Donald Trump and the History of American Protectionism: A New Documentary


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Featuring Marc-William Palen (Exeter), Helen Milner (Princeton), Bill Galston (Brookings Institution), Carla Hills (former US trade representative), David Auter (MIT), David Taylor (Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association), Bruce Springsteen, and Ferris Bueller, Edward Stourton examines America’s long history of resistance to free trade, and asks why it has again become such a potent political force in a new documentary for BBC Radio 4. Continue reading “Donald Trump and the History of American Protectionism: A New Documentary”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Pamphlet with analysis of the Cairo conference, by Homer A. Jack, 1958.
Pamphlet with analysis of the Cairo conference, by Homer A. Jack, 1958.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From historians against Brexit to the ‘other’ Bandung, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Global Radicals: The Transnational Imagination of Australian Sixties Activists

Third World Bookshop. ©Russ Grayson, pacific-edge.info
Third World Bookshop. ©Russ Grayson, pacific-edge.info

Jon Piccini
University of Queensland
Follow on Twitter @JonPiccini

Ever since 2009, when the so called ‘Green Revolution’ in Iran mobilised disenchantment over rigged electoral processes via social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, pundits have marveled at the ‘hashtag revolutionaries’ of the 21st century. Hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter and #RhodesMustFall have come to define movements for African American dignity and the decolonisation of higher education, while the media have awarded popular ‘tweeters’ such as Deray Mckesson spokesperson positions in these otherwise leaderless movements.

However, some dispute the level to which these websites and social media celebrities were central to protest organisation, and broader questions of temporality are equally posed. The marvelling in Twitter’s spontaneous and instantaneous communication leaves little allowance for previous forms of transnational communication that, while perhaps not as quick or easily mediatised, created global movements long before the internet.

My book, Transnational Protest, Australia and the 1960s, published by Palgrave MacMillan shines a light on the processes of global political engagement that made the 1960s a transnational decade. It explores how Australian activists sought out, engaged with, experienced, and translated global ideas – from anti-colonial struggle in Vietnam to the Black Power movement in America and student-worker politics in France. Continue reading “Global Radicals: The Transnational Imagination of Australian Sixties Activists”

Reminder to Register for Tomorrow’s Talk by H. W. Brands – on Reagan, FDR, and US Foreign Policy

What FDR and Reagan Had in Common

And What Might be Disappearing from American Foreign Policy

a Talk by

Professor H. W. Brands

Brands, Bill 2009

When: 24 May, 2.00-3.30

Where: Laver LT6, University of Exeter

RSVP online at Eventbrite

Abstract: Franklin Roosevelt epitomized liberalism in America in the 20th century, and Ronald Reagan conservatism. Yet while they disagreed on nearly everything in domestic affairs, they agreed on the need for the United States to play the leading role in world affairs. This consensus among liberals and conservatives is at risk from the mediocre performance of the U.S. economy since 2008 and from a questioning at both ends of the political spectrum of the value to the United States of trying to solve the world’s problems. Continue reading “Reminder to Register for Tomorrow’s Talk by H. W. Brands – on Reagan, FDR, and US Foreign Policy”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

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Government of Bahrain Annual Report for Year 1358 (February 1939 – February 1940). British Library, IOR/R/15/1/750/4

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From the CIA’s role in Mandela’s 1962 arrest to forgetting the Cultural Revolution, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Air Power and the Modern World

Air Power Black

Jeremy Black
University of Exeter

“We were very young in those days” is the most weighty phrase near the beginning of The Case of the Constant Suicides, a novel by the Anglo-American detective writer John Dickson Carr. Published in 1941, this novel begins in London on September 1 1940, just before the heavy German air attacks on the city had started: “An air-raid alert meant merely inconvenience, with perhaps one lone raider droning somewhere.” By 1941, as today, the experience of bombing was very different, although not as different as it was to be by the end of the war in 1945. Bombing by 1945 had become a key experience of urban life, both in Europe and in East Asia. Refracted through the media and the arts, the civilian experience has to be remembered as a human backdrop to the discussions about effectiveness and practicality.

Air power has played a key role in the military history of the last century, both independently and within land and sea conflicts. Air power has been particularly important at the tactical and operational levels. It has also been seen as a strategic tool, even if bringing this element to fruition has proved very difficult; and difficult, moreover, for the range of states that have sought to pursue this means. The debates about what air power can provide have taken considerably different directions based on whether the army was the dominant service and the degree to which the air force was independent. These issues raise questions not only about how best to present the history of air power, but also concerning its past and present rationale and relevance. Continue reading “Air Power and the Modern World”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

A woman in a traditional hoop skirt walked past graves adorned with Confederate battle flags in Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, Brazil. An annual celebration of the area’s many Confederate settlers was held in the cemetery last month. CreditMario Tama/Getty Images

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From Confederates in Brazil to Jacobins in India, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”