Notes From the Margins…

I write and read a lot about about  history, politics and international affairs, with a particular focus on immigration, conflict, militarism, the political manipulation of terrorism and the ‘war on terror’.  I’ve also written about racism, undocumented migration, colonialism and Islamophobia, about military futurism, the expulsion of Spain’s Muslim population in the seventeenth century and the conspiracy theory/fantasy of ‘Eurabia’.  As a non-academic writer who writes a lot about history or with reference to historical events, I’m interested in precedents and lessons that can be drawn from the past in relation to contemporary trends and issues.

Though I’m happy if my books have any academic use, I write for a general readership in the belief (hope?) that even in the era of ‘fake news’ and information overload, there is still a place for clear accessible writing in helping us to understand the world around us and to try to leave it a better place than when we found it.

I also write fiction.   In 2016 I published my first novel, The Devils of Cardona – a historical novel building on my interest in early modern Spanish history the expulsion of the Moriscos.  I like to write books that cross different genres.  My latest book The Savage Frontier: the Pyrenees in History and Imagination was published in December 2018 by New Press/Hurst, and combines history, travelogue, geography and cultural history.

I see blogging as an opportunity to do more instant ‘off-the-cuff’ writing and reflection in response to things that I read, watch and observe in the world around me.

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Richard Carter

    13th Apr 2014 - 10:03 am

    Matt, here’s what I think is an important piece by Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books, in which Hersh argues that the gas attacks in Syria were (a) not committed by Assad’s regime and (b) that the US (and British?) governments knew about this, and that the whole thing was got up in concert with Turkey to try to get the west to intervene: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line If true, and there’s a lot of evidence quoted, it’s pretty serious.

    • Matt

      13th Apr 2014 - 11:42 am

      I agree it’s pretty serious – if true. Perhaps not surprisingly Hersh has been subject to a lot of quite vicious attacks on the net, but I haven’t seen any attempt to address what he says in the MSM.

    • Astrid Watanabe

      25th Aug 2015 - 12:48 am

      Thanks for the info, and for reminding me of Seymour Hersh, and the London Review website.

  2. Kathryn Ferguson

    15th Sep 2016 - 2:53 pm

    Matt, I discovered your book, “The Devils of Cardona” and am half-way through, and took a breath to look you up. Thanks for this detailed and fascinating book. I am interested in Queen Isabella and the period following her reign. I, too, am an author – of only two books. The recent book is “The Haunting of the Mexican Border.” I live in Tucson, AZ and work on desert trails at the US/Mexico border carrying backpacks of food, water, and medicines to undocumented people who cross and die. I am quite involved in immigration. Thanks for your writing, insight, and keen sense of observation. It made me actually write to a stranger. I look forward to reading more of your works.

  3. Fadel GALAL (Fidelito)

    2nd Oct 2017 - 7:37 am

    Hi Matt

    Came across your blog site by accident today when researching about border issues looking at the situation in Catalonia/Spain. Looking at your profile turns out that I am also quite interested in identical subject matters including foreign policy, immigration/integration, human rights, democratic governance and the like; plenty of posts on my blog site reflect these interests and would be open to collaborate/contribute to thoughts on these issues.

    Take care

    Fidelito

    • Matt

      2nd Oct 2017 - 8:04 am

      Hi Fadel. Thanks for bringing your blog to my attention. It looks good!

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