Harry Patch: a human understanding

Bruce Robinson

Harry Patch, the last surviving British soldier to have fought in the First World War, died aged 111 in July. Conscripted in 1917, he went “over the top” at the Battle of Passchendaele, in which half a million men died on both sides. It was probably only his being seriously injured and taken out of the front line that enabled him to survive the war and live to such a great age.

Tom Paine's “most treasonable book”

Pat Yarker

In the first of two articles on Thomas Paine, Pat Yarker looks at the radical’s life, times, and ideas. The second article will discuss playwright Trevor Griffiths’ take on Paine and his ideas.

Born in 1737 in Thetford, Norfolk, Thomas Paine was an important figure in the American and French Revolutions. A radical democratic republican, his writings helped fundamentally alter the language of political discourse and contributed to re-shaping the consciousness of an emerging working class.

How the clerics took power

Paul Hampton

The old regime in Iran, the dictatorship of the Shah, had been installed in a military coup in 1953. Fuelled by oil reserves and repression, the Shah backed state-sponsored industrial development and land reform.

In 1962 industrial workers made about just over 20% of the total workforce. By 1977, 33% of the workforce was in industry and over 50% of the economically active population (of nearly nine million) were waged workers.