The written English exam is over – yeah! I have mostly good feeling although I mixed up the Miliband Brothers and said that David was the leader of the opposition – of course it is Ed. Unlike other people in my study group I had read all the books in the reading list. Some were interesting and very insightful, and I wish to highlight those here:
Marr, A. (2009) A History of Modern Britain, London: Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
Andrew Marr is a very accomplished journalist and he writes well. Of course that is his job. I enjoyed reading the book which I got as an ebook for my kindle. You need some general previous knowledge about British history and current events to understand it, but the black series of the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung is a good starting point for that.
His book has been serialized for the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/modern/
Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lurGssKn7PA
Two other books that are similarly interesting and complement the perspective are:
Weight, R (2002) Patriots: National Identity in Britain, 1940 – 2000; London [u.a.]: Macmillan. Unfortunately it is not available as an ebook and quite voluminous but I enjoyed reading it and if you don’t enjoy reading it, you can still use it to kill a small dog or rodent.
Young, H (1998) This blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair; London [u.a.] : Macmillan. Paints a more leader centric history that focuses very well on the people who led the UK and their ideas that shaped history.
Then there are texts that are not on the official reading list, but never the less contemplated my reading.
One was the Blog Entries of Mark Curtis on the the colonial and anti-communist war in Malaya: http://markcurtis.wordpress.com/2007/02/13/the-war-in-malaya-1948-60/
And for a little revenge: SS-GB – and excerpt was even highlighted in a year 12 text book. Britain has lost the war, not only in financial terms, is occupied by German Forces and of course the brave resistance movement fights for the independence.
As for learning, its time to prepare for the orals right now.