The present Tory obsession over immigration is nothing new. At the end of Winston Churchill’s time as prime minister in the mid-1950s, according to Walter Reid’s Fighting Retreat: Churchill and India (Hurst), there were “13 separate cabinet discussions on the matter of colonial immigration” in a single year.
Reid seeks to answer the question, “Why was Churchill so vindictive towards India and Indians?” The historian is adamant that Churchill “must be judged by the values and attitudes of his time” and contextualises numerous controversies around the man who led the fight against Hitler. It’s hard to believe, however, that any progressive young readers (if they could care less about Churchill anyway) would not simply be appalled by a bloated bigot who disparaged other races in the vilest terms and wanted “Keep Britain White” to be the slogan of the 1955 Conservative Party.
Egypt’s The Great Pyramid, the only one of the Seven Wonders that survives virtually intact, reminds us of the overwhelming human desire to collaborate and create “beyond the possibilities of the individual,” states Bettany Hughes in her rich historical study The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (Weidenfeld & Nicolson). I particularly enjoyed the chapter on The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and learned that “paradise” comes from the Persian word for a beautiful walled garden.