Archive | January, 2010

Le Monde diplomatique podcast – Obama and “smart power”

My guest in this first Le Monde diplomatique podcast of 2010 is Michael Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts. In his article in the January edition of the paper, “US turns persuader not policeman”, Professor Klare asks whether disappointment with the first year of Obama’s foreign policy is […]

Continue Reading · 14 January 2010 · history and politics, podcasts

39. On Monsters: An Unnatural History of our Worst Fears

I first became aware of Stephen Asma‘s book on the fine Washington Post Book World podcast (which sadly is no more). The Post also chose the book as one of its top non-fiction titles of the year for 2009, calling it “a safari through the many manifestations of our idea of the monstrous”. Their reviewer […]

Continue Reading · 13 January 2010 · history and politics, literature, podcasts, religion and belief, science and philosophy

Books of the Decade – Michael Bywater

Michael Bywater is an author and broadcaster whose recent books include Lost Worlds (Granta, 2004), Big Babies (Granta, 2006), and – with Kathleen Burk – Is This Bottle Corked?: The Secret Life of Wine. He writes regularly for the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times and numerous other publications. He is a regular broadcaster for […]

Continue Reading · 13 January 2010 · history and politics, literature, podcasts, religion and belief

38. Poland – a country in the moon

My guest on this week’s programme is Michael Moran, author of A Country in the Moon: Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland. Michael first visited Poland in the early 1990s after the collapse of Communism as leader of an ill-assorted crew of British teachers charged with introducing the Poles to the delights of […]

Continue Reading · 10 January 2010 · biography and memoir, history and politics, humour, podcasts, travel

Books of the Decade – Andrew Kahn

Andrew Kahn is University Lecturer in Russian at the University of Oxford and Tutor and Fellow at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He has degrees from Harvard and Oxford in Russian and Classics. His scholarly research draws on his wide-ranging interests in European literature, most especially Greek, Latin and French. In addition to writing about Pushkin, […]

Continue Reading · 9 January 2010 · art and music, literature, podcasts, poetry

Books of the Decade – Andrew Kelly

Andrew Kelly is the Director of the Bristol Festival of Ideas and other projects. He is the author and editor of 12 books including Filming All Quiet on the Western Front, Cinema and the Great War, Queen Square: biography of a place, Brunel: in love with the impossible. Of the many hundreds of books I […]

Continue Reading · 8 January 2010 · history and politics, literature

37. Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall

I’m delighted to say that the first Podularity podcast of 2010 is devoted to an in-depth interview with 2009 Booker prize winner, Hilary Mantel in which she talks about her remarkable novel, Wolf Hall. As far as I can tell, this is the most extensive interview about the book available anywhere on the web. Here’s […]

Continue Reading · 6 January 2010 · history and politics, literature, podcasts

Three questions for… Mary Beard

Mary Beard is no stranger to Podularity. In fact, she may have appeared on it more times than any other author. This however is her Podularity video debut. Last autumn, after recording an audio interview with Mary about her book-of-the-blog, It’s a Don’s Life, I asked her to take part in my “Three Questions for” […]

Continue Reading · 5 January 2010 · history and politics, literature, video

Books of the Decade – Roland Chambers

Roland Chambers studied film and literature in Poland and at New York University before returning to England in 1998. His first biography, The Last Englishman, won a Jerwood award from the Royal Society of Literature, and draws on his experience both as a children’s author and as a private investigator specializing in Russian politics and […]

Continue Reading · 4 January 2010 · graphic novels, literature, podcasts

“Where is everybody?”

Here’s an intriguing question to start the new year with. Last autumn I interviewed Marcus Chown about his latest popular science title, We Need to Talk about Kelvin. At the end of the interview (which you can find here), we made this short video in which Marcus tackled a question famously posed by the Italian […]

Continue Reading · 4 January 2010 · podcasts, science and philosophy, video