The Dump: Stuff I found & thought worthy of saving

History & TOK teaching, running, golf, politics, junk

Archive for the category “History”

Fall of Singapore


Korean War: inside US decision making 


The book looks intriguing, the article is long enough for students with great details and quotes on US strategy in Korea and towards China and USSR 

Big History Project

Something to look into…

How Europe conquered the world

From Foreign Affairs

Instability of power led to greater warfare to inceasing development of military technology paid for by much higher taxes than elsewhere (eg China was a stable empire with much lower taxes which was spent on infrastructure rather than military…

A few centuries of this led to better tech, bigger forces, a willingness to use this force and an expansionary outlook for resources

OMG: ‘Baghdad Burning’ Blog

OK, so I can be a bit slow on the uptake sometimes. This blog is dated from 17 Aug 2003 to 22 October 2007. So it’s now been untouched for longer than it was written. But (insert appropriate expletive here) it is a harrowing read. It outlines a Baghdad woman’s take on life in Baghdad immediately post-GWBush war. And ends with her arriving in Syria as a refugee.

If you want an account of a refugee’s experience, her last few posts are expressive, a mix of sadness, uncertainty, regret for her country, a tinge of humour and a clarity of purpose.

Packing that suitcase was one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do. It was Mission Impossible: Your mission, R., should you choose to accept it is to go through the items you’ve accumulated over nearly three decades and decide which ones you cannot do without. The difficulty of your mission, R., is that you must contain these items in a space totaling 1 m by 0.7 m by 0.4 m. This, of course, includes the clothes you will be wearing for the next months, as well as any personal memorabilia- photos, diaries, stuffed animals, CDs and the like. 

I packed and unpacked it four times. Each time I unpacked it, I swore I’d eliminate some of the items that were not absolutely necessary. Each time I packed it again, I would add more ‘stuff’ than the time before.

‘Leaving Home’ 6 Sept 2007

I stumbled upon this an hour and a half ago looking up something (I forget) for a uni assignment. I’ve learnt more reading this blog than I’ve learnt in the uni course.

Just one more snippet, from 26 April 2007:

So we’ve been busy. Busy trying to decide what part of our lives to leave behind. Which memories are dispensable? We, like many Iraqis, are not the classic refugees- the ones with only the clothes on their backs and no choice. We are choosing to leave because the other option is simply a continuation of what has been one long nightmare- stay and wait and try to survive.

I also found an Interview by Al Jazeera with Riverbend.

Stop reading me. Go read Riverbend. I just hope she is now ok, wherever she is.


The progression of time isn’t always Progress

Article about chronological ethnocentrism (ie the view that society always improves over time) and examples from USA of forgetting actual and well known instances of things that happened yonks ago (eg Obama can’t be the ‘first gay President’ (Newsweek headline), not because he isn’t gay – but you don’t have to even examine his sexuality because the US had a gay Prez in 1857-61, James Buchanan).

The conclusion is that the US does it to paper over the 1890-1940 period, ‘the nadir of race relations’, and so it allows an uncritical forgetting of all that happened prior to Rosa Parks or Jackie Robinson (who wasn’t the first black man in major league baseball after all)

Nixon’s biggest crime was far worse than Watergate

Nixon’s actions to ensure no peace deal before the 1968 election and then ordered a burglary prior to watergate:

“There was a lot to anger Americans, including (1) interference with a U.S. presidential election (2) by a foreign government (3) that more than 30,000 Americans had died defending (4) and in whose defense hundreds of thousands of other American soldiers were then risking their lives. This interference (5) involved sabotaging peace talks aimed at producing a settlement that would allow those American soldiers to come home. Add to that the evidence that (6) this sabotage had the secret encouragement of the presidential candidate (7) who profited from it politically in an election he won by less than 1 percent of the vote. This was a scandal that could have changed history, had it the government not kept it secret.”


Lies of US History

I saw similar in Lies My History Teacher Told Me, but it’s nice to have a few of these sorts of thing on the web for easy access. (There’s a little bit of naughty language if you don’t like ‘sh!t’)

I like the way he critiques the story, then asks if we should really believe that. Reminds me a little of when I just make random stuff up in class to see if the kids are actually listening – or just gullible!

Might even use this for TOK in the history section – easier than digging out  Reynolds v Windschuttle stuff, and this has pictures!

Australian War Memorial

Excellent site for huge range of resources on Australia’s involvement in war and peacekeeping operations.

See the Wartime page for some journal articles. Easy to lose a couple of hours here!

(I think it also has the downloadable Official Histories of Australia’s wars)

US site, so predominantly American history. Range of info and teaching ideas.

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