The German writer’s astounding investigation shows that the Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines – or crystal meth. Everyone from factory workers to housewives, and, crucially the troops, used drugs. The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused decision-making. Hitler and his entourage took refuge in potentially lethal cocktails of stimulants administered by the physician Dr Morell.
The home team satirists read the Sunday papers.
Atinuke collects stories, writes stories and tells stories, all of which originate in Africa. You will be spellbound by Atinuke’s traditional storytelling as she conjures up the sights, sounds and hustle and bustle of life in Nigeria, where she was born.
At a time when migrations and borders are again central to our politics and national identity, the archaeologist looks back in time, to the creation of what was then Europe’s largest earthwork, Offa’s Dyke. He examines the role of the Mercian kingdom as a European power, and the ways in which Alfred and the Saxon kings rewrote that history. Chaired by Jesse Norman, MP for South Herefordshire, through which Offa’s Dyke approaches Hay.
Three young friends meet over apricot cocktails at the Bec-de-Gaz bar on the rue Montparnasse. They are Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Raymond Aron. Aron opens their eyes to a radical new way of thinking. Pointing to his drink, he says, “You can make philosophy out of this cocktail”. The author of How To Live: A Life of Montaigne tells the story of modern existentialism as one of passionate encounters between people, minds and ideas. Weaving biography and thought, Bakewell takes us to the heart of a philosophy about life that also changed lives, and tackled the biggest questions of all: what we are and how we are to live.
Brix spent ten years in the band, The Fall, before a violent disintegration led to her exit and the end of her marriage with Mark E Smith. Her story is much more than rock ’n’ roll highs and lows in one of the most radically dysfunctional bands around. Growing up in the Hollywood Hills in the 1960s in a dilapidated pink mansion, her life has taken her from luxury to destitution, from the cover of the NME to waitressing in California, via the industrial wasteland of Manchester in the 1980s.
Malcolm describes the paths taken through the eastern Mediterranean and its hinterland by an eminent Venetian-Albanian family – among them an archbishop in the Balkans, the captain of the papal flagship at Lepanto, the power behind the throne in the Ottoman province of Moldavia, and a dragoman (interpreter) at the Porte – previously almost invisible to history. Through them he casts the world between Venice and Istanbul in a fresh light, illuminating subjects as diverse as espionage, slave-ransoming and the grain trade. It is a masterpiece of both scholarship and storytelling, creating a panoramic picture of interrelations between the Christian and Ottoman worlds.
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What do we do when the going gets roughest, and what on earth can we say? Rev LT Col Feltham-White is an army chaplain who has dealt with the full psychological cost of war both on the frontline and behind it. Worden is a farmer and campaigner whose father made an attempt on his life after the family farm had to be sold. With wisdom, humour and insight, they talk about when and how to listen.
We know we need money. We tend to want more of it. But why do we behave the way we do with it? And why does it have such a hold on us? Award-winning BBC Radio 4 presenter Claudia Hammond delves into the surprising psychology of money to show us that our relationship with the stuff is more complex than we might think. Exploring the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, biology and behavioural economics, she also reveals some simple and effective tricks that will help you think about, use and save money better: from how being grumpy helps if you don’t want to be ripped off to why you should opt for the more expensive pain relief; from how to shop for a new laptop to why you should never offer to pay your friends for favours.
Horatio Clare weaves a spell-binding story of a rambunctious boy, some remarkable animals, a lot of jokes and a darkly evil magic that Aubrey must bravely defeat if he is to save his father. Peter Florence says, “This is destined to become a children’s classic”.
Mermaids and dragons, popular creatures from mythology, have been given new adventures by these two authors. Join them as they discuss the fun they have had creating their characters and giving a fresh spin to traditional stories. Chaired by Julia Eccleshare
Mara tells the story of the great Scottish explorer David Livingstone from the perspective of his African friends. In an extraordinary attempt to ensure his spirit rested in peace, his companions Susi and Chuma and eighty others carried the doctor’s body from the very centre of Africa to the East African coast so he could be returned to the land of his birth. The story is revealed through vibrant storytelling and music.
Kamal Mouzawak created the first farmers’ market in Beirut (Souk el-Tayeb), preserving both food traditions and the culture of sustainable agriculture in Lebanon, while boosting the business of small producers. His celebrated restaurant Tawlet, a model of social enterprise, is one of Beirut’s more innovative and celebrated restaurants, and he has just opened a second Tawlet restaurant in the beautiful Bekaa valley. Kamal will discuss food, its relationship to the city and its inhabitants, and how development needs to be achieved carefully when it comes to where we live and what we eat. Rosie Boycott is a journalist, writer and the chairman of London Food, part of Mayor Boris Johnson’s attempt to improve Londoners’ access to healthy, locally produced and affordable food. Followed by a tasting provided by Tawlet.
Event in English
With overdue homework, overdue pocket money and a bag full of overdue newspapers, can life get any more unfair for Norm? Abso-flipping-lutely.
Duration 45 mins.
Cancer Research UK Series
Unprecedented scientific and technological advances over the past 40 years have helped double the rate of cancer survival. Our expert panel will analyse some of the pivotal discoveries and research projects that have shaped our understanding of cancer and led to revolutionary new treatments. Find out what today’s lab work could mean for future generations. Chaired by Gabrielle Walker.
What is time? Is our sense of time’s passage an illusion? The human brain is a complex system that not only tells time but creates it; it constructs our sense of chronological flow and enables ‘mental time travel’ - simulations of future and past events. Chaired by Raymond Tallis.
Between the first revolution in February 1917 and Lenin’s Bolshevik coup in October, Petrograd was in turmoil – felt nowhere more keenly than on the fashionable Nevsky Prospekt, where the foreign visitors and diplomats who filled hotels, clubs, bars and embassies were acutely aware of the chaos beneath their windows. Rappaport draws upon the diaries and letters of these international witnesses, to carry us right into the action: to see, feel and hear the Revolution as it happened.
In the second volume of his acclaimed new history of the Second World War, Holland examines the momentous turning points of 1941–1943: Hitler’s invasion of Russia; America’s entry into the conflict; the devastating Thousand Bomber Raids over Germany; the long struggle in the deserts of North Africa and the defeat of the U-boats in the crucial Battle of the Atlantic.
Was Diana killed by the Secret Services? Is climate change a hoax? Did man not walk on the moon? Who shot JFK? Drawing on a nationwide survey about belief in conspiracy theories, Drochon will explore what factors –religious, economic, political – make some and not others believe in conspiracy theories and what impact that has had on contemporary political events. Drochon is a political theorist and historian of modern political thought.
The cultural historian demonstrates the rise of China-phobia in popular culture with the help of some film clips. Frayling chronicles the entry of Dr Fu Manchu, known as ‘the yellow peril incarnate in one man’, into world literature a century ago and asks why the idea developed unfairly that China was a threat to Western civilization, and why such images continue to distort our image of its people. Frayling also explains how we neglect the history of popular culture at our peril if we are to understand our deepest desires and fears. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.