When an American civil rights leader praised Stalin

It is important to recognize that attitudes towards Stalin in Western Europe and the USA have not been constant, nor were they ever homogenous. As the leader of the foremost Communist regime, Stalin‚Äôs crimes and virtues were heavily debated among Western intellectuals. Furthermore, the full extent of his terrible treatment of many Soviet citizens was […]



To understand the war in Ukraine, we must understand Russia’s Parallel Histories

  Of all the claims that Vladimir Putin has made about the war in Ukraine, the one that sounds most ludicrous to many of us is the idea that he is ‚Äúde-Nazifying‚ÄĚ Ukraine. President Zelenskyy‚Äôs Jewish heritage and the spat between Russia and Israel over Hitler‚Äôs ethnic background seem to highlight the absurdity of this […]



The GDR ‚Äď An (un)lawful state? / Die DDR ‚Äď (K)ein Unrechtsstaat?

Celeste Schoenen and her students from Langerwehe, Germany have been developing a Parallel Histories debate programme in German and English about whether the GDR was ‚Äėunrechtsstaat‚Äô (an unlawful state). This month‚Äôs blog post, written in both English and German, is from one of Celeste‚Äôs students, Kilian. Kilian reflects on how his opinions on the GDR […]



A Tudor House Divided

Early Modern European history is overflowing with examples of parallel histories because of the profoundly divisive nature of the Reformation. As such, with two clearly distinct sides, it is an area of history that lends itself well to a parallel narratives approach. In particular, such a lens is especially helpful when studying the reigns of […]



The Real Winston Churchill

In keeping with our Great Leaders videos, which examine the legacies of some of the twentieth century‚Äôs most prominent politicians, here Richard Seymour presents the case against Winston Churchill‚Äôs elevated status as a national hero. This piece was originally published by Jacobin Magazine. CHURCHILL WAS NO HERO ‚ÄĒ HE WAS A VILE RACIST FANATICAL ABOUT […]



In Defence of Churchill

Our Great Leaders videos examine the case for and against Churchill’s status as the greatest Briton ever.¬† Continuing our engagement with this debate, here Richard Langworth puts forward his defence of Churchill’s legacy. VE-DAY BROADCAST, DOWNING STREET, 8 MAY 1945 (MAJ. HORTON, WAR OFFICE, PUBLIC DOMAIN) Richard M. Langworth CBE has served as Senior Fellow […]



In the Classroom – How to start ‚Äėdecolonising the curriculum‚Äô without having to change all the topics you teach.

‚ÄėDecolonising the curriculum‚Äô is usually taken as meaning a complete overhaul of the curriculum, and that‚Äôs something that takes time and money, both of which are in short supply at the moment. However you can achieve some of the goals of the ‚Äėdecolonising the curriculum‚Äô movement by simply rereading existing topics you teach with a […]



Making sources fun, not formulaic

One of the most important but also hardest challenge facing every history teacher is introducing their students to source evidence and how to evaluate it. It‚Äôs not always something that students immediately or intuitively grasp, and teachers have tried numerous different ways of scaffolding the learning process. Acronyms like PEE (Point Example and Explanation) abound […]



UK’s ‘culture war’ risks leading to US-style divisions ‚Äď but we’re not there yet

Below is a great article about the polarisation of opinions in the U.K. It makes some interesting comparisons with the full blown culture wars in the USA. Its broad conclusion is that we are not (yet) as divided as the US nor as entrenched in one set of opinions. This finding very much ties in […]



Lessons for Brexit Britain from the Balkans

Disputes over sovereignty may drag on for decades. What can the UK learn from the conflict over Kosovo‚Äôs sovereignty? Brexit, a project founded on the idea of regaining sovereignty, has managed to raise far more issues than it has solved. The UK‚Äôs unilateral attempt to extend grace periods on checks at the Irish Sea border […]