I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 1-8 November 2020

Heather Cox Richardson. Her podcast on Thursday 29 October was the last one before election day. If you haven’t listened to her before, this would be a good catchup one, because she went over things that she has said many times previously (hence, it was a little repetitious for rusted-on listeners like myself). Her podcast on Thursday 5th November was before the results had been announced, and she was soothing about waiting for the process to play itself out.

History Workshop. The Violence of Empire was originally broadcast in May 2019 and it features Kim Wagner – author of Amritsar 1919: An Empire of Fear and the Making of a Massacre. His book argues that colonial violence didn’t start after the war, and he draws a link between the Indian Rebellion/Mutiny/First War of Independence (it has various names) of 1857 and the Amritsar Massacre or Jallianwala Bagh Massacre where at least 379 (and some say 1000) were fired upon in a confined area by members of the British Indian Army. He rejects the politicized anti-British feeling of Shashi Tharoor’s Inglorious Empire (my review here) and likewise pro-Empire British historians (like Niall Ferguson, I guess), arguing for a more nuanced approach. His book seems to take a thick description, microhistory approach to the Massacre. Both the author and the interviewer assume that the listener knows about Amritsar (I had to look it up) and a bit more backgrounding wouldn’t have gone astray.

America if you’re listening. It’s the 5th November, and counting continues in the U.S. elections. I’d better hurry up and listen to these podcasts, because if Trump wins I’ll be too discouraged and depressed to do so. Episode 7 How Donald Trump turned the Presidency into a business looks at Trump’s use of his hotels and golf courses as a way of leveraging public money into his wallet. The man is shameless. Episode 8 How China fooled Donald Trump examines the way that once Xi Jinping worked out that all Trump wanted was a trade deal, then he could get away with anything- Hong Kong, Uighurs, the South China Sea etc. And the final Episode 9 How Coronavirus destroyed Trump’s MAGA promise traces through the last year, and Trump’s mishandling of the whole thing.

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