What Would Orwell Be Without Nineteen Eighty-Four?

The Book Club | 31 January 2021 | 0h 43m | Listen Later | iTunes
Podcast marking the moment that George Orwell comes out of copyright. D. J. Taylor (author of On Nineteen Eighty-Four and Orwell: The Life) and Dorian Lynskey (author of The Ministry of Truth) discuss how Orwell speaks to us now, and how his reputation has weathered. Was he secretly a conservative? Was he a McCarthyite snitch? How would he be remembered had he died before writing Nineteen Eighty-Four? And does ‘Orwellian’ mean anything much at all?

James Hawes: The Shortest History of England

The Book Club | 18 November 2020 | 0h 43m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with James Hawes about his book The Shortest History of England. Discusses why there’s real value in so brief an overview of our history, how Jurassic rock formations determined UK politics, why the English never got over the Norman Conquest, how the break-up of the Union is now an inevitability, and why the Cross of St George is a funny emblem for English nationalists to rally behind.

Carmen Callil: Oh Happy Day

The Book Club | 4 November 2020 | 0h 32m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Carmen Callil about her book Oh Happy Day: Those Times and These Times. Uses the story of her 18th-century ancestors being transported to Australia to explore English and Australian social history and the darker side of empire.

Hugh Aldersey-Williams: The Making of Science in Europe

The Book Club | 7 October 2020 | 0h 33m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Hugh Aldersey-Williams about his book Dutch Light: Christaan Huygens and the Making of Science in Europe. Discusses the life and work of Christiaan Huygens. Argues that this half-forgotten figure was the most important scientist between Galileo and Newton. Describes his advances in optics, geometry, probability, mathematics, astronomy – as well as the invention of the pendulum clock and the discovery of the rings of Saturn – against the backdrop of a turbulent post-Reformation Europe and the beginnings of an international scientific community.

Sam Harris on the Value of Conversation

The Book Club | 12 August 2020 | 1h 05m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Sam Harris about his book Making Sense: Conversations on Consciousness, Morality, and the Future of Humanity. Discusses why civilised conversation is what the world needs now more than ever, why ‘cancel culture’ is real and J.K. Rowling’s trans-rights-activist opponents are ‘insane’, how ‘bad philosophy’ has ruined the social sciences, the circumstances under which totalitarianism might be okay – and why, as a liberal, he thinks the left is in danger of destroying America.

Robin Hanbury-Tenison: Taming The Four Horsemen

The Book Club | 15 July 2020 | 0h 32m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Robin Hanbury-Tenison about his book Taming The Four Horsemen: Radical Solutions to Defeat Pandemics, War, Famine and the Death of the Planet. Discusses what the collapse of ancient civilisations can teach us about our own, and his suggestions for applying science and technology to improve agriculture and medicine.

Christina Lamb: Our Bodies Their Battlefield

The Book Club | 4 March 2020 | 0h 37m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Christina Lamb about her book Our Bodies Their Battlefield: What War Does To Women. Describes the past and present of rape as a weapon of war, from the fates of Yazidi and Rohingya woman at the hands of IS and the Burmese military to the German victims of the Red Army and the Disappeared of the Argentinian Junta. Discusses why rape as a weapon of war is so little reported or discussed, let alone prosecuted, how it happens, what it means – and why it’s seemingly on the increase even as wealthy western liberals congratulate themselves on the success of the #metoo movement.

Why 42 is the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

The Book Club | 26 February 2020 | 0h 30m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Adam Roberts and John Lloyd discussing the genesis, genius and legacy of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio show. The BBC has released features, interviews and archive programmes to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the show.