It’s now ten years since the invasion of Iraq, and the UK Armed Forces have been fully engaged in a decade of war. What has been the mental health impact? If you listen to many media accounts you might conclude that nearly everyone who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan ends up in a psychiatric clinic, on the streets or in prison. But what are the facts? What do we know about the actual impact of deployment now, and what can we expect in the future?
O’Toole examines how trivial journalistic lies became far-from-trivial national obsessions; how the pose of indifference to truth and historical fact has come to define the style of an entire political elite; how a country that once had colonies is redefining itself as an oppressed nation requiring liberation; the strange gastronomic and political significance of prawn-flavoured crisps; the dreams of revolutionary deregulation and privatisation that drive Arron Banks, Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg; and the silent rise of English nationalism, the force that dare not speak its name. O’Toole is an investigative journalist, historian, biographer, literary critic and political commentator. His acclaimed columns on Brexit for the Irish Times, the Guardian and the New York Review of Books have been awarded both the Orwell Prize and the European Press Prize. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
The mathematician discovers how the ancient Babylonians used their bodies to count to 60 (which gave us 60 minutes in the hour), how the number zero was only discovered in the seventh century by Indian mathematicians contemplating the void, why in China going into the red meant your numbers had gone negative, and why numbers might be our best language for communicating with alien life. But for millennia, contemplating infinity has sent even the greatest minds into a spin. Then at the end of the 19th century mathematicians discovered a way to think about infinity that revealed it is a number that we can count. They also found that there are an infinite number of infinities, some bigger than others…
Jane Austen’s comic masterpiece was published 200 years ago by John Murray. Our awareness of her heroine’s limitations is one of the great joys of the book. The Guardian’s Digested Read satirist is joined by UCL’s Emeritus Professor of English, John Sutherland – co-author of The Connell Guide to Jane Austen’s Emma, Lives of the Novelists and How To Be Well Read – to celebrate the book.
Action fans will enjoy this in-depth session about the pulse-pounding series starring teengers with special powers.
The award-winning Egyptologist tells a story of ancient gods, pharaohs, emperors, adventurers, archaeologists and historians whose fates were all entwined with the river. Chaired by Paul Greatbatch.
The novelist introduces her exquisitely written childhood memoir. Tremain grew up in post-war London, a city of grey austerity, still partly in ruins, where both food and affection were fiercely rationed. The girl known then as Rosie and her sister Jo spent their days longing for their grandparents’ farm, buried deep in the Hampshire countryside, a green paradise of feasts and freedom, where they could at last roam and dream. But when Rosie is ten years old, everything changes. She and Jo lose their father, their London house, their school, their friends and – most agonisingly of all – their beloved Nanny, Vera, the only adult to have shown them real love and affection. But slowly the teenage Rosie escapes from the cold world of the 1950s into a place of inspiration and mischief, of loving friendships and dedicated teachers, where a young writer is suddenly ready to be born.
The Supervet recounts this often-surprising journey that sees him leaving behind a farm animal practice in rural Ireland to set up Fitzpatrick Referrals in Surrey, one of the most advanced small animal specialist centres in the world. We meet the animals that paved the way, from calving cows and corralling bullocks to talkative parrots and bionic cats and dogs.
The actor and writer conducts a workshop masterclass working with Shakespeare’s Scottish play. Ideal for students and teachers. Numbers limited.
Roman history through the eyes of Marcus, newly freed from slavery, whom Julius Caesar tasks with overthrowing a rebel army. Third in the series from the Number 1 bestselling author.