Friday, 15 October 2010

Timeline: John Rees on World War Two

This new, illuminating documentary (part 1 of 2 below) complements Neil Faulkner's recent article which marked the 70th anniversary of the Blitz, offering a broader perpsective in terms of both time - tracing the origins of the war - and geography (it's a refreshingly non-parochial account).

This edition of Timeline also benefits from the vast wealth of film material from the period, helping make it very visually engaging. Importantly, this is utilised for a historical assessment which is more complex and interesting than the conventional versions, which tend to be either excessively patriotic or overly focused on the role of individuals, most obviously Hitler and Churchill.

Speaking of Churchill, one of the best things here is John's nuanced view of the wartime PM, putting him in context - the debates about appeasement, tensions in the British elite - in a way rarely encountered. I look forward to Part 2.   

See HERE for a number of other editions in the Timeline series.


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