Stephen Kotkin on Solzhenitsyn

EconTalk | 14 January 2019 | 1h 00m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with historian and author Stephen Kotkin about the historical significance of the life and work of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Also has insights on Russia, Stalin and the role of culture in politics.

Why the West Rules – For Now, by Ian Morris

Context with Brad Harris | 9 January 2019 | 1h 31m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Distils the ideas in Why the West Rules – For Now by Ian Morris. Suggests that the interactions of human biology, sociology, and geography reveal a fundamental pattern in history that lets us answer historical questions like why the West rules for now, and what will happen next.

Is the West at War with Russia?

The Inquiry | 29 November 2018 | 0h 23m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Evaluates whether Russia is right to feel threatened by the West given NATO expansion, Western meddling in the internal affairs of Russia and its neighbours, and provocative deployments of troops and military hardware.

The Thirty Years War

In Our Time | 6 December 2018 | 0h 50m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the war in Europe which began in 1618 and continued on such a scale and with such devastation that its like was not seen for another three hundred years. It pitched Catholics against Protestants, Lutherans against Calvinists and Catholics against Catholics across the Holy Roman Empire, drawing in their neighbours. Many more civilians died than soldiers, and famine was so great that even cannibalism was excused.

Neil MacGregor: Living With The Gods

Spectator Books | 20 September 2018 | 0h 30m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Neil MacGregor about the ideas in his book “Living With The Gods: On Beliefs and Peoples”, which tells the story of the world’s religions through objects. What do religions have in common? Why should there be an evolutionary advantage in engaging with the intangible or imaginary? And what does the history of religion tell us about the common threads of humanity?

George Soros: FT Person of the Year 2018

FT Big Read | 21 December 2018 | 0h 21m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Profiles George Soros and explains the thinking behind the FT’s selection of the billionaire philanthropist and liberal standard-bearer as its Person of the Year.

What the West Got Wrong About China

The Daily | 4 December 2018 | 0h 20m | Listen Later  | iTunes
The West was certain that China would not pull off its economic experiment. That certainty came from a set of assumptions about how societies function and political freedoms emerge: that economic freedom required political freedom and that the internet would undermine party authority. But those assumptions proved wrong — and China became stronger than ever.

Antony Beevor: Arnhem

Spectator Books | 17 May 2018 | 0h 44m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Sir Antony Beevor about his book “Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944.” Describes the military failure and the personalities involved along with insights on the experience for the ordinary men and women involved. Includes a telling comparison of the way the Dutch and French treated women who had fraternised with Germans.