Tag Archives | History and ideas

Drama shows best how much Northern Ireland has changed

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The distinguished  Arts commentator Mark Lawson has an interesting blog post in the Guardian pegged to the new BBC2 thriller series “The Fall,” set in Belfast and launched on Monday night.  He uses it to discuss the impact of  “British ” in  the  BBC. He rightly observes the big change, that it’s now  Scotland with its independence  debate where the  “British” more…

What is history for again?

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A growing row over Michael Gove’s proposed new history curriculum for England may well spark a bout of Brit bashing in Slugger and other places. Anything that seems to encourage the “great man theory “( History p 165 et seq)” of British history will be dumped on, but not only on this side of the water. more…

We need fresher thinking than this

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Two New Year articles worth noting which struggle with the abiding theme. Given prime billing in the Irish Times, Robin Wilson laments the anti-democratic and physical force elements in both of our traditions as we move further into the decade of commemoration. His historical sweep of a century reinforces his determinist case against the GFA more…

Essex, Bacon and the early treachery of (Irish) politicians…

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I used Google Plus to interview an old friend from schooldays to talk about a series of lectures he’s holding next week in the Linen Hall Library on one of the least considered and probably most pivotal moments in the history of Ulster. Dr Hiram Morgan looks at that critical period that led under the more…

Eric Hobsbawm: a tarnished or triumphant reputation?

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How is it possible to be a major historian and an apologist for communism?  It may depend on the breadth of your horizons.  Without tackling the question head-on, Eric Hobsbawm who died yesterday at the age of 95 explained himself  in his own terms on this fundamental point in the introduction to Age of Extremes more…

Garret FitzGerald

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How sadly ironic that Garret FitzGerald should die at the moment when his main mission in politics has literally been crowned with fulfillment. In Towards a New Ireland and throughout his career he championed his big idea, uncomfortable to unreflective nationalists, that unionists were as Irish as they were and had to be understood in their own more…

Tony Judt

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Tony Judt, the great historian of modern Europe, is dead from a terrible neurological disease.  The news commands attention out of our usual box.  Judt was not afraid to preach a social democratic humanism to fill the vacuum left by the end of ideological conflict.  He was that rare thing for an Englishman- a public more…