Category: Neil Wynn

‘The Past is Not Dead’ – Confronting the British Past in the wake of Black Lives Matter

Recent events have really put our discipline on the front pages. The Black Lives Matter protests which have swept across the United States and Europe following the brutal murder of George Floyd, have seen statues of controversial historical…

‘I Can’t Breathe’ – Race Conflict in the USA 2020

For American historians, and particularly those who focus on African American history and civil rights, the feelings felt in the last six days are a mixture of sorrow, anger, .. and also déjà vu.  How often in the…

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Thoughts on Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Auschwitz Museum has just reported that the top ten countries from which visitors to the Museum/Memorial came in 2018 are: Poland (405,000), Great Britain(281,000), USA (136,000), Italy (116,000), Spain (95,000), Germany (76.000), France (69,000), Israel (65,000), Czech…

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What to make of the U.S. mid-term elections?

This post comes from Neil Wynn, Emeritus Professor of 20th Century US History at the University of Gloucestershire. While presidential elections take place every four years, congressional elections take place every two years with all 435 seats in…

An American Historian visits Vietnam & Cambodia

By Neil A. Wynn Several things got me interested in U.S. history when I was a teenager – rock n’roll, blues, civil rights, John F. Kennedy (hard to believe now!), and the war in Vietnam.  By the time…

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The USA and World War I

One hundred years ago today, on April 6th 1917, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve Woodrow Wilson’s call for a declaration of war against Germany to “make the world safe for democracy”. Although the United States…

Literature, History, and the Vietnam War

Writing a preview of the Cheltenham Literature Festival, I suggested all History students should read literature.  I was reminded of this today when I read the (belated – he died in June) obituary of Michael  Herr in The…

The Man – or his Times?

Having just been to see Race, the (rather boring, I have to say) bio-pic about the great African American athlete, Jesse Owens, I found myself thinking about people like Owens, and Joe Louis, and contrasting them with Muhammad…

The Passing of a Hero

This Friday will witness the funeral of Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer in history and a figure whose importance transcended sport.  Hundreds will attend his funeral and many thousands more around the world will mourn his passing because…

Where the Wildfire Began: visiting the Civil Rights Museum, Greensboro, NC

Last Saturday, while on my four month stay in the USA, I took the opportunity to visit the nearby International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina. This museum is in the Woolworth building, which holds a special…