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    Britain first: the official history of the United Kingdom, according to the Home Office - a critical review

    Trentmann, Frank (2020) Britain first: the official history of the United Kingdom, according to the Home Office - a critical review. History , ISSN 0018-2648.

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    Abstract

    Following this summer’s open letter to the Home Office, this article by Frank Trentmann offers an analysis of the official history chapter in the ‘Life in the UK’ handbook that is required reading for migrants applying for citizenship or settlement in the United Kingdom. Comparing the current (third) edition to previous versions, the article documents a pattern of rewriting the national past, especially over issues of race and Britain’s relation to Europe and the rest of the world. It shows distortion and falsification in the account of slavery, empire, Anglo-Irish relations, and Hitler and the Second World War. The essay places the rewriting of Britain’s past in the context of the Home Office’s hostile environment to migrants after 2013 and the increasingly insular view of Britain’s position in the world, with little regard to the reciprocal ties and collaboration with Europe, the United States and other international partners. The article places the official history’s difficulty of acknowledging race, antisemitism and colonial violence in a comparative context.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2020 11:34
    Last Modified: 16 Nov 2020 11:34
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/41582

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