Between 1917 and 1921 a devastating struggle took place in Russia following the collapse of the Tsarist empire. Many regard this savage civil war as the most influential event of the modern era. An incompatible White alliance of moderate socialists and reactionary monarchists stood little chance against Trotsky’s Red Army and Lenin’s Communist dictatorship. The struggle became a world war by proxy as Churchill deployed weaponry and troops from the British empire, while armed forces from the United States, France, Italy, Japan, Poland and Czechoslovakia played rival parts.
The author of Stalingrad gives an action-packed account of the Russian Revolution, filled with historical detail from the streets of Petrograd, the brutal battlefield and the offices of Churchill, Lenin and Trotsky. He assembles the complete picture, conveying the conflict through the eyes of everyone from the worker on the streets of Petrograd to the cavalry officer on the battlefield and the woman doctor in an improvised hospital.
The expert on empires, autocrats and Russian history presents his latest work In the Shadow of the Gods (the Emperor in World History), a dazzling account of the men (and occasional woman) who led the world’s empires, a book that probes the essence of leadership and power through the centuries and around the world. British Pugwash is the UK arm of the international Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. Pugwash and Joseph Rotblat, its founder, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.
A conversation with the team behind the hit BBC podcasts Death by Conspiracy? and War on Truth. Hear how journalists sift fact from fiction – and report on all the bad information swirling around on social media for audiences around the UK and across the globe. Death by Conspiracy? follows the story of Gary Matthews, a man from Shrewsbury who believed in Covid conspiracy theories until he caught the virus and died. Following the remarkable success of that series, Radio 4 launched War on Truth – a reactive series tracking the stories of people caught up in the information war in Ukraine. Both podcasts are presented by the BBC’s first ever specialist disinformation reporter, Marianna Spring, produced by Ant Adeane and edited by Mike Wendling.
The 2021 World Happiness Report ranked Finland, for the fourth year running, the world’s happiest country. The ‘Nordic Model’ has long been touted as the aspiration for social and public policy in Europe and North America, but what is it about Finland that makes the country so successful and seemingly such a great place to live? Is it simply the level of government spending on health, education and welfare? Is it that Finland has one of the lowest rates of social inequality and childhood poverty, and highest levels of literacy and education?
Finland clearly has problems of its own – for example, a high level of gun ownership and high rates of suicide – which can make Finns sceptical of their ranking, but its consistently high performance across a range of wellbeing indicators raises fascinating questions. In the quest for the best of all possible societies, Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford and co-author of Finntopia, explores what we might learn from Finnish success and Nordic wellbeing with Katja Pantzar, journalist and author of Finding Sisu and the recently published Everyday Sisu: Tapping Into Finnish Fortitude for a Happier, More Resilient Life, and Finnish Ambassador Jukka Siukosaari. In conversation with Andy Fryers.
Leading authority on the Cold War and nuclear history Serhii Plokhy, journalist and author of Butler to the World: How Britain Became the Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals Oliver Bullough, and author of Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on the West Catherine Belton come together to analyse the tragic events taking place in Ukraine and how they are causing a whole-world shift. They speak to lawyer and writer Philippe Sands.
In his timely new book Butler to the World: How Britain Became the Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals, the award-winning investigative journalist reveals how the UK took up its position at the elbow of the worst people on Earth – the oligarchs, kleptocrats and gangsters – and explains what steps we can take to change Butler Britain’s underhand ways.
Bill Browder is a financier and activist whose new book Freezing Order exposes Vladimir Putin’s campaign to steal and launder hundreds of billions of dollars and kill anyone who stood in his way. He joins Oliver Bullough, author of Butler to the World: How Britain Became the Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals, to discuss these themes in relation to Putin’s path to war.
Including new evidence from key figures, Love and Deception is the result of 20 years of research into one of the Cold War’s most mysterious episodes. It is the extraordinary story of Eleanor, an able, cultured American woman living in the espionage hot spot of 1950s Beirut and – despite herself – falling in love with the kindest, most sensitive of men, a Lebanon-based journalist with a mysterious past.
Unknown to her, the young, idealistic Kim Philby had signed up to help the Russians fight fascism in the 1930s and was to become the 20th century’s most notorious double agent. But not only did he adore and marry her – just as the British authorities were closing in on him – but their love survived the most shattering of calamities.
Drawing on some of those closest to the main players, James Hanning sheds new light on the love of Philby’s life and breaks remarkable new ground in revealing the loyalty of his Cambridge contemporaries and the failure of the British authorities to convict them. Former deputy editor of the Independent on Sunday, James Hanning is co-biographer of David Cameron and secured the exclusive collaboration of News of the World investigator Glenn Mulcaire for an exposé of the phone hacking scandal.
In 2015 Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize for Literature “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”. Using a wide range of interviews and crossing the boundary between reporting and fiction, she writes in a way that lets human voices speak for themselves. In 2018 she won the Anna Politkovskaya Award from the human rights organisation RAW in WAR, honouring women journalists and human rights defenders working in war and conflict zones. Mariana Katzarova is founder of RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in War) and the Anna Politkovskaya Award. In 2014, she led the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission’s team in Eastern Ukraine for two years at the start of the armed conflict. The duo hold a conversation about a region that has historically suffered from a conflict that is now threatening the whole world.