We started out simply wanting to create records of our experiences, conversations, and memories so that we will never forget them and also leave these lessons, the learnings, and memories for our families and friends. Initially, it was purely a record-keeping exercise, we never wanted to forget our Oxford selves. So we started writing and kept on writing and as we wrote, we remembered more and wrote more. As it started to take shape, we realized that there is a substantial amount which is especially relevant now with the socio-political events in Europe and elsewhere globally which we had seen the beginnings of in the early part of the century in a politically charged and socially conscious Oxford. What we learned, those we were surrounded by, how we were viewed in a post 9/11 Britain which could be lessons not just for students or academics but many others. We started pondering whether it might be worth exploring making these writings of the past eight years or so available as a publication.
We believe this book would appeal not only to those thinking about pursuing graduate studies, currently pursuing graduate studies, or those who have gone through that process but also those interested in what it was like in Oxford during the early parts of this century with the political atmosphere affecting and directing many of the world's brightest. Particularly we believe those who have gone through the graduate journey which has resulted in some form of self-reconstruction will relate to this, the immense pressures and ideals that one feels during this time, how you are identified and the causes you start to fight for are what we have tried to get across here. Having talked to a number of newly graduated students each year, we also feel there are similar fears, feelings and questions in the minds of many that we have documented in this book.