Hitler’s War with Anglo-America

History Extra | 2 September 2019 | 0h 37m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Brendan Simms about his biography of Hitler: A Global Biography. Argues that the Nazi dictator’s main preoccupation was rivalry with Britain and America, rather than the Soviet Union.

Max Hastings on the Dambusters

History Extra | 19 September 2019 | 0h 37m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Max Hastings about his book Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943. A retake on a familiar story. Hastings argues that while the airmen were brave and Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bouncing bomb was innovative, that the disruption to the Nazi war effort was temporary rather than crippling. Arthur Harris, the head of Bomber Command, opposed the attack, received much of the public credit, and failed to capitalise by attacking the repair operation.

The History of Opium

The Forum | 26 September 2019 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Made from the simple juice of the poppy, opium is arguably the oldest and most widely used drug in the world. Since prehistoric times it has been used to relieve physical pain and quieten troubled minds. It has enabled medical breakthroughs and inspired some of the greatest Romantic poets and composers. But opium, and its later derivatives morphine and heroin, has also brought addiction and untold misery and death, destroyed families, and corrupted entire countries. Its trade has provoked wars, and is still making global headlines today, from its production in Afghanistan to the opioid crisis in the United States.

World War Two: The Economic Battle

The Documentary | 22 September 2019 | 0h 50m | Listen Later | iTunes
Duncan Weldon on the importance of economic factors in the Second World War. Interesting perspectives throughout. For example, the contrast between Britain having more manpower available due to importing food versus Germany deploying more manpower to food production than its armed forces.

Niall Ferguson on Kissinger the Idealist

Uncommon Knowledge | 8 October 2015 | 0h 41m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Niall Ferguson on his book Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist about the first half of Henry Kissinger’s life. Traces his development and influences from life as a young boy in Germany, intellectual celebrity at Harvard and finally as an adviser to both Nelson Rockefeller and John Kennedy, before becoming a national security adviser to Richard Nixon in 1968.

The Marshall Plan and the Cold War

History Extra | 15 March 2018 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Benn Steil, author of The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War. Explains the background to the 1947 US aid initiative to Europe, how it helped shape relations between the USA and USSR, and its impact on the European recovery after the Second World War.

Andrew Roberts on Churchill and the Craft of Biography

EconTalk | 26 August 2019 | 1h 10m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Andrew Roberts about the life of Winston Churchill and the art of biography. How did Churchill deal with the mistakes he inevitably made in a long career? Was he prescient or just the right man in the right place at the right time? Was he an alcoholic? Did he suffer from depression? Drawing on his biography of Churchill, Andrew Roberts answers these and other questions in this wide-ranging conversation that includes a discussion of the mechanics of writing a 1000 page book on a man who has had over 1000 biographies written about him already.

The Battle of Trafalgar

History Extra | 11 July 2019 | 0h 35m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Sam Willis about the dramatic 1805 British victory against French and Spanish fleets. Challenges misconceptions about the role of Nelson and the importance of the battle in the war against Napoleon.