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25 Works 745 Membros 5 Críticas

About the Author

Robert Gildea is a professor of modern European history at the University of Oxford

Obras por Robert Gildea

France since 1945 (1996) 55 exemplares
The Past in French History (1994) 21 exemplares
France, 1870-1914 (1988) 14 exemplares
Europe's 1968: Voices of Revolt (2013) 7 exemplares
Writing Contemporary History (2008) 5 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
Gildea, Robert Nigel
Data de nascimento
Locais de residência
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK



The story of the Fench Resistance to the German invasion of 1940 and 1942, has been a football tossed around for a number of political agendas. Gildea has attempted a more balanced picture, shining more light on involvement by Communists, Women and non-French resisters. This is much needed in the face of the myth makers. He also included a chapter on the post war actions that politicized that story.
DinadansFriend | 1 outra crítica | May 4, 2024 |
In the UK, May and June 2022 were officially a ‘hot strike summer’, in which the context of the country’s cost of living crisis generated popular support for workers’ action and admiration for plain-speaking union leaders such as the RMT’s Mick Lynch. The whole thing seemed underpinned by a certain nostalgia, not least bringing to mind that other ‘hot strike summer’ of 1984.

In his introduction, Robert Gildea notes the resonance of Lynch’s rhetoric as a reason to pay the strike renewed attention. He also acknowledges the breadth of scholarship on the strike, both contemporary reportage and memoirs and more recent explorations: Seumas Milne (1994) on the involvement of state intelligence services, Diarmaid Kelliher (2021) on the cultural links developed between London and the coalfields, and Huw Beynon and Ray Hudson (2021) on the strike’s bleak legacy. All of which might cause us to ask not whether we should now pay attention to the Miners’ Strike, but whether we have paid enough already.

What Backbone of the Nation offers, however, is the first comprehensive oral history of the strike based on new interviews supplemented with archived testimony from across Wales, England and Scotland. It has a cast of ordinary characters (some, like MP and scholar Hywel Francis and activist Anne Scargill, are better known than others) and its objective overview extends to the miners of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire as well as the rock-solid strongholds of Yorkshire and south Wales.

The book’s title is reflected in the opening outline of coal mining’s development in Britain. From our post-industrial perspective, the story is overshadowed by the knowledge of impending disaster, but mining communities at the time of the strike had also glimpsed what was coming. Siân James, whose journey from miner’s wife and activist to MP formed part of the 2014 film Pride, recalls that 1984 had ‘the inevitability of a train wreck’.

Gildea is clear that, although demand for coal had been in decline for decades before Thatcher, the 1984-85 strike was a deliberate act. The intricacies of internal ballots, picketing strategies and tactical divisions across different regions of the coalfield – keenly debated here by contributors – were secondary to the overall desire for a titanic clash of people and state. In preparation, the government stockpiled coal, appointed the hawkish Ian MacGregor as National Coal Board chairman, and drew up a list of colliery closures that would decimate the industry. On the other side, Gildea records an uncompromising generation of young miners, often Marx-reading students of industrial relations, economics and politics, intent on shaking up their union’s staid bureaucracy.

Read the rest of the review at HistoryToday.com.

Rhian E. Jones writes on history and politics.
… (mais)
HistoryToday | Sep 27, 2023 |
I read this one for a university course on 19th century European history.. It's not bad. There are a lot of details and plenty of information, but it's hard to digest it all, especially since there's no real indication of whether or not certain events are more significant than others. I wish the author included a summary at the beginning of each chapter which identified the key concepts and historical events. The author throws out dates and names and mentions events without really defining or explaining them first. He made references to things that didn't come up in the text previously, which, as someone without a history background, I found really confusing. So all in all, this is a comprehensive text, as far as I can tell, but I think it's best read as a supplement to introductory material on the topic, as it can be somewhat confusing and overwhelming if you're new to the subject.… (mais)
serru | Oct 6, 2022 |
A timely work that reiterates the damage caused by colonialism, as well as pointing out that Colonialism did not actually die off, but rather changed its shape. Highly recommended for those interested in geopolitics, colonialsm and history
Archivist13 | Mar 11, 2020 |



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½ 3.5

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