Bellaigue tells the forgotten stories of key figures and reformers of Islam’s past 200 years in The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason; from Egypt’s visionary ruler Muhammad Ali to brave radicals such as Iran’s first feminist Qurrat al-Ayn. Terror in France: The Rise of Jihad in the West by Gilles Kepel is the explosive account of the radicalisation of a segment of Muslim youth that led to the 2016 atrocities at Bataclan and in Nice, and of the failure of governments in France and across Europe to address it.
The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? How do we stay human in a technological world? How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him. Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century.
After signing up for the US army in the 1850s, barely 17, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, fight in the Indian Wars and the Civil War. Having both fled terrible hardships, their days are now vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both see and in which they are complicit. But when a young Indian girl crosses their path, Thomas and John must decide on the best way of life for them all in the face of dangerous odds. Barry’s novel won the 2016 Costa Book of the Year award. His previous fiction includes The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty, A Long Long Way and The Secret Scripture.
Mahfouz introduces her vibrant anthology with two of her star contributors. Hear from users of Islamic Tinder, a disenchanted Maulana working as a TV chat show host and a plastic surgeon blackmailed by MI6. Follow the career of an actress with Middle Eastern heritage whose dreams of playing a ghostbuster spiral into repeat castings as a jihadi bride. Among stories of honour killings and ill-fated love in besieged locations, we also find heart-warming connections and powerful challenges to the status quo.
The strange and complex story of the relationship between secular, republican France and the Muslim world of North Africa: a guerrilla war between the French state and the former subjects of its Empire, for whom the mantra of ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’ conceals a bitter history of domination, oppression and brutality.
The risks and costs of climate change are worse than estimated in the landmark Stern Review in 2006; and far worse than implied by standard economic models. The science warns of the dangers of neglect; the economics and technology show what we can do and the great benefits that will follow; an examination of the ethics points strongly to a moral imperative for action. Why are we waiting? Chaired by the science correspondent of ITV News.
Join Linda Davies for an exploration of her new young adults novel – a rip-roaring time-slip adventure set in the Black Mountains of Wales. This is a must-read for anyone who loves strong heroines, history, ponies and captivating storytelling – and the author might even bring her longbow along…
Judges have blocked Presidential executive orders in the US and corrected the legality of the Prime Minister’s parliamentary Article 50 procedures in the UK. What should the constitutional role of the courts be in maintaining a proper balance of power in a modern democracy? Professor Penny Darbysh
The new Director of the V&A explores the role of culture and curation in a world turning on a new axis, where intelligence is artificial and some pots are still priceless; where a common wealth of resources and makers can fashion global treasures.
The first sight of the new novel which will be published later in the summer from the author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Tulip Fever. Something to Hide is a warm, witty and wise thriller about the unexpected twists that later life can bring. Moggach is one of the most engaging and entertaining writers and festival speakers. She introduces the complicated loves and agonies of her story, which ranges across four continents, and might even be persuaded to drop some gems about the forthcoming film of Tulip Fever, adapted by Tom Stoppard. She talks to Peter Florence.
Emerald Fennell, author and Call the Midwife star talks about her new book: A blackly comic tale about two children you would never want to meet. Set in the Cornish town of Fowey, all is not as idyllic as the beautiful seaside town might seem. The body of a young woman is discovered in the nets of a fishing boat. It is established that the woman was murdered. Most are shocked and horrified. But there is somebody who is not - a twelve-year-old girl. She is delighted; she loves murders. Soon she is questioning the inhabitants of the town in her own personal investigation. But it is a bit boring on her own. Then Miles Giffard, a similarly odd twelve-year-old boy, arrives in Fowey with his mother, and they start investigating together. Oh, and also playing games that re-enact the murders. Just for fun, you understand...
Screenwriter Emma Reeves talks to BBC producer Simon Nelson about the challenges of writing drama for children. She has been responsible for some of CBBC’s most prestigious and popular programmes including Tracy Beaker, Young Dracula and The Dumping Ground. She will also discuss the development of her own series Eve. There will be an opportunity for Q&A at the end of the session.
Not for broadcast.
Socrates’ trial and death together form an iconic moment in Western civilization. The picture we have of it – created by his immediate followers and perpetuated in countless works of literature and art ever since – is that a noble man was put to death in a fit of folly by the ancient Athenian democracy. But an icon, an image, is not reality.
A graphic novel that gives a unique insight into the world of motor sport, from the former CEO of the Williams F1 Team.
From planetary exploration and micro-sensors to tropical disease and psychosis, two Royal Society Research Fellows discuss their work at the forefront of science. Lowe’s research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine involves understanding how environmental and socio-economic factors interact to determine the risk of disease transmission. Modinos’ work at King’s College London attempts to understand the neural mechanisms of emotion and stress response in schizophrenia. Chaired by Hannah Critchlow.
We are surrounded by stationery: half-chewed Cristal Bics and bent paper clips, rubber bands to fiddle with or ping, blunt pencils, rubbers and Tipp-ex. Exploring these everyday objects, Ward reveals tales of invention – accidental and brilliant – and bitter rivalry. He also asks the difficult questions, like who is Mr Pritt, and what are the thousands of uses claimed for Blu-Tack?
The historian presents a selection of artefacts and their stories, from weapons that created carnage to affectionate letters home and unexpected items of trench decoration. Cooksey adds contemporary colour with stories from Harry’s War, his collaboration with Great War veteran Harry Drinkwater.