1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

Context with Brad Harris | 20 August 2018 | 0h 40m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Review of “1493: Uncovering the New World,” by Charles C. Mann, which shows how Europeans emerged at the centre of a modern, globalized world by establishing the Columbian Exchange, which globalised commerce, ecology, food and disease.

Simon Winchester on the Pacific

The World in Time / Lapham’s Quarterly | 1 August 2018 | 0h 39m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Simon Winchester about his book “Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers.” Winchester is quite the raconteur, with delicious anecdotes on US nuclear testing and policing Pitcairn Island.

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David Landes

Context with Brad Harris | 27 June 2018 | 0h 36m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Review of “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations” by David Landes, published in 1998. Landes argued that historically unique cultural values of curiosity, novelty, and private property empowered European society to lead the modern world; a history that offers invaluable lessons for our own time.

Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond

Context with Brad Harris | 6 June 2018 | 0h 26m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Distils the ideas in “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” by Jared Diamond. Diamond’s fundamental question is why did history unfold so differently on different continents so that Eurasian societies became disproportionately influential in creating the modern world?

How to Catch World Cup Fever

Freakonomics Radio | 14 June 2018 | 0h 56m | Listen Later 
An intriguing backgrounder on the Football World Cup in Russia. “This could be a World Cup of great cacophony. A plague of far-right Nazi-infused UFC-trained Russian fans; English fans for which they’ve built Soviet-style enormous drunk tanks; platoons of horseback-mounted Cossacks with whips; and heroin and cocaine legalised around the stadia. What could possibly go wrong?”