Download A Damn Close-Run Thing: A Brief History of the Falklands by Russell Phillips PDF

By Russell Phillips

In 1982, the common Briton didn't comprehend the Falkland Islands existed, not to mention their prestige as a disputed British territory simply off the coast of Argentina. that modified while the Argentinians invaded the islands and crushed the small protecting strength. either international locations claimed the islands have been theirs, yet now Argentina suggestion the British may provide them up and not using a fight.

They have been wrong.

Britain despatched a role strength into the South Atlantic to re-take the islands, and the fast, severe battle that was--in the phrases of Major-General Sir John Jeremy Moore--"a rattling close-run thing."

This brief background sums up the occasions top as much as the struggle and its significant army activities together with information of an Argentinian plan to sink a Royal military send in Gibraltar harbour (foiled on the final minute by means of Spanish police) and an audacious British plan to land SAS infantrymen in Argentina to break Exocet-carrying plane whereas they have been nonetheless at the floor.

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It is concerned with procedural questions rather than with the big questions of philosophy and theology. Public discussions can be about efficiency and appropriate procedures without needing to bother with ends or meanings. So religion is pushed out of the public square. It is only at this point that Bruce brings the subject of science into the discussion. He argues that most people do not abandon religion because they have studied Darwin, empathized with Galileo or poured over German biblical critics.

Their belief systems were not open to external challenge and thereby had a ‘taken for granted’ status. In the absence of alternative theologies, religious beliefs were treated as facts. They were beyond the realm of questioning. Bruce offers an amusing illustration of what he means: 03c Secularism_042-066:03 8/10/07 10:44 Page 47 Secularism and Social History 47 Imagine you are born into a small stable society – the anthropologists’ tribe by the lagoon – in which everyone believes that the giant squid is God.

01c Secularism_001-019:01 8/10/07 10:43 Page 19 Western Secularism 19 condemnation of its practices. What it does do is make the Victorian era the oddity which requires explanation, not our own period and place. We may be less Christian than the Victorians, but they were far more Christian than anyone else. I have in this long introduction set out the narrative which will guide this study. This has been necessary because this is not a straightforward history with a beginning, middle and end. Rather, I am using history, as well as social analysis and cultural theory, to understand the nature of contemporary Western secularism.

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