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Peter Carey: Amnesia on the fire escape

I’ve long yearned to conduct an author interview on the fire escape at Faber, and recently my wish came true, with Peter Carey no less. Here he is talking about his new novel, Amnesia: Peter Carey introduces his new novel, Amnesia from George Miller on Vimeo.

Continue Reading · 24 October 2014 · history and politics, literature, video
terry coleman

(Nearly) two hundred years of the Old Vic

The Old Vic first opened its doors in May 1818. Back then, building a new theatre south of the river was a commercially risky venture, and the Royal Coburg Theatre (as it was originally known) was only made viable by the recent construction of Waterloo Bridge. The first night programme included a melodrama, a pantomime […]

Continue Reading · 21 October 2014 · history and politics, literature, podcasts, theatre
Keith Kahn-Harris

Uncivil War: the Israel-Palestinian Conflict and the Jewish Community

  “For Jews, Israel goes very close to the heart, whether you’re a Jewish supporter of Israel or you’re a Jewish critic of Israel and of Zionism, it’s very hard to be indifferent about it. In fact, it would be very odd if most Jews were indifferent about Israel because this is the major project […]

Continue Reading · 1 May 2014 · history and politics, podcasts, religion and belief
Rossi Zhiguli

Catriona Kelly St Petersburg interview – part II

I don’t want to normalize it completely, but I think Britain has many of the same problems as Russia actually: mass alcoholism – there’s plenty of that – a governing elite that doesn’t really give a toss for anybody, doesn’t have its finger on the pulse of what’s going on, what happens when you administer […]

Continue Reading · 3 April 2014 · history and politics, podcasts
Outside the Public Library on the Fontanka

Catriona Kelly on shadows of St Petersburg’s past

The present and the past are intertwined and it doesn’t matter if what people remember about the past isn’t true – it’s got significance for them now. I’m going between lots of different layers, because that’s what people do in their conversation. My guest in this programme is Catriona Kelly, who is Professor of Russian […]

Continue Reading · 21 March 2014 · history and politics, podcasts
leningrad anna reid

On the siege of Leningrad

My guest in this podcast is Anna Reid, a historian of Russia and author of Leningrad: Tragedy of a City under Siege 1941-4, the first book in English to be devoted to the siege since 1969. The siege by the German army lasted 900 days and led to the deaths of three quarters of a […]

Continue Reading · 31 January 2014 · history and politics, podcasts
mummy's curse cover

Excavating the mummy’s curse

Roger Luckhurst‘s 2012 book, The Mummy’s Curse, is much more than just an opportunity to revisit the familiar story of Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in the winter of 1922 and the death soon after of his patron Lord Carnarvon in circumstances ascribed to the eponymous curse. Roger’s real interest is in finding out […]

Continue Reading · 26 January 2014 · history and politics, podcasts, supernatural
Vesna Goldsworthy: Inventing Ruritania

Inventing Ruritania – Vesna Goldsworthy

I recently interviewed Serbian-born, London-based writer, poet, and academic Vesna Goldsworthy, whose books include a  collection of poetry, The Angel of Salonika, and a memoir entitled Chernobyl Strawberries, which one reviewer described as “suffused with a longing complicated and deepened by the eradication of the Yugoslav state”. I met Vesna to discuss Inventing Ruritania: The […]

Continue Reading · 11 June 2013 · historical fiction, history and politics, literature, podcasts
ten popes who shook the world

“These are a few of my favourite popes…”

Yes, the title of this post is admittedly a little misleading – the popes in the podcast (popecast?) are not necessarily the favourites of my guest, Eamon Duffy, but those who he thinks have had the greatest impact on history – The Ten Popes who Shook the World. Eamon’s popes range from Saint Peter to […]

Continue Reading · 19 February 2013 · history and politics, podcasts, religion and belief
Horses

Food adulteration is nothing new

With horse meat cropping up all over the place in food in the UK at the moment, I went back to the interview I recorded in 2008 for Princeton University Press with Bee Wilson about her book Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Ersatz Coffee. As the book makes clear, (justifiable) concern about what’s in our […]

Continue Reading · 8 February 2013 · economics, food and drink, history and politics