Europe

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Yanis Varoufakis talks to Martha Kearney

And the Weak Suffer What They Must

Hay Festival 2016, 

The former Finance Minister of Greece shows that the origins of the European collapse go far deeper than our leaders are prepared to admit – and that we have done nothing so far to fix it.

Yanis Varoufakis talks to Martha Kearney

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Michael Rosen

The Disappearance of Emile Zola

Hay Festival 2017, 

18 July 1898 and the world-renowned novelist Emile Zola is on the run. His crime? Intervening in the Dreyfus case and taking on the highest powers in France with his open letter J’accuse. Forced to leave Paris with nothing but the clothes he is standing in and a nightshirt wrapped in newspaper, Zola flees to England with no idea when he will return. This is the little-known story of his time in exile. Rosen offers an intriguing insight into the mind, the loves, the politics and the work of the great writer.

Michael Rosen

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Christiana Figueres talks to Nick Stern

The British Academy Platform: We’ll Always Have Paris

Hay Festival 2016, 

A conversation with the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, who is now charged with delivering the COP21 Agreement, signed in Paris.  If anyone can do it, she can. And she will.

Christiana Figueres talks to Nick Stern

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Roberto Saviano talks to Ed Vulliamy

My Italians: True Stories of Crime and Courage

Hay Festival 2016, 

The investigative journalist and author lives under police protection from the crime syndicates he exposed and denounced in Gomorrah and ZeroZeroZero. He offers a personal and candid portrait of Italy today: a place of trafficking and toxic waste, where democracy is bought and sold, and organised crime rules both north and south.  



Roberto Saviano talks to Ed Vulliamy

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Yanis Varoufakis talks to Kate Raworth

Adults In The Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment

Hay Festival 2017, 

As Greek finance minister, Varoufakis confronted the EU head-on over debt. He tells a tale of brinkmanship, hypocrisy, collusion and betrayal, and he issues an urgent call to renew European democracy.

Yanis Varoufakis talks to Kate Raworth

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Charlotte Rampling talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

Who I Am

Hay Festival 2017, 

The actor reminisces in an intimate self-portrait, with stories and photographs from her long career – from classic movies Georgy Girl and The Night Porter to Broadchurch and The Sense of an Ending.

Charlotte Rampling talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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Nick Clegg talks to Matthew d’Ancona

Politics: Between the Extremes

Hay Festival 2017, 

The former Deputy Prime Minister lifts the lid on the workings and failings of the 2010--2015 coalition government, analyses the 2017 European electoral cycle, and assesses the opportunities for the liberal centre ground of politics.

Nick Clegg talks to Matthew d’Ancona

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Svetlana Alexievich talks to Bridget Kendall

Second-Hand Time

Hay Festival 2016, 

The 2015 Nobel Literature Laureate talks about Russia and the USSR. Her Nobel citation was for “her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”.

“I don’t ask people about socialism, I ask about love, jealousy, childhood, old age. Music, dances, hairstyles. The myriad sundry details of a vanished way of life. This is the only way to chase the catastrophe into the framework of the mundane and attempt to tell a story. Try to figure things out. It never ceases to amaze me how interesting ordinary, everyday life is. There are an endless number of human truths... History’s sole concern is the facts; emotions are out of its realm of interest. It’s considered improper to admit feelings into history. I look at the world as a writer, not strictly an historian. I am fascinated by people…”

This event will be conducted in Russian, with consecutive translation

Svetlana Alexievich talks to Bridget Kendall

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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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Howard Jacobson talks to John Mullan

Shylock is My Name

Hay Festival 2016, 

With an absent wife and a daughter going off the rails, wealthy art collector and philanthropist Simon Strulovitch is in need of someone to talk to. So when he meets Shylock at a cemetery in Cheshire’s Golden Triangle, he invites him back to his house. It’s the beginning of a remarkable friendship. The Man Booker winner’s version of The Merchant of Venice bends time to its own advantage as it asks what it means to be a father, a Jew and a merciful human being in the modern world.
#TALKINGABOUTSHAKESPEARE

Howard Jacobson talks to John Mullan

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AC Grayling

The Age of Genius: The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind

Hay Festival 2016, 

What happened to the European mind between 1605, when an audience watching Macbeth at the Globe might believe that regicide was such an aberration of the natural order that ghosts could burst from the ground, and 1649, when a large crowd could stand and watch the execution of a king? In this turbulent period, science moved from the alchemy and astrology of John Dee to the painstaking observation and astronomy of Galileo. And if the old ways still lingered and affected the new mindset, Descartes’ dualism presented an attempt to square the new philosophy with religious belief. By the end of that tumultuous century “the greatest ever change in the mental outlook of humanity” had irrevocably taken place.

AC Grayling

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Neil MacGregor and Richard J Evans

Germany and Memory

Hay Festival 2016, 
A conversation with two of the world’s greatest historians. MacGregor is the former Director of the British Museum, author of the BBC Radio 4 series and books A History of the World in 100 Objects and Germany: Memories of a Nation. Evans, Regius Professor Emeritus of History at Cambridge University, is the leading authority on C20th Germany. His most recent book is The Third Reich in History and Memory.
Neil MacGregor and Richard J Evans

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Danny Dorling

Reformations 7: Examinations

Hay Festival 2017, 

We have the most relentlessly tested school students in Europe. We have constantly revised SATs and GCSE structures. Is any of this encouraging or cultivating learning? How could we develop better ways of valuing both students and teachers? Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford. Chaired by Peter Florence.

Danny Dorling

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Rose Tremain

The Gustav Sonata

Hay Festival 2016, 

Fierce, astringent, profoundly tender - and spanning the twentieth century, this beautifully orchestrated novel explores the big themes of betrayal and the struggle for happiness, and above all, the passionate love of a childhood friendship as it is tested over a lifetime. Tremain’s award-winning fiction includes Music and Silence, The Road Home, Sacred Country, Restoration and The Colour. She talks to Peter Florence.

Rose Tremain

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Miriam González Durántez

Reformations 1: The EU

Hay Festival 2017, 

In this first of the Festival's flagship 30th anniversary project sessions, the Spanish international trade lawyer re-imagines the European Union. González Durántez was previously the Middle East Adviser to the External Relations Commissioner in the European Union, having started her career as a trade negotiator at the World Trade Organisation. Chaired by Matthew d’Ancona.

Miriam González Durántez

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Max Hastings

The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945

Hay Festival 2016, 

The journalist and war historian links tales of high courage ashore, at sea and in the air to the work of the brilliant boffins at home, battling the enemy’s technology. Most of the strivings, adventures and sacrifices of spies, Resistance, Special Forces and even of the code-breakers were wasted, Hastings says, but a fraction was so priceless that no nation begrudged lives and treasure spent in the pursuit of jewels of knowledge. The book tells stories of high policy and human drama, illuminating the fantastic machinations of secret war.

Max Hastings

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Mervyn King talks to Bronwen Maddox

The End of Alchemy – Money, Banking and the Future of the Global Economy

Hay Festival 2016, 

The former Governor of the Bank of England analyses the causes of the global financial crisis. He proposes revolutionary new ideas to answer the central question: are money and banking a form of alchemy or are they the Achilles heel of a modern capitalist economy?

Mervyn King talks to Bronwen Maddox

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Simon Sebag Montefiore talks to John Mitchinson

The Romanovs

Hay Festival 2016, 

The intimate story of tsars and tsarinas; some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. The historian’s gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, and peopled by a cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy, from Queen Victoria to Lenin. Sebag Montefiore is the author of Catherine the Great & Potemkin and Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar.

Simon Sebag Montefiore talks to John Mitchinson

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Peter Frankopan

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

Hay Festival 2016, 

From the rise and fall of empires in China, Persia, and Rome to the spread of the great religions and the wars of the C20th, this epic work illuminates how the Silk Roads shaped global history, the axis of East and West. Frankopan is the Director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University.

Peter Frankopan

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Peter Frankopan

Reformations 16: History

Hay Festival 2017, 

The author of the magnificent book The Silk Roads proposes a new way of understanding the past and of connecting context and ideas so that we might learn the lessons of history. Frankopan is Director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University. Chaired by Peter Florence.

Peter Frankopan

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Philippe Sands

The Eric Hobsbawm Lecture: East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

Hay Festival 2016, 

The lawyer and writer explores how personal lives and history are interwoven. Drawing from his acclaimed new book – part historical detective story, part family history, part legal thriller – he explains the connections between his work on crimes against humanity and genocide, the events that overwhelmed his family during the Second World War, and an untold story at the heart of the Nuremberg Trial. Chaired by Helena Kennedy.

Philippe Sands

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Colm Toíbín talks to Clare Armitstead

House of Names

Hay Festival 2017, 

The novelist launches his new book, a re-telling of the classic tales of the House of Atreus: the stories of Agamemnon and Iphigenia, of Clytemnestra, Orestes and Electra. It’s a masterpiece.

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Tom Holland

Æthelstan: The Making of England

Hay Festival 2016, 

The formation of England happened against the odds - the division of the country into rival kingdoms, the assaults of the Vikings, the precarious position of the island on the edge of the known world. But King Alfred ensured the survival of Wessex, his son Eadweard expanded it, and his grandson Æthelstan finally united Mercia and Wessex, conquered Northumbria and became Rex totius Britanniae.

Tom Holland

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Polly Toynbee and David Walker

Dismembered: How the Attack on the State Harms Us All

Hay Festival 2017, 

The two journalists travelled around Great Britain gathering the voices of the people who make up the public sector: nurses and patients, teachers and policemen and civilians. The story they tell is one of society’s dismemberment across our nation state: a fragmented NHS, a reduced police force, divided schools and a vulnerable military.

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Paddy Ashdown

Game of Spies

Hay Festival 2017, 

The true story of a lethal spy triangle with three men at its centre – a brilliant, ruthless, British secret agent called Roger Landes; the Gestapo counter-espionage officer Friedrich Dohse, who was charged with finding him; and French Resistance leader André Grandclément, who was responsible for the most controversial betrayal that took place in wartime France. From 1942 until 1944 these three enemies were drawn into a lethal dance in which comrades, Allied agents and downed pilots were sold to the Germans as casually as crates of wine. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.

Paddy Ashdown