Teaching Something New – read something

6820116676_17e6a8da40_zLooking for reading on a new topic can be really hard – I had some great suggestions from fellow history teachers about school textbooks and history books, and settled on Germany 1871-1945: A Concise History, by Raffael Scheck.  This is a great book – with smashing detail on the motives and negotiating positions of the “big three” at the Versailles conference in 1919.  Scheck pleads for an ‘openness’ towards German history and has an interesting take on the extent to which we can blame Versailles on the Second World War, or the inevitability of the Nazi regime.

However, I was struggling with finding fiction, both historical and contemporary with the Weimar Republic.   Then I remembered my friend, the innovative Bookseller Nic Bottomley @mrbsemporium of www.mrbsemporium.co.uk (the best independent bookshop in Britain, and probably the world), so I asked him.  He asked a great panel of experts – his customers.

As you can see from the replies to the tweets, there were a really interesting set of ideas and I’ve ordered (from Nic, natch) several, which I’ll read over the next few months.    I’ve learned that the best is the enemy of the good, and though I would like to have read these books before teaching this for the first time, it’s better than I read them as I go along, rather than not bother because I can’t get them down before I start teaching.

Ian Dawson is on Twitter.

Ian Dawson is on twitter, and is also promising a re-vamp of his website. If you’re a history teacher, you’ll want to follow him!

In Flanders Fields

Tynecot 2011

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By  John McCrae 1872-1918