Tag: World War

Film Review: The Story of G.I. Joe (1945)

The film The Story of G.I. Joe is an American war film starring Burgess Meredith and Robert Mitchum. The film was directed by William Wellman and is portrayed as a tribute to infantrymen of American military that operated during the Second World War, G.I. Joe being a typical characterization of the class of soldiers. The film draws heavily from factual narratives of the war, most notably from the dispatches of Ernie Pyle, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. The focus of the film is the 18th Infantry’s C Company is engaged in combat in Italy and Tunisia. Pyle (played convincingly by Burgess Meredith) is the embedded journalist within this Company. But the shared habiting space makes it a personal experience for Pyle and to this extent his journalism takes on a humanitarian hue as opposed to being merely patriotic. This essay will argue that, of the numerous merits attached to the film, it’s showcasing of the bold, humane and forthright journalism of the legendary Ernie Pyle is . . . Read More

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America and the Great War

There are many causes that led to the First World War, but the assassination of the monarch of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Archduke Franz Ferdinand) acted as a trigger in destabilizing what was then a delicate state of European political balance.  A combination of unfortunate timing of the assassination alongside the growing internal tension among European powers gave vent in the form of a war on a massive scale.  Alongside these factors, the rise of nationalistic fervor in some European nations, with the attendant tendencies toward imperialism and militarism had made the outbreak of the war inevitable. (Stubbs, 2002)

The rise of Pan-Slavism, which is a form of ethno-nationalism, in Eastern European countries had also precipitated the war.  The strong diplomatic, economic and strategic interests in neighboring countries induced a cascade effect in terms of drawing reluctant participants to the war.  The Great War was characterized by the long periods spent by the armed . . . Read More

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Similarities between Monopoly Board and Atlantic City

The Monopoly Board game is one of the most popular board games in twentieth century history. First designed in 1935, the game has sold more than 200 million sets in its 76-year existence. The game is loosely based on Elizabeth J. Magie Phillips’ The Landlord’s Game that she published in 1924. Although intended to bring awareness to the dangers of monopoly to the general public, the game caught the public imagination. And there’s been no looking back since then. In the next decade the game was re-adapted by Charles Darrow for maximum entertainment value under the official name Monopoly. (Orbanes, 2004)

At the time of its design, Atlantic City was a popular upscale tourist retreat. And hence the city was used as a model to fill in the details of the board. Many of the properties printed in the forty spaces in the board are taken after real properties of the same name in the city. But Atlantic City today is a frail shadow of its 1930’s glory. The ravages of the Second . . . Read More

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Dangers posed by lack of diversity and representation in the mainstream media’s coverage

One of the talking points among the intelligentsia is the dangers posed by lack of diversity and representation in the mainstream media’s coverage, especially that of Television. This situation gives rise to production of news content that serves the interests of select media elite. This concentration of power in the hands of large media conglomerates makes it easy for them to set the political agenda on the national scale. It is no surprise then that the issues that they cover are infested with their personal biases, prejudices and interests. The general public, made helpless by this system, are presented a narrow political agenda that holds no real significance for them. In other words, while the Television media has the power to elicit a policy response from the government, the outcomes tend to benefit the media elite rather than people. (Potter, 2006, p.69)

Added to this imbalance of power between the media and its consumers is the relative lack of alternative sources . . . Read More

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David Irving: A Brief Profile

David Irving is one of the most controversial modern historians.  Born in Britain in 1938, Irving has written many books about the Second World War and its leaders.  For example, he has written detailed accounts of Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Goebbels, etc.  In his books, he focussed on the military aspects of the war.  But he created many controversies by associating himself with extreme Right-wing ideology.  Even in his accounts of Second World War, there is a bias toward Hitler, his antisemitism and military aggression.  Since Britain suffered both in terms of human and economic costs during the war, he hurt the feelings of his own people by showing sympathy to Hitler.

Since he began to writer about the Second World War during the 1970s and 1980s, he is considered as a revisionist historian.  This is because plenty of books have already been published by the time he took up these projects.  Other scholars have taken objection to his work for its inaccuracy and . . . Read More

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The extent of reform of House of Lords membership in the century since the Parliament Act of 1911

The reform of the upper house of the Parliament has been attempted since the establishment of parliamentary democracy in the UK.  Some of these attempts have fetched positive results whereas the rest have at best been nominal and ineffective.  The Parliament Act of 1911 is a cornerstone legislation in this context as the provisions within it had the potential to significantly alter the status quo with regard to the House of Lords.  This essay will show how far reforms to the House of Lords have materialized and what areas have remained stagnant in the century since the Act.  The first stirrings for Lords reforms started in 1909, when

“the Liberal government of Herbert Asquith was struggling and failing to get its financial reforms through the Lords. Given that these included a tax on land, it was hardly surprising that the landowning (and Conservative) Lords were proving resistant. At that date any Bill needed the support of both Houses before it could   . . . Read More

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In what way was WWII the single most consequential event in Soviet history between 1921 and 1985?

Both the first as well as the second world wars are landmark events in modern world history. Both wars are marked by involvement of the prevailing world powers of the day. In the case of the First World War, the principal actors were the European powers of Britain, Germany, Austria, etc with nominal participation from the United States and the Soviet Union. The Second World War saw a more meaningful participation from the United States of America and the Soviet Union, which were then set to become the leading superpowers in the post war years. Hence it is understandable why this is a crucial event in the history of the Soviet Union since 1921. Despite the fact that WW2 led to the survival of the Communist system and the Russian state, the effects of the war were much deeper. It legitimized the system in the people’s eyes and therefore shaped Russia’s actions in the international arena. The rest of this essay will elaborate further why the Second World War was a turning point . . . Read More

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The benefits and problems caused by the Industrial Revolution

The industrial revolution, which had its beginnings in eighteenth century England, is regarded as one of the most important events in modern history. The prevailing capitalist world order can be traced back to the revolution. With the onset of the industrial revolution, the then prevalent feudal social systems where gradually dismantled and a new economic dynamic was set in motion, which continues till this day. Of course, the neo-liberal economic system of today is very different from the earliest capitalist enterprises, but the core principles remain the same. The rest of this essay will present the pros and cons of this important event as well as briefly explaining why industrial reform came slowly from 1815-1914.
Factories that produce goods on a massive scale are the most prominent symbols of the industrial revolution. Such a radical transformation was allowed to happen because it suited the interests of the aristocracy and nobility of the time. The ruling elite of . . . Read More

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To what extent is social class the best indicator of twentieth-century voting patterns in Britain?

Social class continues to play a significant role in the electoral outcomes of all modern democracies. This is particularly true in Britain, as the nation still grapples with a historical legacy that is rooted in class divisions. Having embraced democracy toward the later half of the nineteenth century, political institutions have evolved to function around existing class demarcations. While class consciousness still plays a major role in British polity, it may no longer be the primary force of policy making that it once was. This essay will attempt to assess the relationship between social class and election outcomes in twentieth century Britain by way of citing evidence from scholarly literature.

Seen from a historical perspective, the British, and especially the English, “have traditionally considered themselves above nationalism”. In other words, the self-identity of British citizens is influenced more by their socio-economic background than notions of being uniquely . . . Read More

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The importance of the Battle of Midway to the outcome of war in the Pacific theatre

The Battle of Midway remains one of the pivotal events of World War II, precipitating the beginning of the end of Japanese ascendancy in the Asia Pacific region. The military confrontation between the United States of America and the Japanese Empire escalated in the early months of 1942, as strategic territories located in and around the Pacific Ocean saw unprecedented levels of attritional warfare. The following passages will analyze the unfolding of events during the Battle of Midway from various authors’ viewpoints and place this battle in the wider context of the Second World War and the then emergent new world order.

To begin with, let us consider the book written by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully titled Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. The most remarkable aspect of this book is the fact that the authors try to present the political and military developments from the point of view of the Japanese. American and British documentations of . . . Read More

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