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Simon Schama

An Enlightenment

Hay Festival 2017, 

Drawing on his work over the past 40 years, the historian considers the context of contemporary Europe’s political upheavals, its challenges and its opportunities.  Schama’s books include Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, A History of Britain, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, Landscape and Memory and The Story of the Jews.

Simon Schama

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Raja Shehadeh talks to Hugh Muir

Where the Line is Drawn: Crossing Boundaries in Occupied Palestine

Hay Festival 2017, 

Brave, intelligent and deeply controversial, the award-winning author of A Rift in Time, Occupation Diaries, Language of War ~ Language of Peace and Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape explores the devastating effect of Occupation on even the most intimate aspects of life. Looking back over decades of political turmoil, Shehadeh traces the impact on the fragile bonds of friendship across the Israel-Palestine border, and asks whether those considered bitter enemies can come together to forge a common future.

Raja Shehadeh talks to Hugh Muir

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Paula Hawkins talks to Georgina Godwin

Fictions: Into The Water

Hay Festival 2017, 

The addictive new psychological thriller from the author of The Girl on the Train, the runaway No. 1 bestseller and global phenomenon.

Paula Hawkins talks to Georgina Godwin

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Lucy Worsley

Jane Austen at Home

Hay Festival 2017, 

Honouring the bicentenary of the novelist’s death, Worsley tells the story of Austen’s life and shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the places and spaces that mattered to her. It wasn’t all country houses and ballrooms, but a life that was often a painful struggle.

Lucy Worsley

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Mariana Enriquez and Lisa McInerney talk to Rosie Goldsmith

Fictions: Tales of the City

Hay Festival 2017, 

Thrilling and terrifying, The Things We Lost in the Fire takes the reader into Enriquez’s world of Argentine Gothic: of sharp-toothed children, of women racked by desire, of demons who lurk beneath the river, of stolen skulls and secrets half-buried under Argentina’s terrible dictatorship. McInerney follows her Baileys Prize-winning debut The Glorious Heresies with The Blood Miracles. The novel is set again in Cork with her vital, brilliant language and storytelling playing out the life and misdemeanours of Ryan Cusack.

Mariana Enriquez and Lisa McInerney talk to Rosie Goldsmith

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Rahaf Harfoush

The Hidden Forces Behind our Technologies

Hay Festival 2017, 

Digital disruption and innovation are like any tools: capable of being used and abused. How are these technologies already influencing our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours and how do we ensure that these tools bring real and lasting benefits to society? Rahaf Harfoush is a digital anthropologist and best-selling author of The Decoded Company, and Yes We Did: An Insider’s Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand. Rahaf is the founder of Red Thread, a think-tank specialising in digital culture. She is currently working on her third book called Hustle and Float about  the intersections of technology, contemporary work culture and a post-work society. Formerly, Rahaf was the Associate Director of the Technology Pioneer Programme at the World Economic Forum, and the Research Coordinator on Don Tapscott’s Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. She was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Shaper, and by the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society as a Rising Talent for her thought-leadership in the fields of digital culture and technology.

Rahaf Harfoush

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Stephen Fry

Reformations 2: The Internet

Hay Festival 2017, 

The writer and tech-geek reimagines Tim Berners-Lee’s invention and asks how the mantra 'This is for Everyone' can play now in a digital sphere of social media, hacking and global connectivity. With BBC Click's Spencer Kelly.

Stephen Fry

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Christina Lamb, Helena Kennedy, Rachael Jolley and Joan Bakewell

The War on Women

Hay Festival 2017, 

In a tribute to the late frontline journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts and her posthumously-published book, a panel of three exceptional and indefatigable heroes talk to Joan Bakewell about The War on Women. Lamb is the Foreign Correspondent of The Sunday Times and the author of Farewell Kabul and The Girl from Aleppo. Kennedy is a world-renowned Human Rights lawyer. Jolley is editor of Index on Censorship.

With thanks to Nick Guthrie

Christina Lamb, Helena Kennedy, Rachael Jolley and Joan Bakewell

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Matthew d’Ancona and Edward Luce

On the Brink: A Dialogue

Hay Festival 2017, 

In d’Ancona’s book Post-Truth: The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back he examines how the art of the lie is shaking the very foundations of democracy and the world as we know it. Brexit, Trump, the rejection of climate change science, and the vilification of immigrants have all have been based on the power to evoke feelings and not facts. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society’s economic losers, and complacency about our system’s durability. Our faith in history teaches us to take democracy for granted. Reality tells us something troublingly different.

Matthew d’Ancona and Edward Luce

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Simon Garfield

Timekeepers: How the World Became Obsessed With Time

Hay Festival 2017, 

An Englishman arrives back from Calcutta but refuses to adjust his watch. Beethoven has his symphonic wishes ignored. The timetable arrives by steam train. A woman designs a 10-hour clock and reinvents the calendar. Roger Bannister becomes stuck in the same four minutes for ever. Garfield offers a vivid and compelling exploration of the ways we have perceived, contained and saved time over the past 250 years. Chaired by Olivia Cole.

Simon Garfield

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Fiammetta Rocco, Boyd Tonkin, Daniel Hahn and Gaby Wood

The Man Booker International Prize for 1988

Hay Festival 2017, 

A jury of Man Booker alumni judge who might have won a version of their new prize in the first year of the Hay Festival. It was really an exceptionally good year for translated fiction that could have shortlisted Haruki Murakami: Hear the Wind Sing; Isabel Allende: Eva Luna; Gabriel García Márquez: Love in the Time of Cholera; Primo Levi: The Wrench; Ismail Kadare: Chronicle in Stone; José Saramago: Baltasar and Blimunda. #nopressurethen2017

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Richard Parks

Extreme Adventuring

Hay Festival 2017, 

Parks describes his inspiring recovery from the shattering injury that ended his international rugby career. He tells of his commitment to his pioneering and world-first expeditions in the most extreme environments on earth.

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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova talks to Philippe Sands

The Index Platform – Pussy Riot

Hay Festival 2017, 

An interview with the musician and activist, who was arrested after her punk band’s 2012 performance in a Moscow cathedral. She was convicted of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred' and sentenced to two years penal servitude. Nadya Tolokno now has permanent residency in Canada, from where she continues to protest human rights abuses. Introduced by Rachael Jolley.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova talks to Philippe Sands

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Tabitha Goldstaub and Philip Howard

The TCS Spark Salon: Algorithms, fake news and the filter bubble

Hay Festival 2017, 
The past year has been dominated by stories of how fake news has influenced major political decisions on both sides of the Atlantic and how technology has enabled a filter bubble through hidden algorithms and our own biases. There is an inherent tension between whether technology is helping to liberalise or distort and restrict how and what we read. Can artificial intelligence (AI) help us identify the truth or will it divide us? What role should we play as active digital citizens and what responsibility do technology and news organisations have? And what impact will all this have on our society, our institutions and our future? Join us at The Spark Salon, an initiative by Tata Consultancy Services, to explore these questions and more.

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Ben MacIntyre

SAS: Rogue Heroes –The Authorised Wartime History

Hay Festival 2017, 

In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, has a vision for a new kind of war: attacking the enemy where they least expect it – from behind their own lines. Despite the intense opposition of many in British High Command, Winston Churchill personally gives Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he can find. With unprecedented access to the SAS secret files, unseen footage and exclusive interviews with its founder members, the author of Operation Mincemeat, A Spy Amongst Friends and Agent Zigzag tells the remarkable early story of the Herefordshire Regiment.

Ben MacIntyre

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Bettany Hughes

Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities

Hay Festival 2017, 

The historian tells the story of the three-in-one great cities of Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul, which has long been the gateway between East and West. Archaeologists have measured 42 layers of human inhabitation here on the Bosphorus over the past 6,000 years. It has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires and, for many years, was known simply as The City.

Bettany Hughes

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Tim Winton talks to Rebecca Jones

BBC Talking Books 3: The Boy Behind the Curtain

Hay Festival 2017, 

The great novelist, author of Dirt Music and Cloudstreet, is publishing two non-fiction books. Charged with love for the huge, besieging force of Australia’s wild spaces, Island Home: A Landscape Memoir is a passionate call for their conservation. His deeply personal The Boy Behind the Curtain: Notes from an Australian Life shows how moments from his childhood and life growing up have shaped his views on class, faith, fundamentalism, the environment, and literature.

Tim Winton talks to Rebecca Jones

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Devi Sridhar

Governing Global Health

Hay Festival 2017, 

Governments, NGOs and corporations collaborate across the world on campaigns to respond to global health issues such as AIDS, Ebola, SARS and malaria. But how do you regulate these PPPs (private-public partnerships)? The Edinburgh academic and her co-author, Chelsea Clinton, analyse the accountability, effectiveness and sustainability of the biggest campaigns. Chaired by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera.

Devi Sridhar

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Andy Hamilton talks to Stephanie Merritt

The Star Witness

Hay Festival 2017, 

The comedy-writer’s first novel is the hilarious story of one self-regarding man’s descent into disgrace and his journey back to join the human race. It’s a pin-sharp satire on the shallows of modern media culture and the dysfunctional relationship we all have with the idea of ‘celebrity’.

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Ben Cort

Aliens Love Underpants

Hay Festival 2017, 

Aliens, dinosaurs, monsters, pirates – everyone loves underpants. Join the illustrator who helped to create Aliens Love Underpants and celebrate its tenth anniversary. Watch as Ben brings the aliens to life in this interactive event suitable for all the family. And catch a special guest appearance from somewhere far away. Alien fans can come dressed in their favourite alien outfit or in funny pants.

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Ben Cort

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Philippe Sands talks to Stephen Fry

The Baillie Gifford Prize Lecture: East West Street

Hay Festival 2017, 

Sands’s inquiry into the origins of 'genocide' and 'crimes against humanity' is also a personal quest for his family in the Ukrainian city of Lviv. It won this year’s Baillie Gifford Prize. Hay Festival-goers will have heard Sands explore many of the themes of the story here over the past decade. We revisit East West Street this year to honour one of the greatest works of literature of the festival’s lifetime; a book that might be read around Europe and around the world to inform the way contemporary history is developing.

Philippe Sands talks to Stephen Fry

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Hannah Critchlow

Increasing Consciousness...

Hay Festival 2017, 

Join the superstar neuroscientist on a voyage of conscious discovery. A 1.5 kg brain tissue mass magically produces our individual view of the world, our myriad emotions, memories, associations and thoughts that make each of our lives unique. Why are neuroscientists only able to properly probe consciousness now? And what are we yet to discover? Come with an open mind... 

Hannah Critchlow

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John Mullan, Sarah Churchwell and Colm Toíbín

Jane Austen 200

Hay Festival 2017, 

The author of What Matters in Jane Austen celebrates the bi-centenary of the great novelist and talks about what defines her genius with the novelist, Colm Toíbín and Sarah Churchwell.

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Tobias Jones, Jackie Morris and Zaffar Kunial

Staying Rooted – Tree Charter Series 2

Hay Festival 2017, 

A connection with trees and woods helps people find inspiration, inner calm and mental balance. Author and journalist Tobias Jones and poet Zaffar Kunial are both featured in Arboreal, a Common Ground collection of woodland writing. They are joined by the illustrator Jackie Morris to discuss the role of trees and woods in finding inspiration and mental balance in our lives.  

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Robert Winston

My Amazing Body Machine

Hay Festival 2017, 

Did you know that there are 29 bones in your head including six tiny ear bones that help you hear? From the structure of the skeleton to the importance of the respiratory system, Professor Robert Winston explains the working of every part of the human body – the most complex machine on Earth.

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Robert Winston

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