Yesterday we had the first meeting of our english state exams learning group. I already started learning and reading the books but of course there is a lot to do and some of the others are even writing their thesis right now! Luckily I wrote my thesis already and now can concentrate on studying.
The topic for the English exam will be:
Cultural Studies: From Churchill to Cameron – Politics in Britain since WW II
And keywords are:
- Political developments in the UK
- Britain’s position in the world (wars, in the EU, Commonwealth)
- Foreign Policy
- Immigration and Multicultural society
- Role in the classroom (e.g. ICC, multiculturalism, Britain in the Classroom)
He gave us quite a reading list and some I already studied, thats because I want to present some of the juiciest quotes here:
From „Patriots – National identity in Britain 1940 -2000„ by Richard Weight, p 300: “ Tory MP Bob Bothby, who was then sleeping with Harold Macmillan’s wife, Dorothy, observed: ‚In 1935 we were on top of the world: by 1956 it had all gone. It took the Roman Empire three hundred years of of most enjoyable decadence to achieve that end: all we can do is seek a fraction of that decadence in what we call our permissive society“
At least there is still very pleasant old English tunes, that you get to know when studying about, like Greensleves:
And on the Decline of the Empire and the Profumo affair (p. 269): „Nancy Mitford compared 1960s Britain to Venice in the sevententh century: ‚Perhaps‘, she suggested, ‚masked naked men, orgies and unlimited spying are an accompaniment of maritime powers in decline. Certainly the whole Ward affair comes straight out of Casanova'“
At least learning for the exams with the topic „Britain from Churchill to Cameron“ is at least entertaining.
Much less spicy but easier to read is Andrew Marr’s „A History of Modern Britain„. He is a BBC journalist and produced a TV series on the same topic as well:
I guess for the orals I will take „Britain and the US after 9/11“, I have some niece books on that and feel I might say something interesting on it.
There is even a good interview with Chomsky on it: