Simon Akam: The Changing of the Guard (2006)

The British Army can trace its origins back to the Acts of Union of 1707 and its rich history involves conflicts both large and small in all corners of the globe. But as the twenty-first century dawned, the organisation found itself in a transitional phase and with something of an identity crisis. What exactly was its culture? What, with its resources, could it really be expected to achieve? What was its relevance to modern Britain? Today’s guest, Simon Akam, sought to confront questions like these in his book Changing the Guard: The British Army Since 9/11. Grounded in his own first-hand experience and supported by hundreds of interviews, in this episode Akam explains the conclusions that he reached and the incredible resistance he experienced as he sought to bring his book to publication. Simon Akam is a journalist and author. Born in Cambridge, he held a Gap Year Commission in the British Army before studying at the University of Oxford and Columbia Journalism School. He has worked for the New York Times, Reuters and Newsweek. Changing the Guard, published in 2021, is his first book. Show notes Scene One: A tent in Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Jamie Loden edits a video. Scene Two: Autumn 2006. Downing Street with Major-General Jonathan Shaw and Nigel Sheinwald. Scene Three: 28 March 2006. The creation of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Memento: A copy of a tabloid newspaper from 2006. People/Social Presenter: Artemis Irvine Guest: Simon Akam Production: Maria Nolan Podcast partner: Ace Cultural Tours Theme music: ‘Love Token’ from the album ‘This Is Us’ By Slava and Leonard Grigoryan Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_ See where 2006 fits on our Timeline

Om Podcasten

In each episode we ask a leading historian, novelist or public figure the tantalising question, "If you could travel back through time, which year would you visit?" Once they have made their choice, then they guide us through that year in three telling scenes. We have visited Pompeii in 79AD, Jerusalem in 1187, the Tower of London in 1483, Colonial America in 1776, 10 Downing Street in 1940 and the Moon in 1969. Chosen as one of the Evening Standard's Best History Podcasts of 2020. Presented weekly by Sunday Times bestselling writer Peter Moore, award-winning historian Violet Moller and Artemis Irvine.