USED BRICKS FROM THE ROMAN FORT IN THE MAIN ARCHWAY OF HIS CASTLE. IT IS THE OLDEST MEDIEVAL CASTLE IN GREAT BRITAIN. IT CONTAINS WHAT IS PROBABLY THE OLDEST MEDIEVAL TOILET!
Pam Pollack (Who Is J.K. Rowling? (Who Was...?))
the Republic He [the king of Britain] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain. —Thomas Jefferson, draft of the Declaration of Independence
William A Darity (From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century)
With Britain distracted by the Napoleonic Wars, President Jefferson felt compelled to get there first—before his long-hated British, with their “bastard liberty,” and who, as he contemptuously put it, “would not lose the sale of a bale of fur for the freedom of the whole world.” On
Peter Stark (Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival)
The Economist has produced a more sophisticated set of ‘back-of-the-envelope’ estimates in an interactive basic income calculator for all OECD countries.4 This purports to show how much could be paid as a basic income by switching spending on non-health transfers, leaving tax revenues and other public spending unchanged. Interestingly, even on this very restrictive basis, a cluster of seven west European countries could already pay over $10,000 per person per year. The United States could pay $6,300 and Britain $5,800. Obviously, for most countries, the level of basic income that could be financed from this tax-neutral welfare-switching exercise would be modest – though, especially for bottom-ranked countries such as South Korea ($2,200) or Mexico (only $900), this largely reflects their current low tax take and welfare spending. The Economist’s interactive calculator also aims to calculate what tax rises would be needed to pay a basic income of a given amount. For the UK, the calculator estimates that the cost of a basic income of one-third average GDP per head would require a 15 percentage point rise in tax take. Its calculations can again be questioned in their own terms. However, all these back-of-the-envelope exercises are flawed in more fundamental ways. First, they do not allow for clawing the basic income back in tax from higher-income earners, which could be done with no net cost to the affluent or to the Exchequer, simply by tweaking tax rates and allowances so that the extra tax take equals the basic income paid. Second, they do not take account of administrative savings from removal of means testing and behaviour conditions. Administration accounted for £8 billion of the £172 billion 2013–14 budget of the UK’s Department of Work and Pensions, much of which will have gone to pay staff in local job centres to monitor and sanction benefit recipients. This does not include hundreds of millions of pounds paid to private contractors to carry out so-called ‘work assessment’ tests on people with disabilities, which have led to denial of benefits to some of society’s most vulnerable people. Third, they compare the cost of a basic income with the existing welfare budget and assume that all other areas of public spending remain intact. Yet governments can always choose to realign spending priorities. The UK government could save billions by scrapping the plan to replace the Trident nuclear missile system, now estimated to cost more than £200 billion over its lifetime. It could save further billions by ending subsidies that go predominantly to corporations and the affluent.
Guy Standing (Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen)
virtually the entire improvement in output per worker in Britain in the first century of the Industrial Revolution was due to improvement in productivity. It is likely that most of this productivity advance was embodied in capital.
Edward A. Hudson (Economic Growth: How it works and how it transformed the world)
It is important to record that the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster was never mass-produced until 2008. It is a historical object of a very peculiar sort. By 2009, when it had first become hugely popular, it seemed to respond to a particularly English malaise, one connected directly with the way Britain reacted to the credit crunch and the banking crash. From this moment of crisis, it tapped into an already established narrative about Britain’s ‘finest hour’ – the aerial Battle of Britain in 1940–41 – when it was the only country left fighting the Third Reich. This was a moment of entirely indisputable – and apparently uncomplicated – national heroism, one which Britain has clung to through thick and thin. Even during the height of the boom, as the critical theorist Paul Gilroy spotted in his 2004 book After Empire, the Blitz and the Victory were frequently invoked, made necessary by ‘the need to get back to the place or moment before the country lost its moral and cultural bearings’. ‘1940’ and ‘1945’ were ‘obsessive repetitions’, ‘anxious and melancholic’, morbid fetishes, clung to as a means of not thinking about other aspects of recent British history – most obviously, its Empire. This has only intensified since the financial crisis began. The ‘Blitz spirit’ has been exploited by politicians largely since 1979. When Thatcherites and Blairites spoke of ‘hard choices’ and ‘muddling through’, they often evoked the memories of 1941. It served to legitimate regimes which constantly argued that, despite appearances to the contrary, resources were scarce and there wasn’t enough money to go around; the most persuasive way of explaining why someone (else) was inevitably going to suffer. Ironically, however, this rhetoric of sacrifice was often combined with a demand that the consumers enrich themselves – buy their house, get a new car, make something of themselves, ‘aspire’.
Owen Hatherley (The Ministry of Nostalgia)
I first heard of antisemitism only later, when my father told me how Oswald Mosley had fomented riots in the thirties by marching his paramilitary Fascist thugs called “Blackshirts” through Jewish districts in London’s East End. It disgusted him. Mosley’s line was that it was only “big Jews” he hated, not the “little Jews.” The “big Jews” were conspiring to get Britain into war with Germany, whereas the “little Jews” were harmless. But Mosley did nothing to stop his thugs from hurling bricks through the windows of humble houses displaying lighted Sabbath candles.
Phyllis Goldstein (A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism)
her all the way to the crossroads, and I think it more than adequate.” Everyone gaped at her like she was mad. “Our goal,” she continued, “was to distract the king, was it not? To distract the king and those who serve him, to send them on a merry chase. It would have been nice to meet the lady, and to use her captivity to our advantage, but our first intention was to empty the tombs of its guards, yes?” Immerez calmed and nodded, and Sarge let out a breath of relief. Karigan’s own thoughts were awhirl. They kidnapped Estora just to distract the king? To empty the tombs? What were they up to? “Who are you?” she asked the woman. The woman did not answer, but withdrew a pendant from beneath her chemise. It was crudely made of iron, but shaped into a design Karigan knew well: a dead tree. “Second Empire,” she whispered. She glanced at the onlookers. “You’re all Second Empire?” Some drew out pendants like the woman’s, and others raised their hands, palms outward, to show the tattoo of the dead tree. The old woman smiled kindly
Kristen Britain (The High King's Tomb (Green Rider, #3))
For many years South Africa was occupied primarily by Dutch farmers known as Boers who had first arrived in the Cape of Good Hope in 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck established the Dutch East India Company and later by British settlers who arrived in the Cape colony after the Napoleonic wars in the 1820’s, on board the sailing ships the Nautilus and the Chapman. For the most part the two got along like oil and water. After 1806, some of the Dutch-speaking settlers left the Cape Colony and trekked into the interior where they established the Boer Republics. There were many skirmishes between them as well as with the native tribes. In 1877 after the First Boer War between the Dutch speaking farmers and the English the Transvaal Boer republic was seized by Britain. Hostilities continued until the Second Boer War erupted in October of 1899 costing the British 22,000 lives. The Dutch speaking farmers, now called Afrikaners, lost 7,000 men and having been overrun by the English acknowledged British sovereignty signing the peace agreement, known as the “Treaty of Vereeniging,” on May 31, 1902. Although this thumbnail sketch of South African history leaves much unsaid, the colonial lifestyle continued for the privileged white ruling class until the white, pro-apartheid National Party was peacefully ousted and the African National Congress won. Nelson Mandela was elected as the first black president on May 9, 1994. On May 10, 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as The Republic of South Africa's new freely elected President with Thabo Mbeki and F.W. De Klerk as his vice-presidents.
Hank Bracker
After the First World War it was natural that some Europeans should try to create a European union that would prevent a repetition of war. A few British people welcomed the idea. But when France proposed such an arrangement in 1930, one British politician spoke for the majority of the nation: "Our hearts are not in Europe; we could never share the truly European point of view nor become real patriots of Europe. Besides, we could never give up our own patriotism for an Empire which extends to all parts of the world... The character of the British people makes it impossible for us to take part seriously in any Pan-European system.
David McDowall (An Illustrated History of Britain)
No American will think it wrong of me if I proclaim that to have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy. I could not foretell the course of events. I do not pretend to have measured accurately the martial might of Japan, but now at this very moment I knew the United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death. So we had won after all! Yes, after Dunkirk; after the fall of France; after the horrible episode of Oran; after the threat of invasion, when, apart from the Air and the Navy, we were an almost unarmed people; after the deadly struggle of the U-boat war -- the first Battle of the Atlantic, gained by a hand's breadth; after seventeen months of lonely fighting and nineteen months of my responsibility in dire stress, we had won the war. England would live; Britain would live; the Commonwealth of Nations and the Empire would live. How long the war would last or in what fashion it would end, no man could tell, nor did I at this moment care. Once again in our long Island history we should emerge, however mauled or mutiliated, safe and victorious. We should not be wiped out. Our history would not come to an end. We might not even have to die as individuals. Hitler's fate was sealed. Mussolini's fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder.
Winston S. Churchill (The Second World War)
For the first time it was clear to those who listened to Churchill’s speech—and the whole country listened carefully—that all of the easy presumptions that had shored up appeasement, among them belief in the French Army, the legendary strength of the Maginot Line, the fighting qualities of the BEF, above all the hope that a deal of some kind might be made with Hitler at the last moment, were all swept away by his stark realism, and by the fact, now suddenly clear, that across the Channel a huge, historic battle was being fought—and would very likely be lost. It is no accident that J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings took on its length and dense sweep as an epic in that year, with its central vision of the Dark Lord Sauron’s legions attacking an idyllic land not unlike Britain, as the apparently invincible armies of Hitler swept over one European country after another, taking familiar places that the British, the Belgians, and the French had fought and died for in the 1914–1918 war, ports that were well known to anyone who had ever traveled to “the Continent,” and approached the English Channel itself, advancing swiftly toward the port city of Boulogne, where Napoleon himself had once stood, waiting for the moment to launch 200,000 men at England.
Michael Korda (Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat Into Victory)
Liverpool, surreal. Liverpool, sardonic. Liverpool, battered dignity. Liverpool, flotsam of maritime memory. Liverpool, never quite what it was because everything it does changes what it does. Liverpool, the home of Liverpool. Liverpool, welcoming the world. Liverpool, cutting-edge, keeping pace, dropping anchor. Liverpool, lost. Liverpool, as spontaneous as life itself. Liverpool, born. Liverpool, going to sea. Liverpool, set in its ways, at the end of the line, at the beginning of time, with its back to the land, its feet in the water, its head in the clouds, its heart on its sleeve, hearts in its mouth. Liverpool, its being so cheerful that keeps us going. Liverpool, the first city to rock in Britain. Liverpool, boring people to tears. Liverpool, singing for its supper. Liverpool, a long memory for those who aimed kicks when it was down. Liverpool, eagles become seagulls. Liverpool, working. Liverpool, dreaming. Liverpool, a terminus for down and outs. Liverpool, corrupt. Liverpool, uncompromising. Liverpool, playfulness turned to art, and philosophy, and business. Liverpool, a relatively small provincial city plus hinterland with associated metaphysical space as defined by dramatic moments in history, emotional occasions and general restlessness. Liverpool, the rest of the world rubbing off. Liverpool, occupation hard knocks.
Paul Morley (The North (And Almost Everything In It))
Harry Hopkins when he arrived in London early in January 1941 for a first-hand view of Britain’s needs and morale. This frail Iowan had directed the New Deal Emergency Relief Administration and was Roosevelt’s troubleshooter, a man so close to the President that he lived in the White House as part of the family household. He arrived in Britain with the self-defined mission of being the ‘catalytic agent between two prima donnas’.
David A.T. Stafford (Churchill & Secret Service)
First Germany must ‘create a powerful land force,’ so that foreigners took her seriously. Then, he wrote in 1928, there must be an alliance with Britain and her empire, so that ‘together we may dictate the rest of world history.
David Irving (The War Path)
A smaller, deterrent force could have been kept in place long enough for the sanctions to have had a significant effect; an army of half a million couldn’t. The purpose of the quick military build-up was to ward off the danger that Iraq might be forced out of Kuwait by peaceful means. Why was a diplomatic resolution so unattractive? Within a few weeks after the invasion of Kuwait on August 2, the basic outlines for a possible political settlement were becoming clear. Security Council Resolution 660, calling for Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait, also called for simultaneous negotiations of border issues. By mid-August, the National Security Council considered an Iraqi proposal to withdraw from Kuwait in that context. There appear to have been two issues: first, Iraqi access to the Gulf, which would have entailed a lease or other control over two uninhabited mudflats assigned to Kuwait by Britain in its imperial settlement (which had left Iraq virtually landlocked); second, resolution of a dispute over an oil field that extended two miles into Kuwait over an unsettled border. The US flatly rejected the proposal, or any negotiations. On August 22, without revealing these facts about the Iraqi initiative (which it apparently knew), the New York Times reported that the Bush administration was determined to block the “diplomatic track” for fear that it might “defuse the crisis” in very much this manner. (The basic facts were published a week later by the Long Island daily Newsday, but the media largely kept their silence.)
Noam Chomsky (How the World Works)
The genius of the European project, expressed first in the ECSC and subsequently in the EEC, was that it harnessed cross-border integration to the pursuit of national self-interest, rather than setting these forces against one another.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
In their beaver-like work to enforce the Reich's emigration policies on the Jewish community, the SS had hitherto tried hard to keep a low profile, and to avoid any kind of spectacular outrage to international opinion. Göring thus found himself on the side of the SS, in alliance against the radical Goebbels, and on January 24 he formally instructed the ministry of the interior to set up a central emigration office under Heydrich to regulate and organize the deportation of the Jews. Hitler's personal part in this anti-Jewish programme was one of passive observation. Talking with Colonel Jósef Beck, the Polish foreign minister, on January 5 he rather speciously regretted that the western powers had not entertained Germany's colonial demands: ‘If they had, I might have helped solve the Jewish problem by making a territory available in Africa for resettlement of not only the German but the Polish Jews as well.’ On the twenty-first, he uttered to the Czech foreign minister Chvalkovský these ominous words: ‘The Jews here are going to be destroyed.’ The Czech replied sympathetically, and Hitler continued: ‘Help can only come from the others, like Britain and the United States, who have unlimited areas that they could make available for the Jews.’ And in a major speech to the Reichstag on January 30, 1939, Hitler uttered an unmistakable threat to any Jews who did choose to remain behind in his Germany: I have very often been a prophet in my lifetime and I have usually been laughed at for it. During my struggle for power, it was primarily the Jewish people who just laughed when they heard me prophesy that one day I would become head of state and thereby assume the leadership of the entire people, and that I would then among other things subject the Jewish problem to a solution. I expect that the howls of laughter that rose then from the throats of German Jewry have by now died to a croak. Today I'm going to turn prophet yet again: if international finance Jewry inside and outside Europe should succeed once more in plunging our peoples into a world war, then the outcome will not be a Bolshevization of the world and therewith the victory of Jewry, but the destruction of the Jewish race in Europe!
David Irving (The War Path)
In an attempt to head off such stinging and potentially damaging criticism both Rockefeller and Carnegie poured hundreds of millions of dollars into public works. In Rockefeller’s case the money went to Chicago University, the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (today Rockefeller University), and the General Education Board that announced it would teach children ‘to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way’. In 1913 he and his son established the Rockefeller Foundation that remains one of the richest charitable organisations in the world. Carnegie too used his money to encourage education. His grand scheme was to fund the opening of libraries, and between 1883 and 1929 more than 2,000 were founded all over the world. In many small towns in America and in Britain, the Carnegie Library is still one of their most imposing buildings, always specially designed and built in a wide variety of architectural styles. In 1889, Carnegie wrote his Gospel of Wealth first published in America and then, at the suggestion of Gladstone, in Britain. He said that it was the duty of a man of wealth to set an example of ‘modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance’, and, once he had provided ‘moderately’ for his dependents, to set up trusts through which his money could be distributed to achieve in his judgement, ‘the most beneficial result for the community’. Carnegie believed that the huge differences between rich and poor could be alleviated if the administration of wealth was judiciously and philanthropi-cally managed by those who possessed it. Rich men should start giving away money while they lived, he said. ‘By taxing estates heavily at death, the state marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire’s unworthy life.
Hugh Williams (Fifty Things You Need to Know About World History)
Even Rudyard Kipling, that most patriotic of poets, whose only son was killed on his first day on the Western front, could write in 1919, in the persona of a dead soldier, “If any question why we died / Tell them ‘Because our fathers lied.
Norman Moss (Nineteen Weeks: America, Britain, and the Fateful Summer of 1940)
Serious businesspeople nowadays tend to regard any alternative to the investor-owned corporation as aberrant or impossible. But the alternatives actually preceded the models that prevail today. In Britain, the first legislation for co-ops passed four years before joint-stock companies got their own law in 1856. Legal scholar Henry Hansmann has suggested that we regard investor-owned companies as a distorted kind of cooperative, bent in service of investor interests over anyone else’s.8 The kind of business that now seems normal was once strange; someday it might seem strange again.
Nathan Schneider (Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy)
Using graphite as a moderator can be highly dangerous, as it means that the nuclear reaction will continue - or even increase - in the absence of cooling water or the presence of steam pockets (called ‘voids’). This is known as a positive void coefficient and its presence in a reactor is indicative of very poor design. Graphite moderated reactors were used in the USA in the 1950s for research and plutonium production, but the Americans soon realised their safety disadvantages. Almost all western nuclear plants now use either Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs) or Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs), which both use water as a moderator and coolant. In these designs, the water that is pumped into the reactor as coolant is the same water that is enabling the chain reaction as a moderator. Thus, if the water supply is stopped, fission will cease because the chain reaction cannot be sustained; a much safer design. Few commercial reactor designs still use a graphite moderator. Other than the RBMK and its derivative, the EGP-6, Britain’s Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor (AGR) design is the only other graphite-moderated reactor in current use. The AGR will soon be joined by a new type of experimental reactor at China’s Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Plant, which is currently under construction. The plant will house two graphite-moderated ‘High Temperature Reactor-Pebble-bed Modules’ reactors, the first of which is undergoing commissioning tests as of mid-2019.
Andrew Leatherbarrow (Chernobyl 01:23:40: The Incredible True Story of the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster)
The Greeks, at least by the fourth century BC, knew Britain as Albion. Originally applied to a Spanish tribe called the ‘Albiones’, the term was later adopted for Britain, perhaps because of its similarity to the Greek word for whiteness, alphos, thanks to the white chalk cliffs of the southeast coast. Pliny the Elder, writing in the first century AD, says that Britain had ‘previously’ been called Albion, so by then the name must have fallen out of common use.2 By the time Britain began to be referred to more frequently, the Greeks called it Prettannia, or Brettannia.3 What does seem certain is that in the fourth century BC, Pytheas of Massilia (Marseilles) sailed to Britain. Pytheas wrote down his experiences, but these only survive as incidental third-hand references by later writers. Most
Guy de la Bédoyère (Roman Britain: A New History)
India, in particular was a horror story about a ‘lost country’ that had failed miserably in the international struggle: ‘small capitalists’ from Britain had taken over an entire continent by training Indians to be soldiers; Indians enforced British policies at the expense of their own compatriots. China was in danger of repeating that experience because her people had developed no sense of a corporate interest or national solidarity- the basis of European power and prosperity. One reason for this was that the country’s neighbours were so vastly inferior that the Chinese people had felt themselves to be the whole world. The conceit, once shared by Liang himself, could no longer be maintained in an international system where China had to either recognize the reality of conflict and competition with other societies or sink. For, ‘In the world there is only power- there is no other force. That the strong always rule the weak is in truth the first great universal rule of nature. Hence, if we wish to attain liberty, there is no other road: we can only seek first to be strong.
Pankaj Mishra (From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia)
I want to start everything in New, what's the bad point?? I don't want to have problems with people which we can be friends or nothing, but not argue as before. What's the purpose what did you gain??? Points?? Money?? PS3??? Xbox??? Nothing just useless and making troubles with people, if we must discuss something let's to be about the fucking Bulgarian Schools, talk about them, I hate them as much as you hate them, I hate the Bulgarian as much as you hate them, I hate the fucking teachers in the fucking schools with which just have fucking problems. How can somebody joke with your spelling or with your mistakes for months???? ... What more to tell you??? That I'm sorry that I'm a Bulgarian guy, because I'm sorry, I can't live with this fucking people, what do they created??? Nothing just staying home and jerkoff non-stop, very creative! And guest what happened??? Here come the "?" people which are terrorists in france and have killed a lot of people and here will be planed the same....,what more only the thought that somebody has graduated from the best school existed in Bulgaria and to have fails with the writing like making so easy mistakes that nobody will make ever, to make mess on the sheets and many other things and this on very important day. A day in which you choose the president or the pre-minister or some kind like this, which is important. I'm very sorry that I'm Bulgarian guy, I don't want to be the cases are this, I want to be an American or a guy from Great Britain, but whatever to be, but to know this language. All people use it, and we are the only people which or some others as one User said that France and Germany are also with the worst English in case that Germany words are like English, but little fucked like spelled and written different like Sänger - singer songster schreiben WOw, this is really fucked just look how arae spelled how are written little like joking with English, aren't they??? If they aren't okay, that's your opinion _ I don't have something against it! If there was chance to be other race no matter what American guy or whatever ot to change my country ot my native language I will do it. If there is chance to and learn English, I go and learnt it without giving and shit about the fucking Bulgarian, I won't call my parents, friends and everything, just everything will be mainly for learning English the best way as possible. I fill fucked there are people which can't read, english, to don't talk about bulgarian, all day I'm seeing how mass media brain washes. I don't see how can be improved Bulgaria it's a fail I know why Adolf Hitler wanted to destroyed it and why Churchill Wanted also, I'm not sure about Churchill, but for HItler I'm sure that he wanted to kill us because of that, whatever you understand me what level we are as nation. I hate the fucking Bulgarian people what to learn from them to joke with people badly??? Very Creative??? To jerkoff all time and to don't give a damn shit about the things around the world?? Or to be with friends which can't think or people which are so much stupid that I'm sorry about them... Whatever, read it if you want if you don't want don't read it, but first check it before you block me. Thank you I appreciate your reading!
Deyth Banger
the Cook expedition had another, far less benign result. Cook was not only an experienced seaman and geographer, but also a naval officer. The Royal Society financed a large part of the expedition’s expenses, but the ship itself was provided by the Royal Navy. The navy also seconded eighty-five well-armed sailors and marines, and equipped the ship with artillery, muskets, gunpowder and other weaponry. Much of the information collected by the expedition – particularly the astronomical, geographical, meteorological and anthropological data – was of obvious political and military value. The discovery of an effective treatment for scurvy greatly contributed to British control of the world’s oceans and its ability to send armies to the other side of the world. Cook claimed for Britain many of the islands and lands he ‘discovered’, most notably Australia. The Cook expedition laid the foundation for the British occupation of the south-western Pacific Ocean; for the conquest of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand; for the settlement of millions of Europeans in the new colonies; and for the extermination of their native cultures and most of their native populations.2 In the century following the Cook expedition, the most fertile lands of Australia and New Zealand were taken from their previous inhabitants by European settlers. The native population dropped by up to 90 per cent and the survivors were subjected to a harsh regime of racial oppression. For the Aborigines of Australia and the Maoris of New Zealand, the Cook expedition was the beginning of a catastrophe from which they have never recovered. An even worse fate befell the natives of Tasmania. Having survived for 10,000 years in splendid isolation, they were completely wiped out, to the last man, woman and child, within a century of Cook’s arrival. European settlers first drove them off the richest parts of the island, and then, coveting even the remaining wilderness, hunted them down and killed them systematically. The few survivors were hounded into an evangelical concentration camp, where well-meaning but not particularly open-minded missionaries tried to indoctrinate them in the ways of the modern world. The Tasmanians were instructed in reading and writing, Christianity and various ‘productive skills’ such as sewing clothes and farming. But they refused to learn. They became ever more melancholic, stopped having children, lost all interest in life, and finally chose the only escape route from the modern world of science and progress – death. Alas,
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Another obstacle was the stubbornness of the countries the pipeline had to cross, particularly Syria, all of which were demanding what seemed to be exorbitant transit fees. It was also the time when the partition of Palestine and the establishment of the state of Israel were aggravating American relations with the Arab countries. But the emergence of a Jewish state, along with the American recognition that followed, threatened more than transit rights for the pipeline. Ibn Saud was as outspoken and adamant against Zionism and Israel as any Arab leader. He said that Jews had been the enemies of Arabs since the seventh century. American support of a Jewish state, he told Truman, would be a death blow to American interests in the Arab world, and should a Jewish state come into existence, the Arabs “will lay siege to it until it dies of famine.” When Ibn Saud paid a visit to Aramco’s Dhahran headquarters in 1947, he praised the oranges he was served but then pointedly asked if they were from Palestine—that is, from a Jewish kibbutz. He was reassured; the oranges were from California. In his opposition to a Jewish state, Ibn Saud held what a British official called a “trump card”: He could punish the United States by canceling the Aramco concession. That possibility greatly alarmed not only the interested companies, but also, of course, the U.S. State and Defense departments. Yet the creation of Israel had its own momentum. In 1947, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine recommended the partition of Palestine, which was accepted by the General Assembly and by the Jewish Agency, but rejected by the Arabs. An Arab “Liberation Army” seized the Galilee and attacked the Jewish section of Jerusalem. Violence gripped Palestine. In 1948, Britain, at wit’s end, gave up its mandate and withdrew its Army and administration, plunging Palestine into anarchy. On May 14, 1948, the Jewish National Council proclaimed the state of Israel. It was recognized almost instantly by the Soviet Union, followed quickly by the United States. The Arab League launched a full-scale attack. The first Arab-Israeli war had begun. A few days after Israel’s proclamation of statehood, James Terry Duce of Aramco passed word to Secretary of State Marshall that Ibn Saud had indicated that “he may be compelled, in certain circumstances, to apply sanctions against the American oil concessions… not because of his desire to do so but because the pressure upon him of Arab public opinion was so great that he could no longer resist it.” A hurriedly done State Department study, however, found that, despite the large reserves, the Middle East, excluding Iran, provided only 6 percent of free world oil supplies and that such a cut in consumption of that oil “could be achieved without substantial hardship to any group of consumers.
Daniel Yergin (The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power)
The paradox, though, was already evident: that the more solidly the foundations of an English state were cemented together, so the harder did it become to present the island as a single realm. Seen in this light, Athelstan’s conquest of York, the feat which had first served to project the power of the West Saxon monarchy deep into the north of Britain, can be seen as the decisive event in the making of Scotland as well as of England. There
Tom Holland (Athelstan: The Making of England)
Sir Winston Churchill was born into the respected family of the Dukes of Marlborough. His mother Jeanette, was an attractive American-born British socialite and a member of the well known Spencer family. Winston had a military background, having graduated from Sandhurst, the British Royal Military Academy. Upon graduating he served in the Army between 1805 and 1900 and again between 1915 and 1916. As a British military officer, he saw action in India, the Anglo–Sudan War, and the Second South African Boer War. Leaving the army as a major in 1899, he became a war correspondent covering the Boer War in the Natal Colony, during which time he wrote books about his experiences. Churchill was captured and treated as a prisoner of war. Churchill had only been a prisoner for four weeks before he escaped, prying open some of the flooring he crawled out under the building and ran through some of the neighborhoods back alleys and streets. On the evening of December 12, 1899, he jumped over a wall to a neighboring property, made his way to railroad tracks and caught a freight train heading north to Lourenco Marques, the capital of Portuguese Mozambique, which is located on the Indian Ocean and freedom. For the following years, he held many political and cabinet positions including the First Lord of the Admiralty. During the First World War Churchill resumed his active army service, for a short period of time, as the commander of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. After the war he returned to his political career as a Conservative Member of Parliament, serving as the Chancellor of the Exchequer where in 1925, he returned the pound sterling to the gold standard. This move was considered a factor to the deflationary pressure on the British Pound Sterling, during the depression. During the 1930’s Churchill was one of the first to warn about the increasing, ruthless strength of Nazi Germany and campaigned for a speedy military rearmament. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty for a second time, and in May of 1940, Churchill became the Prime Minister after Neville Chamberlain’s resignation. An inspirational leader during the difficult days of 1940–1941, he led Britain until victory had been secured. In 1955 Churchill suffered a serious of strokes. Stepping down as Prime Minister he however remained a Member of Parliament until 1964. In 1965, upon his death at ninety years of age, Queen Elizabeth II granted him a state funeral, which was one of the largest gatherings of representatives and statesmen in history.
Hank Bracker
forces on taking sugar islands in the West Indies or besieging Gibraltar or collecting an assault force for the invasion of Britain, because the place to defeat the English was in America. Pleas from the Continental Congress to the same purpose were having effect. From George Washington himself came a letter to La Luzerne, French Minister to the United States, stressing the need of naval superiority and asking for a French fleet to come to America. As forerunner, seven ships of the line under Admiral de Ternay, d’Estaing’s successor, came into Newport in July, 1780, bringing a man and a small land army
Barbara W. Tuchman (The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution)
The fondness of Britons for the uninhibited pilots was reciprocated by most of the Americans. Even those who had no real interest in aiding the British cause when they first enlisted in the RAF found themselves admiring the bravery and determination of the public in standing up to Hitler. “They were, without a shadow of a doubt, the most courageous people that I have ever known,” said one American. “Although their cities were in shambles, I never heard one Briton lose faith.” Another U.S. pilot declared: “To fight side by side with these people was the greatest of privileges.” After the war, Bill Geiger, who’d been a student at California’s Pasadena City College before he came to Britain, recalled the exact moment when he knew that the British cause was his as well. Leaving a London tailor’s shop, where he had just been measured for his RAF uniform, he noticed a man working at the bottom of a deep hole in the street, surrounded by barricades. “What’s he doing?” Geiger asked a policeman. “Sir,” the bobby replied, “he’s defusing a bomb.” Everyone standing there—the bobby, pedestrians, the man in the hole—was “so cool and calm and collected,” Geiger remembered. He added: “You get caught up in that kind of courage, and then pretty soon you say, ‘Now I want to be a part of this. I want to be part of these people. I want to be a part of what I see here and what I feel here.’ ” AS
Lynne Olson (Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour)
We are descended from a people whose government was founded on liberty; our glorious forefathers of Great Britain made liberty the foundation of everything. That country is become a great, mighty, and splendid nation; not because their government is strong and energetic, but, sir, because liberty is its direct end and foundation.” – Patrick Henry Patrick
Charles River Editors (Patrick Henry: The Life and Legacy of the Founding Father and Virginia’s First Governor)
With that, several British soldiers began firing into the crowd as well, despite not being ordered to, killing or mortally wounding five people. People throughout the colonies were livid and began once more to complain of the deteriorating relationship they had with Great Britain. Hoping to mollify the angry citizens, the Crown repealed the Townshend and Quartering Acts. While
Charles River Editors (Patrick Henry: The Life and Legacy of the Founding Father and Virginia’s First Governor)
At Emain and Cruachan, as well as at Tara, the assemblages were primarily political. They were conventions of representatives from all parts, for the purpose of discussing national affairs — and were presided over by the king. The yearly Fair of Taillte (now Telltown) in Meath, was mainly for athletic contests — and for this was long famous throughout Eirinn, Alba, and Britain. In the course of time, too, Taillte acquired new fame as a marriage mart. Boys and girls, in thousands, were brought there by their parents, who matched them, and bargained about their tinnscra (dowry) — in a place set apart for the purpose, whose Gaelic name, signifying marriage-hollow, still commemorates its purpose. The games of Taillte were Ireland’s Olympics, and, we may be sure, caused as keen competition and high excitement as ever did the Grecian. These Tailltin games took place during the first week of August — and the first of August, to this day, is commonly called Lugnasad — the games of the De Danann Lugh, who first instituted this gathering in memory of his foster-mother, Taillte.
Seumas MacManus (The Story of the Irish Race: A Popular History of Ireland)
1880, the British government took the unprecedented step of legislating that all timetables in Britain must follow Greenwich. For the first time in history, a country adopted a national time and obliged its population to live according to an artificial clock rather than local ones or sunrise-to-sunset cycles. This
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
1812 -  U.S. declares war on Britain (War of 1812)   The
James Weber (American History in 50 Events: From First Immigration to World Power (History in 50 Events Series Book 2))
Crimping or Shanghaiing was the act of kidnapping unsuspecting men to serve aboard ships usually destined to sail to the far east. In most cases this happened on the waterfront of cities such as London, Bristol and Hull in England and San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Port Townsend on the West Coast and New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore on the on the East Coast of the United States. Portland, Oregon. In the mid-19th century eventually became the most infamously known city for shanghaiing. People engaged in this form of kidnapping were known as crimps and those members of a ship’s crew that were acquired in this way were referred to as being part of a ships “press gang.” This term had its origin Great Britain's Royal Navy. The need for Shanghaiing grew from shortage of sailors first in the British navy in England and then on merchant ships sailing on the lengthy trade routes primarily to China. With many seamen jumping ship along the west coast and joining the California Gold Rush it developed a cottage industry for boarding masters known as crimps, who found crews for ships. Being paid for every person they delivered there was a strong incentive to find as many seamen as possible and for this they were paid what was named blood money. Records show that these crimps could receive a percentage of the man’s pay or in some cases thousands of dollars of advance pay against the seaman’s pay for the voyage. In 1884 the practice of Crimping or Shanghaiing was curtailed when the Dingley Act came into effect. This law prohibited the taking advantage of the seamen, although some loopholes allowed the practice to continue into the 20th century.
Hank Bracker
Although the First Testament talks about slavery, Middle Eastern slavery was not an inherently oppressive institution like the European slavery accepted under the Roman Empire and then accepted by Britain and the United States. It would be better to call Middle Eastern slavery “servitude,” a servitude that could provide people who become impoverished with an economic safety net. The Torah accepts such servitude but places constraints on it, such as limiting its length to seven years and requiring that a servant be treated as a member of the family.
John E. Goldingay (Do We Need the New Testament?: Letting the Old Testament Speak for Itself)
Commencez!' cried I, when they had all produced their books. The moon-faced youth (by name of Jules Vanderkelkov, as I afterwards learned) took the first sentence. The 'livre de lecteur' was 'The Vicar of Wakefield', much used in foreign schools, because it is supposed to contain prime samples of conversational English. It might, however, have been a Runic scroll for any resemblance the worse, as enunciated by Jules, bore to the language in ordinary use amongst the natives of Great Britain. My God! how he did snuffle, snort, and wheeze! All he said was said in his throat and nose, for it is thus the Flamands speak; but I heard him to the end of his paragraph without proffering a word of correction, whereat he looked vastly self-complacent, convinced, no doubt, that he had acquitted himself like a real born and bred 'Anglais'. In the same unmoved silence I listened to a dozen in rotation; and when the twelfth had concluded with splutter, hiss, and mumble, I solemnly laid down the book. 'Arrêtez!', said I. There was a pause, during which I regarded them all with a steady and somewhat stern gaze. A dog, if stared at hard enough and long enough, will show symptoms of embarrassment, and so at length did my bench of Belgians. Perceiving that some of the faces before me were beginning to look sullen, and others ashamed, I slowly joined my hands, and ejaculated in a deep 'voix de poitrine' - 'Comme c'est affreux!' They looked at each other, pouted, coloured, swung their heels, they were not pleased, I saw, but they were impressed, and in the way I wished them to be. Having thus taken them down a peg in their self-conceit, the next step was to raise myself in their estimation - not a very easy thing, considering that I hardly dared to speak for fear of betraying my own deficiencies. 'Ecoutez, messieurs!' I said, and I endeavoured to throw into my accents the compassionate tone of a superior being, who, touched by the extremity of the helplessness which at first only excited his scorn, deigns at length to bestow aid. I then began at the very beginning of 'The Vicar of Wakefield,' and read, in a slow, distinct voice, some twenty pages, they all the while sitting mute and listening with fixed attention. By the time I had done nearly an hour had elapsed. I then rose and said, - 'C'est assez pour aujourd'hui, messieurs; demain nous recommençerons, et j'espère que tout ira bien.' With this oracular sentence I bowed, and in company with M. Pelet quitted the schoolroom.
Charlotte Brontë
It was already an age of scientific wonders that promised to reshape economies and boost productivity. From the first steam engine that James Watt built in Great Britain in the 1760s to the hot-air balloons that floated across French skies in the 1780s to Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin and the use of interchangeable parts in the 1790s, it was a time of technological marvels. No industry was being transformed more dramatically than British textiles. Sir Richard Arkwright had devised a machine called the water frame that used the power of rushing water to spin many threads simultaneously. By the time Hamilton was sworn in as treasury secretary, Arkwright’s mills on the Clyde in Scotland employed more than 1,300 hands.
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
11. There Is No Education Like Adversity In 1941, as Britain was in the darkest days of World War Two, Churchill told a generation of young people that ‘these are great days - the greatest days our country has ever lived.’ But why was Churchill telling them that those bleak, uncertain, life-threatening and freedom-challenging days were also the best days of their lives? He knew that it’s when times are tough, when the conditions are at their worst, that we learn what we are truly capable of. There are few greater feelings than finding out you can achieve more, and endure more, than you had previously imagined, and it’s only when we are tested that we realize just how brightly we can shine. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: diamonds are formed under pressure. And without the pressure, they simply remain lumps of coal. The greatest trick in life is to learn to see adversity as your friend, your teacher and your guide. Storms come to make us stronger. No one ever achieves their dream without first stumbling over a few obstacles along the way. Experience teaches you to understand that those obstacles are actually a really good indication that you are on the right road. Trust me: if you find a road without any obstacles, I can promise you it doesn’t lead anywhere worthwhile. So, embrace the adversity, embrace the obstacles, and get ready for success. Today is the start of the greatest days of your life…
Bear Grylls (A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character)
The world’s first commercial railroad opened for business in 1830, in Britain. By 1850, Western nations were criss-crossed by almost 25,000 miles of railroads
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Negative images of emigration were transformed into positive ones, not by Wakefield in 1830, but by a much broader trans-Atlantic ideological transition around 1815. Its semiotic shape was the partial displacement of the word “emigrant” by more positively loaded words. According to David Hackett Fischer and James C. Kelly, “before 1790, Americans thought of themselves as emigrants, not immigrants. The word immigrant was an Americanism probably invented in that year. It had entered common usage by 1820.” Related terms also emerged in the 1810s. “Pioneer in the western sense first appeared in 1817”; “Words such as mover (1810), moving wagons (1817), relocate (1814), even the verb to move in its present migratory sense, date from this period.” This was indeed a “radical transformation . . . a new language of migration.”72 But Fischer and Kelly fail to note that it was not solely American and that settler, not immigrant or pioneer, was its main manifestation. In Britain, settler was used in its current meaning at least as far back as the seventeenth century, but it was used infre- quently. By the early nineteenth century, it had connotations of a higher status than “emigrant.” Settlers were distinct from sojourners, slaves, or convict emigrants, and initially even from lower-class free emigrants. In Australia, “‘Settlers’ were men of capital and, in the 1820s, regarded as the true colonists, to be distinguished from mere laboring ‘immigrant’ . . . though eventually all Australia’s immigrants were termed ‘settlers.
Jared Diamond (Natural Experiments of History)
... the French, who had put large expectations in the abasement of Britain that American success would cause, had been disappointed by the weakness of the American military effort. Instead of an aggressive ally, they were tied to a dependent client, unable to establish a strong government and requiring transfusions of men-at-arms and money to keep its war effort alive.
Barbara W. Tuchman (The First Salute)
Let us imagine a lateral world, set only infinitesimally to the side of the one we think we know, in which just this has come to pass. The British people suffer beneath a Tory despotism of previously unimagined rigor and cruelty. Under military rule, Ireland has become a literal shambles—Catholics of any worth or ability are routinely identified when young, and imprisoned or assassinated forthwith. Orange Lodges are ubiquitous, and every neighborhood is administered from one. A sort of grim counter-Christmas runs from the first to the twelfth of July, anniversaries of the Boyne and Aughrim. France, southern Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia have combined in a protective League of Europe, intended to keep Britain an outcast from the community of nations. Her only ally is the U.S., which has become a sort of faithful sidekick, run basically by the Bank of England and the gold standard. India and the colonies are if possible worse off than they were.
Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day)
...the first flush of aristocratic support for the Covenant had begun to wear off when the nobles found themselves being ordered about by middle-class clerics with vaguely egalitarian views and a deep distrust of human pleasures.
Oliver Thomson (Zealots: How a Group of Scottish Conspirators Unleashed Half a Century of War in Britain)
The main products of the twenty-first century will be bodies, brains and minds, and the gap between those who know how to engineer bodies and brains and those who do not will be far bigger than the gap between Dickens’s Britain and the Mahdi’s Sudan. Indeed, it will be bigger than the gap between Sapiens and Neanderthals. In the twenty-first century, those who ride the train of progress will acquire divine abilities of creation and destruction, while those left behind will face extinction.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
Greece thus became one of Europe’s first electoral democracies, preceding Britain by a full generation. As in the United States, democracy was established before an indigenous modern state could be created.
Francis Fukuyama (Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalisation of Democracy)
There is an eloquent summation of all this in James Burnham's book, Suicide of the West, where he wrote: "It is a mark of the ascendancy of liberal ideology ... in the advanced Western nations, most particularly the United States and Great Britain, that for the first time in history disarmament proposals and pacifist-tending ideas are being pressed not by the nations with inferior arms in order to weaken the stronger, but by the stronger in order to weaken themselves: to sacrifice their relative advantage, and thereby to lessen their ability to defend their interests and ideals." As Burnham correctly noted, "what is ending in our age is not empire but merely the empires of the West.
J.R. Nyquist
That same week, on distant Lake Nyasa, in central Africa, a British naval officer, Commander E.L. Rhoades, sailed his gunboat, the Gwendolen, with its single 3-pounder gun, across the lake from the British port of Nkata Bay to the tiny German port of Sphinxhaven, thirty miles away. There he opened fire on, and captured, the German gunboat Wissman, whose commander, Captain Berndt, had not yet heard that war had broken out between Britain and Germany. ‘Naval Victory on Lake Nyasa,’ was the headline in The Times.
Martin Gilbert (The First World War: A Complete History)
A thirty-man SS guard of honour formed up on the terraces outside the Berghof toward five P.M. Hess sent cars down into the valley to meet Chamberlain's train, and at six the English party arrived. Chamberlain was in the familiar dark suit and stiff wing collar, with a light-coloured necktie and a watchchain across his waistcoat. Upstairs in his study Hitler began his usual tirade about the mounting Czech terror campaign. He claimed that three hundred Sudeten Germans had been killed already, and threatened that if Britain continued to talk of war he would revoke the naval agreement. But Chamberlain had not come to talk of war – far from it. ‘If Herr Hitler really wants nothing more than the Sudeten German regions,’ he said in effect, ‘then he can have them!’ Hitler, taken aback, assured him he had no interest whatever in non-Germans. He told his adjutants afterward that he had taken quite a liking to the old gentleman. Chamberlain, wearied by his first-ever aeroplane ride, returned to London.
David Irving (The War Path)
It was already evident to the French and other Europeans that Britain was gaining an industrial lead in the first half of the eighteenth century.There was, for example, the newly acquired technique of smelting iron with purified coal or `coke' instead of charcoal, a fuel which was becoming prohibitively expensive. There were processes for the preparation of raw wool which were trade secrets and much sought after, as were some of the arcane skills of watchmakers.
Gavin Weightman (Industrial Revolutionaries: The Making of the Modern World 1776-1914)
By probing the full sequence of the London plague for the very first time, geneticist Johannes Krause and his team unearthed the evolution of Yersinia pestis [the Plague microbe], and the genomic tracks of its terrible journey. An earlier study had shown that, just like the Plague of Justinian, the Black Death in the 1340s had also originated in China. With a publicly available database of the full sequence, the history and the genetics can be aligned. Over a five-year period we can track a course from Russia to Constantinople, to Messina, to Genoa, Marseille, Bordeaux, and finally London. All these ports acted as points from which radiation of the plague could crawl inland. En route, it claimed the lives of some 5 million people. Just as in the Byzantine Empire 600 years earlier, wave after wave of outbreak crashed into Britain’s population in the centuries after the fourteenth, and it was only after the Great Fire of London in 1666 that this pandemic was crushed. Krause’s work also shows that it never really went away. The pandemic might have ended, but the strains of Yersinia that cause bubonic plague outbreaks to this day are identical.
Adam Rutherford (The Book of Humans: The Story of How We Became Us)
hose watching Isabella process through the cold streets of Segovia could not know that they were witnessing the first steps of a queen destined to become the most powerful woman Europe had seen since Roman times. ‘This queen of Spain, called Isabella, has had no equal on this earth for 500 years,’ one awestruck visitor from northern Europe would eventually proclaim, admiring the fear and loyalty she provoked among the lowliest of Castilians and the mightiest of Grandees.4 This was not hyperbole. Europe had limited experience of queens regnant, and even less of successful ones. Few of those who followed Isabella have had such a lasting impact. Only Elizabeth I of England, Archduchess María Theresa of Austria, Russia’s Catherine the Great (outshining a formidable predecessor, the Empress Elizabeth) and Britain’s Queen Victoria can rival her, each in their own era. All faced the challenges of being a female ruler in an otherwise overwhelmingly male-dominated world and all had long, transformative reigns, leaving legacies that would be felt for centuries. All faced the challenges of being a female ruler in an otherwise overwhelmingly male-dominated world and all had long, transformative reigns, leaving Only Isabella did this by leading a country as it emerged from the troubled late middle ages, harnessing the ideas and tools of the early Renaissance to start transforming a fractious, ill-disciplined nation into a European powerhouse with a clear-minded and ambitious monarchy at its centre. She was, in other words, the first in that still-small club of great European queens. To some she remains the greatest.
Giles Tremlett
The forces that drove Britain and the United States to control the world's shipping lanes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, respectively, first saw light of day in Greece's need to feed itself with imported wheat and barley.
William J. Bernstein (A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World from Prehistory to Today)