Our children do not have to take examinations

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Sir John Glubb remembers once visiting a school for mentally handicapped children:

“Our children do not have to take examinations,” the headmaster told me,” and so we are able to teach them things which will be really useful to them in life.”

That vignette comes up as he makes his plea that history should be the history of the human race, not of one small country or period:

The experiences of the human race have been recorded, in more or less detail, for some four thousand years. If we attempt to study such a period of time in as many countries as possible, we seem to discover the same patterns constantly repeated under widely differing conditions of climate, culture and religion. Surely, we ask ourselves, if we studied calmly and impartially the history of human institutions and development over these four thousand years, should we not reach conclusions which would assist to solve our problems today? For everything that is occurring around us has happened again and again before.

No such conception ever appears to have entered into the minds of our historians. In general, historical teaching in schools is limited to this small island. We endlessly mull over the Tudors and the Stewarts, the Battle of Crecy, and Guy Fawkes. Perhaps this narrowness is due to our examination system, which necessitates the careful de?nition of a syllabus which all children must observe.


  1. The other Armada was an English defeat I’m sure Brit kids never learn.

  2. Rollory says:

    By the way, apparently Glubb’s family object for some unexplained reason to having his Fate of Empires republished all over the place. The original place I came across it had to take it down due to a lawyergram. Luckily I had saved it already. Being the sort of person I am and having the view I do of that sort of behavior, I’ll be re-uploading it if and when necessary. The piece is too important to hide.

  3. Isegoria says:

    It does make you wonder, what is it that they want? To bury it?

  4. Rollory says:

    That was certainly the impression I got. As far as I can tell there is no legit and easy way to obtain it. The overwhelming lesson of DRM in music and video games is that the public will pay nominal fees in preference to piracy, in exchange for convenience and customer-friendly packaging and delivery. The Baen Free Library demonstrated pretty much the same thing (although too many of the authors involved have since gotten greedy at the sight of ebook royalties, which just means the lesson didn’t register). But as far as I can tell the Glubb family simply do not want this being read, and if that impression is wrong, they’ve neither done nor said nothing to indicate the contrary.

  5. Toddy Cat says:

    Oh, they’re probably afraid of Glubb being called a “racist” or some crap like that. Of course, since he was involved with British colonialism, he’d be called that even if he had committed suicide to atone for his colonialist past, and left the family fortune to the NAACP, so why worry about it?

  6. James James says:

    Rollory, perhaps you could upload it to libgen?

  7. Rollory says:

    Or you could, considering it’s the same PDF our host linked to above. It seems pretty widely distributed at this point (which makes the Glubb family’s attempts to take it down merely frustratingly stupid).

  8. James James says:

    Oh I see, I didn’t realise that was all of it. Would be interesting to read “Search for Survival” as well.

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