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138 x 216mm


34 pages


£6.00 + P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-912876-43-3


PUB: 11/01/2021










Notes on the Causes of

The Third World War


J C Dunne


Terry Quinn




In the aftermath of a third world war the historian J C Dunne realizes that he can no longer use traditional academic disciplines to explain how the war came about. In his search for answers he reflects on his own life to trace those underlying trends that led to the world breaking down. 'Notes' is a blend of Quinn's own research and imagination in a compelling read; prescient and disturbingly plausible.












Terry Quinn is a retired NHS Medical Engineer. His previous poetry collections are ‘away’ (Poetry Monthly Press), ‘The Amen of Knowledge’ ( Indigo Dreams Publishing ) which won the 2012 Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize and ‘To Have to Follow’ (IDP) a collaboration with Julie Maclean.


His poems have been published widely in UK magazines, anthologies, broadcast and displayed on a Guernsey bus.


He is actively involved with Damson Poets and Preston Poets and will watch football anywhere.



I am an historian,

I like facts,

I like reasons

backed by evidence

for the actions

or inactions

of humans in reaction

to whatever events

are being studied.


Which is splendidly objective

but completely ignores

that I have been affected,

I have seen history,

been part of it.


I am a winner

that has lost

like all of us here

so if I let slip a hint of bias

then that is my fault alone.



A View from Above


There is a photo

taken from the Space Station.

I have it on my office wall,

it shows a night time planet

when city lights

twinkled around the globe.


We had a game

join the dots

the quickest   the shortest

the most interesting way

to get from, for instance,

Nairobi to Oslo

my wife decided who won.


I remember the furore

when the crew updated it

posting Earth divided

by a broad black band

either side of the Equator

and called it The Third’s World.


My wife didn’t think it was funny.



My Enemy’s Enemy


Trying to make sense

out of the shifting allegiances

just up to the outbreak

of the first months of the conflicts

is a problem not just confined

to students, politicians

and the casual reader.


It would, indeed, be a surprise

if a month went by

without some memo being found

that indicates that the old maxim

about enemies and friends

is true but not necessarily

for any length of time

or on the same continent.


I have a doctoral candidate

researching this very subject

and the results, so far,

have been interesting as to

the fluidity of various factions

up to the outbreak of formal hostilities.



In the immediate aftermath

of any armed conflict

there is an understandable rush

to put into place words and images

in an often confusing period.


Even I was guilty of succumbing twice

to the lure of a guaranteed headline

and a hefty addition

to an academic’s bank balance.


But enough time has passed

and, more importantly,

papers and minutes have been released,

one way or another,

that now gives an opportunity

for a formal objective study,

not of the war itself

that will come later

and requires far more space

than this brief pamphlet


but in the meantime I feel

that there is a need to examine

some of the elements of that period prior

to when the world broke down.



The Need for Documentation


Current research,

at this University,

suggests migration patterns

were not as clear cut as first supposed.


For instance, West African people,

or what was left of them,

were indeed halted

by the Las Palmas Blockade

but more got through

than was reported at the time,

just check the dead

at the Battle of Bilbao.    


There are too many of these quirks

to be included in this study

and given the lack of records

from parts of the world

that no longer exist

in any meaningful way

it may only be word of mouth

that eventually reaches

some sort of conclusion,

but I’m not holding my breath.                    



The Bombs


that weren’t used.


But it was close

and it’s the one subject

that I do agree on

with all of my professional colleagues.


Readers will be aware

of the collaboration between us

in what is the definitive work

Nuclear Weapons – Nein Danke


We have been criticized

for the flippant title

but I, we, stick by it

as much for our sense of relief

as anything more profound.


If I can sum up

five hundred and thirty six pages

into four lines of why

those weapons were not used

they are:


a refusal to obey orders,

the deaths of key technicians

and sheer bloody luck.

author amend 9781912876433