The way you tell the story of Napoleon reveals how the historian imagines the plot of world history. Ridley Scott’s Napoleon awkwardly straddles comedy and farce, but never gets to the tragic heart of the French Republican European Empire. The way you tell the story of Henry Kissinger reveals how statecraft imagines world order. The… Continue reading Napoleon film, Kissinger’s death and world history
🎙️Interview with Marie Favereau on The Horde Last week I interviewed, French historian, Marie Favereau on the Mongol Empire, and its successor states, the Hordes (White, Blue and Golden). I am delighted to share this interview with you on both my audio podcast and YouTube channel. Her book from 2021, The Horde: How the Mongols… Continue reading How the Mongol Horde Changed the World🎙️Interview
I know firsthand how hard it is to write well in government, and I want to see if I can help a few writers in government (however many other roles they juggle) go from good to great by mastering a professional process in a new online course. Does that sound like you? Leave me a… Continue reading Government Writer Masterclass – are you interested?
“We are on the verge of the abyss in the Middle East…” António Guterres, UN Secretary-General 16 October 2023 The Israel-Gaza Crisis, as the United Nations describes the situation, has shocked the world, and confronted us with the difficulties of living in a time of war. How can we respond to these shocking events mindfully,… Continue reading How to nurture empathy through the Israel-Gaza Crisis – new podcast
Are you looking for a new, readable, intriguing history book to read? I introduce you to a shortlist of 6 top history books from 2023 in the latest episode (122) of The Burning Archive podcast. All 6 books come from the shortlist for the 2023 Wolfson History Prize, Britain and the UK's most prestigious history… Continue reading Six top history books in search of an invitation
The 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature is announced. Relive world literature's night of nights with this edited live reaction to the announcement. It covers all the predictions, the actual announcement, and an emotional introduction to why you might want to read the works of this year's winner. Whether you do not know who won, or… Continue reading Jon Fosse’s Slow Prose, 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature
https://johnmenadue.com/australias-aborted-cultural-decolonisation/ My thoughts on Australian cultural history on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Patrick White's #NobelPrize were published by the team @johnmenadue for publishing. Thanks again to Aran, John and the team. You can also listen to my podcast on Patrick White to explore this topic further. The main episode was Why read… Continue reading New Article: Reflections on Patrick White’s Nobel Prize and Australian cultural history
Why read Olga Tokarczuk, Winner of 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature? Find out in this fourth episode of my series on the Nobel Prize for Literature. It discusses the life of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature Laureate, the novelist Olga Tokarczuk. I give you 10 reasons to read one of the most celebrated Nobel… Continue reading Why read Olga Tokarczuk, Winner of 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature? Podcast Ep. 120
It turns out, despite his stern reputation, Patrick White can laugh, smile and even pat a purring cat. He was even once a spy, or should I say an intelligence operative. And the skills he learnt in that role during World War Two allowed him to field the questions of many inept journalists with consummate… Continue reading Podcast #119 Why read Patrick White, (1973 Nobel Prize), exile at home?
I have begun reading Richard Overy, Blood and Ruins: the Great Imperial War 1931-45 (2021). This new comprehensive world history of World War Two renames, redates and rethinks that conflict that still dominates the mental world of world leaders
The big story of the week is the G20 Summit in New Delhi and what it reveals about the new force fields of the multipolar world. With the UN General Assembly meeting next week, the world is walking from the wrecked starship of US diplomacy, the USS Exceptionalism.
On the podcast this week I did the second of my series on the Nobel Prize, and featured the winner of the 1923 Nobel Prize for Literature, William Butler (W.B.) Yeats.
The American diplomatic starship, USS Exceptionalism, fell to earth at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi.
The great Russian film, Russian Ark, is a deep meditation on the treasures of culture and the tragedies of history. Will there be an American Ark 100 years from now?
What does the G20 Summit (9-10 September, New Delhi) portend for the reassembly of the world’s institutions of power, diplomatic dialogue and cultural exchange. India has invested enormous effort into its leadership of the G20 this year. How well India has accomplished its vision for its G20 Presidency?
On the podcast this week I started a mini-series on the Nobel Prize for Literature, in the lead-up to the announcement of the prize on 5 October. I cover the history of the Prize, some favourite winners, and last year’s laurreate, French writer, Annie Ernaux.
I wrote in my previous post about the rhetoric of “as long as it takes” on Ukraine. How it is a feature of stubborn decision-makers, and the opting decisions of war. How NATO aligned elites might detach from this doomed path, but I am not holding my breath, too long. I doubt they will, not… Continue reading Endurance in War and Politics for Non-Political Souls
Meanwhile, in another cauldron of the unruly multipolar world, the Ruin of Ukraine continues. I am still holding back from commenting deeply on the Ukraine War, but there were some interesting comments I noticed during the week that coincidentally resonated with my reading 1916: A Global History. History it seems is repeating in 2023.
The Big Story of the Week is Gabon, but Why? A military coup in Gabon removed a dynastic family that had ruled this small oil-producing state since the 1960s, when nominal independence from France was obtained. Gabon is on the Atlantic Coast of Central Africa, bordered by Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon to the north, the… Continue reading Dynasty, Democracy and Decolonization in Gabon
My latest Burning Archive podcast is episode 116. Professions vs. Managers. The rise and fall of the professions. Interview with Hannah Forsyth. Listen here on Spotify and here on Apple podcasts and other platforms. Subscribe, share and leave a review. In this podcast I do my second in-depth interview of a historian. Dr Hannah Forsyth… Continue reading Latest Podcast: The rise and fall of the professions with Hannah Forsyth