Five short arguments about flashpoints in the Freedom of Speech debates – porn, blasphemy, Israel, national security. Where do we draw the lines? And why?
One of the world’s leading conductors presents his portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach. How can such sublime work have been produced by a man who seems so ordinary, so opaque – and occasionally so intemperate? Chaired by Clemency Burton-Hill.
The independent discovery of evolution by natural selection by Darwin and Wallace is one of the most famous episodes in the history of science. Wallace’s story has been told many times in recent years, but almost always by amateurs rather than historians. Alarmingly, almost everything you have heard about Wallace is wrong. The image of a cheated working-class hero whitewashed from history by the patrician Darwin and his establishment supporters may be irresistible, but it is also pure myth.
The thriller writer talks about the action-packed, high-tension, mega-selling eighteenth book featuring his hero Jack Reacher.
Why is there something rather than nothing? Over the past thirty years, scientists have learned that two little-understood components – dark matter and dark energy – comprise most of the known cosmos, explain the growth of all cosmic structure, and hold the key to the universe’s fate. (This is way beyond rocket science – but riveting and really entertaining.)
The Booker winner celebrates the bicentenary of Austen’s great English novel, and admires the genius of her comedy and style.
Through the 25 stories in Swift’s most recent anthology, we are steered effortlessly from the Civil War to the present day, from world-shaking events to the secret dramas lived out in rooms, workplaces, homes. With his remarkable sense of place, he charts an intimate human geography and, in doing so, he moves us profoundly, but with a constant eye for comedy. He reads from the collection and discusses his work with Peter Florence.
The founder of The Big Issue mounts a blistering attack on orthodox thinking around the gap between rich and poor, sparing neither himself nor others in identifying what needs to be done to end poverty.
One of the translators of this encyclopedic philosophical lexicon – The Dictionary of Untranslatables – examines some of the philosophical, literary and political terms and concepts that defy easy – or any – translation from one language and culture to another. He talks to Daniel Hahn, the national programme director of the British Centre for Literary Translation.