Posts Tagged ‘war’

Learning for the exams

17. November 2011

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:

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Reading America

10. Oktober 2011

When I travveld to America, I read a very good book about 9/11 it might actually become more and more important in the recepiton of 9/11 and its aftermath and the current American thought climate: „The Submission“ by Amy Waldman. What happens when a muslim American gets choosen to built the 9/11 memorial? There is a good review in the Atlantic. As horrible as the attack was,“ Waldman writes in The Submission, „everyone wanted a little of its ash on their hands.“ Also see the guardian article down for it.

The other book that dwells on the aftermath of what happend in America is well written, action packed book that tries to describe some of the worst aspects of the war in Afganisthan. War“ by Sebastian Jungner. A book about the life of American soldiers in some dead forsaken valley.

Another wellwritten book is: the 9/11 Wars by Jason Burke. The book tries to give an insight into the policies and failures of the Western and largely American campaigns after 9/11. As to quote from the Guardian: „For those wanting to know why it often went so grimly wrong – and why it may yet do so again – Burke has now penned a solid reference tome, charting the fallout of 9/11 beyond the Manhattan dust cloud and across the Islamic world. It covers the struggles in all their many bloody theatres: the toppling of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein regimes, the horrific insurgency and civil war in Iraq, the al-Qaeda bombings in London and Madrid, and returning, with depressing circularity, to the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan five years later“ Nothing I can add to that, except that I was really adicted to reading it.

There is an intresting aricle in the british daily the guardian about writers response towards 9/11: „After 9/11: our own low, dishonest decade – The world changed on 9/11, or so the cliche goes. How have writers responded to the challenge of representing this new reality?“