Beyond our Ken?

KL

A review of Ken Livingstone, Being Red: A Politics for the Future (London: Pluto/Left Book Club, 2016)

Having written a 13,000 word review of Ken Livingstone’s latest book, I did not know what to do with it.  No-one, I thought, would want so much on Livingstone now.  People might find my critical take on his career a little over the top.  Well, perhaps, it is time for these words to have their fifteen minutes of fame.

The problem with Being Red is that is a slight book with little new to say.  But in what it fails to say, the issues in Livingstone’s past that he does not critically assess, suggests that he is a danger for the new left in the Labour Party.

Click here to read.

 

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TV and Radio Listings Saturday 28th November to Friday 4th December 2015

no thinkinf

Nothing on the TV that could pass as contemporary British history this week.  For once, Radio 4 does not come to the rescue.

So there are no details of  programmes to be found on the TV and Radio page.

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TV and Radio Listings Saturday 14th November to Friday 20th November 2015

jodrell bank

A few bit and bobs this week.  Elvis Costello read from his own memoire of Radio 4, the history of Jodrell Bank on BB4 and Dominic Sandbrook continues to occupy the space where decent contemporary British history should be in BBC2.

Details of all programmes can be found on the TV and Radio page.

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TV and Radio Listings Saturday 7th November to Friday 13th November 2015

una marson

A thin week.  Some good material on Radio 4, as is so often the case, this week on the abolition of the death penalty and the reasons by it has stayed abolished.  And Lenny Henry has a run of ten fifteen minute programmes on the struggle of black artists to find a place on the British stage and screen.  Other than that, very little for the cotemporary British historial  We do have part 2 of Dominic Sandbrook’s risibly bad history of British popular culture, Let Us Entertain You (am currently writing a long review of it and will post it on my other blog – https://weneedtotalkaboutdominic.wordpress.com – when I have finished.

Details of all programmes can be found on the TV and Radio page.

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TV and Radio Listings Saturday 31st October to Friday 6th November 2015

tube

This week’s high-point , if that is the right word, is Dominic Sandbrook’s four parter on British culture.  Just why the BBC has entrusted a large slice of its contemporary history output to his is a mystery to me.  It is not so much that he has become a pretty unpleasant right-wing columnist on the Daily Mail, but that his history is very poor indeed riddled with facile analyses and unsubstantiated political opinions asserted as if evidence-based conclusion.  Let Us Entertain You starts on Wednesday at 9pm on BBC2 which has at its heart the one-sided assertion that British culture remains in the thrall of the tropes established in Victorian Britain and that the modernism, the sixties and the avant garde had lasting impact.

Details of all programmes can be found on the TV and Radio page.

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Oiling the Wheels of History?  The BP Archive and Historical Research

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Early in October The Guardian reported that students and campaigners at Warwick University were campaigning against the presence of the BP Archive on their campus.  My initial reaction was that it was necessarily wrong to demand that BP be less transparent.  However, the more I examined the issues the more it appeared to me that BP had questions to answer.  Moreover, these questions can only be satisfactorily answered by changes in the way the archive operates.  My full piece can be read here. https://britishcontemporaryhistory.com/news/oiling-the-wheels-of-history-the-bp-archive-and-historical-research/

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TV and Radio Listings Saturday 24th October to Friday 30th October 2015

roberta cowell

A thin week with very little to excite any contemporary British historians with a wish to watch TV while staying on duty.  The BBC considering the history of its own future is the only unmissable programme this week (BBC Radio 4, 8pm Saturday), which is up against a C4’s look at gender reassignment surgery and those who underwent in the 1950s (C4, 8pm Saturday).

Details of all programmes can be found on the TV and Radio page.

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