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7. Russian Childhood

This week’s Podularity podcast features an interview with Catriona Kelly, who has just published a monumental new history of childhood in twentieth-century Russia. The book, Children’s World: Growing Up in Russia 1890-1991, draws not only on a vast amount of archival research but also on hundreds of interviews with Russians of all ages in which […]

Continue Reading · 15 February 2008 · history and politics, podcasts

Beslan: a photo-essay

This week, instead of a podcast, we have a photo-essay by Timothy Phillips, author of Beslan: the Tragedy of School No.1, which was the subject of our podcast on 15 November. Tim took these pictures in the spring following the terrorist attack. Here is how he describes the moment when, after a long overland journey […]

Continue Reading · 5 February 2008 · history and politics

6. Discovering Our Inner Ape

What aspects of our human character do we inherit from our fellow primates? Until recently, the answer would have been ‘all the bad bits’. Footage of chimpanzees killing their own kind influenced the view in the popular imagination that ‘killer’ and ‘ape’ were virtual synonyms. (more…)

Continue Reading · 10 January 2008 · podcasts, science and philosophy
zinovieff red princess

5. Sofka Zinovieff on the trail of the Red Princess

A few years ago Sofka Zinovieff became fascinated by the life of her grandmother and namesake, Sofka Dolgorouky, who was born into a noble family in imperial Russia exactly a century ago. Sofka had known her grandmother when she was already an old woman and, although she knew something of her colourful life, she was […]

Continue Reading · 6 December 2007 · biography and memoir, history and politics
Tim Phillips Beslan

4. ‘Real stories of ordinary people…’ – Remembering Beslan

On the morning of 1 September 2004, children and teachers all over Russia were getting ready for the first day of the new school year. So begins Timothy Phillips’ account of the terrible siege of School No. 1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. Of course, we know now that that day three years ago which began […]

Continue Reading · 15 November 2007 · history and politics, podcasts
Tintin and the Secret of Literature

3. One man and his dog

This week’s podcast features Tom McCarthy, author of Tintin and the Secret of Literature. Tom has recently come to prominence as a novelist and his book, Remainder, has been acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic. But in Tintin and the Secret of Literature he shows he also possesses a sharp (and playful) critical mind […]

Continue Reading · 13 November 2007 · literature, podcasts

2. Don’t Go Down to the (Vienna) Woods…

If mention of Vienna makes you think of Mozart, cream cakes and Gemütlichkeit, John Leake’s new book will make you think again. John Leake is a young Texan writer who found himself living in Vienna. The city captivated his imagination (his favourite film is The Third Man) and he soon began searching around for a […]

Continue Reading · 5 November 2007 · podcasts, true crime

1. Lost Continents, Deep Space… and Lasagne

“The four-dimensional complexities of our happy little planet – “earth’s immeasurable surprise” – are made elegantly accessible by Ted Nield in this truly exceptional book. At least until the next major discovery it deserves to become the standard work, ideal for students of the subject, and hugely enjoyable to those for whom the world remains […]

Continue Reading · 31 October 2007 · podcasts, science and philosophy