Sinopse

Significant international thinkers deliver the BBC's flagship annual lecture series

Episódios

  • 5/5. Shifting the Foundations

    5/5. Shifting the Foundations

    18/06/2019 Duração: 42min

    Jonathan Sumption argues against Britain adopting a written constitution as a response to political alienation. The former UK Supreme Court Justice has argued that politics is in decline partly, at least, because the courts and the law is increasingly doing what politicians used to do. This has indirectly contributed to the electorate’s increasing rejection of the political process. There is growing resentment against the political elite. So what can we do? Lord Sumption makes some suggestions to restore faith in democracy – starting by fixing the party system and changing the way we vote. The programme is recorded in front of an audience at Cardiff University. The Reith Lectures are presented and chaired by Anita Anand and produced by Jim Frank Editor: Hugh Levinson

  • 4/5. Rights and the Ideal Constitution

    4/5. Rights and the Ideal Constitution

    11/06/2019 Duração: 42min

    Jonathan Sumption assesses the US and UK’s constitutional models. He describes Britain's unwritten constitution as a political institution. The US Constitution is by contrast essentially a legal document. This has led Americans to address what should be political questions – such as the right to abortion – via the courts, rather than through politics. Britain, Lord Sumption argues, should learn from the United States be careful about which rights should be put beyond democratic choice. The programme is recorded in front of an audience at George Washington University in Washington DC. The Reith Lectures are presented and chaired by Anita Anand and produced by Jim Frank. Editor: Hugh Levinson

  • 3/5. Human Rights and Wrongs

    3/5. Human Rights and Wrongs

    04/06/2019 Duração: 42min

    Jonathan Sumption argues that judges - especially those of the European Court of Human Rights - have usurped power by expanding the interpretation of human rights law. Lord Sumption argues that concepts of human rights have a long history in the common law. But by contrast, the European Convention on Human Rights has become a dynamic treaty, taking on new interpretations and powers. Article 8 – the right to private and family life – is the most striking example. Should these decisions be made by judges or parliament? The lecture is recorded before an audience in the old Parliament House in Edinburgh. The Reith Lectures are presented and chaired by Anita Anand and produced by Jim Frank. Editor: Hugh Levinson

  • 2/5. In Praise of Politics

    2/5. In Praise of Politics

    28/05/2019 Duração: 42min

    Jonathan Sumption explains how democratic processes have the power to accommodate opposition opinions and interests. But he argues that in recent years that politics has shied away from legislating and now the courts have taken on more and more of the role of making law. Lord Sumption was until recently a justice of the UK’s Supreme Court and is a distinguished historian. This lecture is recorded in front of an audience at Birmingham University. The Reith Lectures are presented and chaired by Anita Anand and produced by Jim Frank. Editor: Hugh Levinson

  • 1/5. Laws Expanding Empire

    1/5. Law's Expanding Empire

    21/05/2019 Duração: 57min

    Jonathan Sumption argues that the law is taking over the space once occupied by politics. Lord Sumption was until recently a justice of the UK’s Supreme Court, as well as being a distinguished historian. In this lecture, recorded before an audience at Middle Temple in London, Lord Sumption says that until the 19th century, law only dealt with a narrow range of human problems. That has now changed radically. And he argues that the growth of the law, driven by demand for greater personal security and less risk, means we have less liberty. The Reith Lectures are presented and chaired by Anita Anand and produced by Jim Frank Editor: Hugh Levinson

  • Wars Fatal Attraction

    War's Fatal Attraction

    24/07/2018 Duração: 42min

    Historian Margaret MacMillan looks at representations of war: can we really create beauty from horror and death? Speaking at the Canadian War Museum, she discusses the paradox of commemoration. She questions attempts to capture the essence and meaning of war through art. The programme is presented by Anita Anand in front of an audience and includes a question and answer session. Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Hugh Levinson.

  • Managing the Unmanageable

    Managing the Unmanageable

    17/07/2018 Duração: 57min

    Historian Margaret MacMillan assesses how the law and international agreements have attempted to address conflict. Speaking to an audience at the Northern Irish Parliament Buildings at Stormont in Belfast, Professor MacMillan outlines how both states and the people have sought to justify warfare - from self-defence to civil war - focusing on examples from Irish and British history. The programme, including a question and answer session, is presented by Anita Anand. Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Hugh Levinson.

  • Civilians and War

    Civilians and War

    10/07/2018 Duração: 57min

    Historian Margaret MacMillan dissects the relationship between war and the civilian. Speaking to an audience in Beirut, she looks back at the city's violent past and discusses the impact of conflict on noncombatants throughout the centuries. She explores how civilians have been deliberately targeted, used as slaves and why women are still often singled out in mass rapes. And she addresses the proposition that human beings are becoming less, not more violent. The programme is chaired by Anita Anand. Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Hugh Levinson.

  • Fearing and Loving: Making Sense of the Warrior

    Fearing and Loving: Making Sense of the Warrior

    03/07/2018 Duração: 57min

    Historian Margaret MacMillan asks why both men and women go to war. "We are both fascinated and repulsed by war and those who fight," she says. In this lecture, recorded at York University, she explores looks at the role of the warrior in history and culture and analyses how warriors are produced. And she interrogates the differences that gender plays in war. Anita Anand presents the programme recorded in front of an audience, including a question and answer session. Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Hugh Levinson.

  • War and Humanity

    War and Humanity

    26/06/2018 Duração: 42min

    Is war an essential part of being human? Are we destined to fight? That is the central question that historian Professor Margaret Macmillan addresses in five lectures recorded in the UK, Lebanon and in Canada. In her series, called The Mark of Cain, she will explore the tangled history of war and society and our complicated feelings towards it and towards those who fight. She begins by asking when wars first broke out. Did they start with the appearance of homo sapiens, or when human beings first organised themselves into larger groupings such as tribes, clans, or nations? She assesses how wars bring about change in society and, conversely, how social and political change influences how wars start and are fought. And she discusses that dark paradox of war: that it can bring benefits and progress. The programme is recorded before an audience at the BBC Radio Theatre in London and includes a question and answer session chaired by Anita Anand. Margaret MacMillan is emeritus professor of international histor

  • Angela Stent on George Kennan

    Angela Stent on George Kennan

    29/09/2017 Duração: 14min

    Significant international thinkers deliver the BBC's flagship annual lecture series

  • Grayson Perry on Nikolaus Pevsner

    Grayson Perry on Nikolaus Pevsner

    28/09/2017 Duração: 15min

    Significant international thinkers deliver the BBC's flagship annual lecture series

  • Brian Cox on Robert Oppenheimer

    Brian Cox on Robert Oppenheimer

    27/09/2017 Duração: 28min

    Significant international thinkers deliver the BBC's flagship annual lecture series

  • Anand Menon on Robert Birley

    Anand Menon on Robert Birley

    27/09/2017 Duração: 15min

    Significant international thinkers deliver the BBC's flagship annual lecture series

  • Michael Sandel on Bertrand Russell

    Michael Sandel on Bertrand Russell

    27/09/2017 Duração: 21min

    Significant international thinkers deliver the BBC's flagship annual lecture series

  • Adaptation

    Adaptation

    11/07/2017 Duração: 57min

    Hilary Mantel on how fiction changes when adapted for stage or screen. Each medium, she says, draws a different potential from the original. She argues that fiction, if written well, doesn't betray history, but enhances it. When fiction is turned into theatre, or into a film or TV, the same applies - as long as we understand that adaptation is not a secondary process or a set of grudging compromises, but an act of creation in itself. And this matters. "Without art, what have you to inform you about the past?" she asks. "What lies beyond is the unedited flicker of closed-circuit TV." The programme is recorded in Stratford-Upon-Avon in front of an audience, with a question and answer session, chaired by Sue Lawley. The producer is Jim Frank.

  • Can These Bones Live?

    Can These Bones Live?

    04/07/2017 Duração: 49min

    Hilary Mantel analyses how historical fiction can make the past come to life. She says her task is to take history out of the archive and relocate it in a body. "It's the novelist's job: to put the reader in the moment, even if the moment is 500 years ago." She takes apart the practical job of "resurrection", and the process that gets historical fiction on to the page. "The historian will always wonder why you left certain things out, while the literary critic will wonder why you left them in," she says. How then does she try and get the balance right? The lecture is recorded in front of an audience in Exeter, near Mantel's adopted home in East Devon, followed by a question and answer session. The Reith Lectures are chaired by Sue Lawley and produced by Jim Frank.

  • Silence Grips the Town

    Silence Grips the Town

    27/06/2017 Duração: 49min

    The story of how an obsessive relationship with history killed the young Polish writer Stanislawa Przybyszewska, told by best-selling author, Hilary Mantel. The brilliant Przybyszewska wrote gargantuan plays and novels about the French Revolution, in particular about the revolutionary leader Robespierre. She lived in self-willed poverty and isolation and died unknown in 1934. But her work, so painfully achieved, did survive her. Was her sacrifice worthwhile? "She embodied the past until her body ceased to be," Dame Hilary says. "Multiple causes of death were recorded, but actually she died of Robespierre." Over the course of these five lectures, she discusses the role that history plays in our lives. How do we view the past, she asks, and what is our relationship with the dead? The lecture is recorded before an audience in the ancient Vleeshuis in Antwerp, a city which features in Mantel's novels about Thomas Cromwell and the cosmopolitan world of the early Tudors. The lecture is followed by a question and

  • The Iron Maiden

    The Iron Maiden

    20/06/2017 Duração: 49min

    How do we construct our pictures of the past, including both truth and myth, asks best-selling author Hilary Mantel. Where do we get our evidence? She warns of two familiar errors: either romanticising the past, or seeing it as a gory horror-show. It is tempting, but often condescending, to seek modern parallels for historical events. "Are we looking into the past, or looking into a mirror?" she asks. "Dead strangers...did not live and die so we could draw lessons from them." Above all, she says, we must all try to respect the past amid all its strangeness and complexity. Over the course of the lecture series, Dame Hilary discusses the role that history plays in our culture. She asks how we view the past and what our relationship is with the dead. The programme is recorded in front of an audience at Middle Temple in London, followed by a question and answer session. The Reith Lectures are chaired by Sue Lawley and produced by Jim Frank.

  • The Day Is for the Living

    The Day Is for the Living

    13/06/2017 Duração: 50min

    Art can bring the dead back to life, argues the best-selling novelist Hilary Mantel, starting with the story of her own great-grandmother. "We sense the dead have a vital force still," she says. "They have something to tell us, something we need to understand. Using fiction and drama, we try to gain that understanding." She describes how and why she began to write fiction about the past, and how her view of her trade has evolved. We cannot hear or see the past, she says, but "we can listen and look". Over this series of five lectures, Dame Hilary discusses the role that history plays in our culture. How can we understand the past, she asks, and how can we convey its nature today? Above all, she believes, we must all try to respect the past amid all its strangeness and complexity. The lecture is recorded in front of an audience at Halle St Peter's in Manchester, and is followed by a question and answer session chaired by Sue Lawley. The producer is Jim Frank.

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