Nelson, Tenerife and Mission Command
Play • 27 min

This is Part IV of our look at Lord Horatio Nelson and the practice of Mission Command.  Check out episode 1 of our Nelson and Mission Command series. 

This covers the lead up to the Battle of Tenerife - Nelson's worst defeat.

Check out the show notes for the podcast for all of the information that we cover in this episode as well as the images and other details that didn't make it into the podcast.

Join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.

Explaining History
Explaining History
Nick Shepley
Problematic Histories: Teaching Civil Rights in the UK and the BLM moment
History teaching is within the confines of a curriculum and under the pressure of examinations is riven with unfortunate compromises and unintended outcomes. The question of the civil rights movement in America is a case in point. Textbooks in the UK tend to focus on the 1950s and 1960s, centring mainly around the story of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement in the south. The narrative becomes more complex after the passage of the Voting Rights Act 1965 and then after 1968 most textbooks shift to an examination of the black power movement and nod towards progressive changes that happen during the 1970s. We learn that America saw a generation of black sports stars and entertainers in the 1980s and a smattering of politicians, judges and civil servants. Most students are left with the firm impression that the civil rights struggle ended in success, that black America’s problems were largely resolved by the advent of civil rights and freedoms and that liberalism triumphed. Would that it were. Most UK teaching of the civil rights movement ignores the fact that many of the gains of the 50s and 60s were stripped away in the 80s and 90s by Reaganite welfare cuts and urban decay in black neighbourhoods (the blame for the resulting deprivation and criminality being dumped on impoverished black communities), and mass incarceration under Bill Clinton. The explosion of anger against endless police brutality last summer has reawoken interest in Britain on the subject of systemic injustice and state violence against black Americans and here I talk with Larry Auton Leaf about the problems of teaching a truncated and ahistorical view of the civil rights movement.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
50 min
Reflecting History
Reflecting History
Reflecting History
Episode 88: The Fate of Rome Part IV-The Justinianic Plague and the End of Rome
Barbarian incursions are often cited as a primary instigator to the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west in 476 AD. But why were they happening at this time in the first place? Why not some other time? Like many parts of the story of Rome, climate change may hold some of the answers. Meanwhile, the empire was able to survive in the east, with Justinian often getting credit for reconquering western territories. A pyrrhic victory perhaps, as starting in 541 AD, the Justinianic Plague was along for the ride. The first version of bubonic plague to terrorize humanity, the disease wiped out as many as 50 percent(!) of the inhabitants of the Roman Empire. The disease and the fallout from the disease put the final nail in the coffin of Rome, wiping out anything resembling a "Roman" Empire. This is the final part in a series on how climate and disease contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. It focuses on how climate influenced the end of the Roman Empire, The Plague of Justinian, and the end of Rome. This series is based in large part on Kyle Harper's recent book "The Fate of Roman: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire." Support the podcast: Reflecting History on Twitter: @reflectinghist If you like the podcast and have 30 seconds to spare, consider leaving a review on iTunes/Apple Podcasts...It helps! Try my audio course: Why do 'good' people support evil leaders? What allure does Fascism hold that enables it to garner popular support? And what lessons can history teach us about today? My audio course 'A Beginners Guide to Understanding & Resisting Fascism: Nazi Germany and the Battle for the Human Heart' explores these massive questions through the lens of Nazi Germany and the ordinary people who lived, loved, collaborated and even resisted during those times. Through exploring the past, I hope to unlock lessons that all learners on the course can apply to the present day - from why fascism attracts people to how it can be resisted. I'm donating 20% of the proceeds to Givewell's Maximum Impact Fund, and the course also comes with a 100% money back guarantee. Check it out at
42 min
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