Chinese Japanese War 1937
Rana Mitter’s new book is "China's War with Japan, 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival" in it he makes the case for how China was a key participant in the Second World War and how its involvement helped tie-up nearly a million Japanese troops that would otherwise have been available to fight the Allies in the Pacific theatre of the war. We discuss how the Cold War and the rise of Chairman Mao helped to erase this history.
British Black Panthers
A new oral history and photography project being run by Photofusion in Brixton and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund is researching the history of the Black Panther movement in South London. The project comes 50 years after Martin Luther King’s iconic "I have a dream" speech in front of the Lincoln memorial in Washington. In America the Black Panthers rejected King’s approach and followed a more militant, even violent road in the pursuit of equal rights. Here in Britain, the movement (although similarly heavily influenced by Marxist thought) was less combative. However, just as in America the Black Panther movement in south London played a major role in educating young black people and championing their rights.
The inspiration for Organised Youth is the photographer Neil Kenlock who became the official photographer of the Black Panthers in Britain. His work and the work of the young people involved in the project will be on display at Photofusion in Brixton in the autumn.
Read more at The Voice
Photo: Black Panthers in Brixton (Credit: © Neil Kenlock, Brixton, London 1970s. Courtesy of Autograph ABP)
.Photo: Organised Youth with 'Panther' Neil Kenlock (Credit: Nathaniel Bagot-Sealey)
Kilve Oil Shale
Making History listener Aubrey Knowles wanted the programme to find out what a disused brick building in the north Somerset village of Kilve was used for. Tom Holland enlisted the help of geologist Dr Nick Riley and Stephen Miles of the Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society.
Nick Riley explained the geology of the area at Kilve and did an experiment with the loose shale he found on the beach there. By heating this shale, which was formed in the Jurassic, to a very temperature (not to be attempted by the amateur geologist or historian) he produced an oily residue. Geologists had noted the properties of this rock at the beginning of the twentieth century and the brick building that Aubrey Knowles had spotted was built to try and produce oil in industrial quantities. Called a retort it’s the last surviving building of its type in the UK.