Max Hastings on the Legacy of the 1982 Falklands War
posted by B Wook
This BBC 2012 thirtieth anniversary documentary, narrated by Max Hastings, in many respects does approach successfully the outer limits possible, of the nuanced interpretation of an event in History possible to a primarily visual medium:
On this root question of actual historical understanding, I’ve two quibbles, for in the first place the role played by U S Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in assisting the English [‘British’ — ed] is not adequately accounted for, especially in the context of the general resistance by the Reagen administration to the Royal Navy & Marines sailing and fighting.
Secondly, at the summing up, Hastings in a still-prevalent solecism refers to how long ago the Falklands War now seems to be to ‘modern Britain’. This of course is simply an indication of how poorly to-day History is taught, certainly to the popular mind.
But it remains bad prose, especially for historianship & for any discussion now of History in the arena of public (as distinct from ‘popular’) opinion, inasmuch as England [‘Britain’ — ed] is not ‘modern’ any more & no more so is anything else in the World as the constitutional order of the Old Atlantic West goes down. The Falklands War, indeed, more & more will be understood by historians in the centuries ahead as a kind of last expression, certainly in warfare, of the motives & purposes of the Late Modern Age now over.
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[25 August 2013]