The Toils of the Historian 16

It is 3.30am and I have just finished reading and analysing A Report on the Sindhian, Khelat and Daoodputr Armies with A Collection of Routes, By Lieutenant R Leech, Bombay Engineers (1838). Eleventh such report I have read in the last 24 hours. In general, one conclusion I am coming to is that the advance intelligence of the British Army in the first Anglo-Afghan war was painstaking and accurate, and that the cheerful conclusion of many historians that they were misled by over-optimistic reporting is not true. Selective reading of the intelligence was the problem.

But more importantly, when you get into your research so much that your sense of your own time gets five hours out of synch, it is time to give up and go to bed. So I will. I have a new and definitely final publisher’s deadline of 17 October. My mind is much concentrated now.

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16 thoughts on “The Toils of the Historian

  • BrianFujisan

    Deadlines….I have twice put Sculptures into Exhibition venue’s the day before openning.. with the Paint still in the Em drying stages… Hope you meet the deadline Craig..Good work

    OT. bit of kool Aurora Activity in Some parts of Scotland tonight

  • JonL

    I love deadlines…………I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. (Douglas Adams)

  • April Showers

    168 days.

    I meant to ask the other day when we might see the book.

    Good luck.

  • English Knight

    Sorry but there are more pressing issues at hand, history is bunk – Henry Ford nailed it ! We now have a crypto as Archbishop of Canterbury, as sure an esoteric sign of coming war on Iran that you will ever want to see. The Devil is busy in its subterfuge, placing its pieces on the chessboard, we have to place ours. Agent Cameron’s EVERY SYLLABLE needs to be dissected from now on, but hopefully a whistle blowers in the logistics supply chain will save the day, a la Barksdale.

  • Komodo

    Selective reading of the intelligence was the problem.

    I’d just like to underline that noble British tradition….

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  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    Tony Blair’s recruiting!

    The following ad from this week’s “Economist”, which is the only publication I feel like reading while sunning myself (short articles, you know).


    Tony Blair Assoviates – helping governments deliver reform

    We work with governments on the path of reform, providing advice and support on key areas of governance, modernisation and implementation.

    Our projects and roles:

    We seek Project Leaders and Consultants to join our organisation to work on projects in Asia and Latin America, serving clients at the higehst level of government. Project Leaders will lead small, trusted teams of Consultants to deliver impactful reform for our clients. The team will drive strategy, policy and implementation workstreams, by compiling analyses, developing politically feasible recommendations, and working with stakeholders to translate these into action.

    What we look for :

    ° Outstanding strategy consulting/advisory skills
    ° Track record of achieving results in challenging and uncertain situations
    ° Ability to operate at the highest levels of government
    ° Public policy expertise
    ° Willingness to live and work in developing countries.

    In addition, Project Leader candidates must demonstrate an exceptional ability to lead in complex political environments.

    How to apply :

    Please email your CV with a short covering letter by Sunday 12 May 2013 to…etc…The process will involve a written assessment, several interviews as well as candidate background and reference checks.

    I think I’ll avoid a commentary….

  • Horseman Joe

    yo the Glennster!
    Your blogroll is a bit out-of-date – Greenwald has moved to the Guardian and Cole has gone over to the dark side.
    Keep up the good work!

  • The CE

    Keep ploughing on Craig, I can’t wait to read the finished article.

    All the best.

  • Oliver Williams

    Keep up the good work. I am looking forward to the book. Relax occasionally too; your heart will thank you.

  • guano

    “.. the cheerful conclusion of many historians that they were misled by over-optimistic reporting is not true. Selective reading of the intelligence was the problem.”

    Craig, if anyone wants to understand the events in Syria from a religious perspective, Melvyn Braggs In Our time this week on Gnosticism is highly relevant and even the participants seem to have difficulty with encompassing the monstrosity and vastness of the Gnostic/Sufi heresy.

    In a nutshell the Gnostics thought that God is just a Creator for an unknowable deity who can be sought only in the twinkledust of noor/light that accidentally remains in the human soul. To find this twinkledust there is no need to conform with Allah’s rules which are most familiar to most of us through the 10 commandments, but which are comprehensively covered in the Qur’an and true sayings/ahadeeth of the prophet SAW. Instead you have to look into your inner twinkleknowledge which will take you, Allah forgive the enourmity of the suggestion, over the head of Allah and in touch with the unknowable Almighty power.

    This ultra wonky train of thought infects Christianity, Judaism and Islam as well as all the nutty polytheistic religions which are basically animism. The secret texts of the Alawis are Gnostic. The tripe of Trinity and the C of E, of the Papacy, of the Shi’a and Sufis are all Gnostic. The Thatcherite worship of the market is Gnostic. The CIA/ AL Qaida / Taliban idea of making war on the Muslims for the infection of their religion with Gnosticism is a contradiction in terms because they ally themselves with one infection to fight another infection. Did Jesus pbuh in the Gospels not ask the rabbis if they drove out one devil with another devil? You can only drive out darkness with light.

    This weeks arms sales to the Middle-East is essentially using one devil to try to drive out another. It has been tried in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya, and is now going to be tried on Syria. Maybe there are no chemical weapons in Syria, because they could have been used against Israel if they got into the right hands. All there is is people. The West, which is itself Gnostic in its religion is going to arm a group of people who attack Muslims because they are Gnostic in their religion or who do not resist the Gnosticism of the Shi’a religion. Saudi Arabia and Qatar feast unashamedly with the Gnostic Queen, and Gnostic religious Right of the US, but they expect the simple people of Syria to fight their religious war for them while they are sipping Gnostic soup and eating their Gnostic stew.

    As in Afghanistan in the 19th Century, the intelligence of the West is being read selectively about Syria. It looks to them that the Syrian people have no chance against the backdrop of this betrayal of the wealthy Muslims, and their betrayal by Al Qaida the political collaborators Al who are receiving arms from them. But the Saudis, Qataris, and Al Qaida are not on the side of the Gnostic West. They are on the side of the ordinary Sunni Muslims. They are not going to be trapped into genocide, which they were in Libya by rumours against Black Africans that they were mercenaries hired by Gaddafi. They have learnt from the mistakes of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Bush and Blair tried twinkledust when they planned to conquer Iraq. Cameron is relying on twinkledust to help him now.

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