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(47 Posts)
DontbeaDickaboutit Sun 10-Dec-17 22:23:26

I've just watched Dunkirk with DH.

It's come to my attention I just don't know a lot about a lot.

I'm in a professional job, I have reasonably good academic qualifications... but I just feel I'm lacking in an understanding of what has gone on in the world.

Examples of this....

1) Last week, I was listening to the radio and they were talking about the borders between NI and ROI... they were talking about this history between the two and The Bloody Sunday agreement. Not a clue.

2) I don't really understand the general implications of Brexit. Although I voted to remain.

3) No idea what caused WW1, WW2...

4) Trump insulting Israel last week by declaring Jerusalem is the capital.... or not.... I don't know.....

5) Miners Strike. Nadda

7) War on terror - largely clueless.

DH can just recall facts about certain instances, Palestine, Iraq,

I'm not proud of this is any way by the way.

Where can I generally improve my knowledge over world history? I read threads where you're all so well informed, what can help me to become better informed about what has gone before?

WhatCanIDoNowPlease Sun 10-Dec-17 22:25:41

Oh goodness me don't you even know these simple things?? Get with it OP.

just joking, I have no idea either so following

Blodplod Sun 10-Dec-17 22:29:48

Erm.. me too.. blush. Loved the film though, and I did know a little of it but only due to radio coverage beforehand. But the rest of it.. nadda. It’s not lack of interest just ignorance. Personally I would like an idiots guide to historic events. Luckily I’ve got a very patient husband who doesn’t mind (or patronise me) explaining.

buckingfrolicks Sun 10-Dec-17 22:50:55

There are things called books and documentaries available. Chose one area you want to know more about and off you go. Sounds like 20th century history is your visible gap so start there.

I’m not being completely patronising: I had an interest in the holocaust started with that and am now reading about the history of Poland.

buckingfrolicks Sun 10-Dec-17 22:52:41

Try this.

Braceface Sun 10-Dec-17 22:54:53

I'm with you on some of that but u must know what caused ww2. Short man with a tash and side parting!!

FeedMyFaceWithBattenberg Sun 10-Dec-17 22:55:27

Apparently OP.. you can't manage to count to 7 either wink (you missed out 6!)
Try Wikipedia for a really good basic outline of all these things, or ask your DP, and then there's films and things too... x

ZigZagandDustin Sun 10-Dec-17 22:57:19

The Bloody Sunday agreement!!! Ba ha ha ha.

Clearly your learned friend Buckingfrolics didn't read that book.

EBearhug Sun 10-Dec-17 23:00:14

Read. I'd probably focus on one thing at a time.

Watch BBC4. Listen to R4. Go to galleries and museums - again, focus on museums and exhibitions which are relevant to what you're reading about currently.

It won't happen overnight, though - accumulating knowledge does take time and effort.

Peachyking000 Mon 11-Dec-17 04:54:41

It’s the Good Friday agreement, which occurred in the 90’s. Bloody Sunday was an event in the 70’s when several civilians were murdered by British soldiers.

I only know this as I’m from NI, and I know very little about the other ones you mentioned blush

Battleax Mon 11-Dec-17 04:59:46

Wikipedia, documentaries on Youtube, Radio 4 podcasts, GCSE history textbooks secondhand from amazon (or BBC bitesize)...

Simon Schama's "History of Britain" box sets are also very watchable.

DontbeaDickaboutit Mon 11-Dec-17 06:14:15

Thanks All, I'd had a glass of wine or two last night! I can recognise my errors in the cold light of Monday morning..... 😳

That book actually looks really good Bucking, I'm not looking to become an expert on everything, just looking to become a bit better informed on historical/political events. I've got a 6 year old who's really interested in history and don't want to be a complete let down to him!

StealthPolarBear Mon 11-Dec-17 06:28:59

Me too op. That book looks good thank you

JingsMahBucket Mon 11-Dec-17 06:36:51

Were these subjects not covered in school? Genuine question and no snark at all.

Or were they covered only up to a certain point?

wowfudge Mon 11-Dec-17 06:40:29

When I was at school in the 80s, unless you went on to study history for GCSE, we got as far as the industrial revolution and that was it. My knowledge has come from documentaries, TV and reading.

NavyGold Mon 11-Dec-17 06:44:09

Audio books are helpful for filling in gaps.

BikeRunSki Mon 11-Dec-17 06:45:53

I’m a bit with you here OP, and am planning on doing GCSE History when the DC are old enough to leave in the evenings.

I know a bit about some of the events you’ve listed. I live right on the boundary of S and W Yorkshire; the Miner’s Strike is still very much known about. I work with someone who was a mine surveyor and worked through the strike at the miners request (the work he was doing was meant to keep the pits open). He was the person that Tara Fitzgerald’s character is Brassed Off was based on (that is why she plays the cornet). It is fascinating hearing about this period in history from someone who was actually involved. (I felt very old when my nephew told me he’s studied it for GCSE History).

I find a good way to grasp a little about a subject - and a catalyst to find out more - is from a good film based on an event/during a particular period, like you have done with Dunkirk:

Northern Ireland - The Wind That Rocks the Barley; In the Name of the Father

Miner’s Strike - Brassed Off; Billy Elliot

WW2 - many! The Cruel Sea, The Dam Busters, Enemy at the Gates

Foslady Mon 11-Dec-17 06:46:09

I admit it’s only since Dd has been studying history that I’ve learnt a lot about events and how they Terry Dearly’s ‘Horrible History’ stuff

allegretto Mon 11-Dec-17 06:46:59

Were these subjects not covered in school?

They weren't covered in my school but I know about them mainly through reading, watching documentaries etc - a long process, I am sure there are other things that I know absolutely nothing about. History of China for a start!

FaithEverPresent Mon 11-Dec-17 07:27:23

I feel the same. I’m watching The Crown at the moment and realise I really don’t know much about history past WW2 (and it’s 20 years since I did GCSE history). I might get that book too.

AuntieStella Mon 11-Dec-17 07:42:19

"Were these subjects not covered in school? Genuine question and no snark at all. "

Most of those events hadn't happened when I was at school - so I learned about them from the news as they were unfolding.

I would say that you could try a subscription tomThe Economist for a year, and when the latest twist and turn comes up (like Trump and Jerusalem) go to the BBC website and read all the background/commentary pages. And talk to people - things like the miners' strike (and the earlier Winter of Disciontent, which is important context for govt/union relations) is current events for many and you might get some quite lively descriptions.

GertrudeCB Mon 11-Dec-17 07:44:02

The History channel and a channel called Yesterday are fab for historical documentries

MillicentMargaretAmanda Mon 11-Dec-17 07:47:40

You could also see if there are any in this series that will help. They are called 'Very Short Introductions' and cover a huge range of subjects:

HRTpatch Mon 11-Dec-17 07:48:18

I have a degree in history but there are still gaps in my knowledge !!!
I want to know more about Vietnam war as it had such a bearing on American history and culture so that's my 2018 project.

StrangeLookingParasite Mon 11-Dec-17 07:55:15

I know at least a little bit about nearly all the the things you listed (though am relatively old, so this may make a difference too). I have always loved history, though, which helps. I also had immediate relatives who fought in the First World war (grandfather, great-uncle), and in the Second World war (father, uncle), so it had a personal dimension for me. WW1 is actually how my paternal grandparents met; Pop was wounded in France, snet back to England to recover, where he met my English grandmother, who then travelled out to Australia in 1919, never seeing any of her family again. I'm not even sure they would have had the money to write - they were really poor.

Some of it is seeing the patterns: WW1 was in response to the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, and WW2 was a (very direct) result of the Treaty of Versailles - French Marshal Ferdinand Foch—who felt the restrictions on Germany were too lenient—prophetically predicted that "this (treaty) is not peace. It is an Armistice for twenty years." - how right was he?

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