A Point of View

A Point of View

Weekly reflections on topical issues from a range of contributors including historian Lisa Jardine, novelist Sarah Dunant and writer Alain de Botton.

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
    Indefinitely help

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Lisa Jardine: Red Dress Sense: 19 Sept 14

    Fri, 19 Sep 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    This season's fashion for red prompts Lisa Jardine to reflect on the power in the past of this colour for clothes. "In Tudor England successive monarchs tried to define social status by dress ... a strict code governed the wearing of 'costly apparel', and red was one of the colours most rigidly controlled". Producer: Sheila Cook

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  • Lisa Jardine: The Horror of War: 12 Sept 14

    Fri, 12 Sep 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Lisa Jardine says while documenting and commemorating the First World War we should not lose sight of its horror. "Wars are not heroic, even if they prompt acts of heroism by soldiers and civilians. Our young people, raised in a Britain at peace for 70 years, need to know that." Producer: Adele Armstrong

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  • Lisa Jardine: When fiction comes to the historian's rescue: 05 Sept 14

    Fri, 5 Sep 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Lisa Jardine explores how fiction can be more useful than fact in helping us understand the past. She examines two works of fiction (a recent radio play "The Chemistry Between Them" and Michael Frayn's celebrated stage work, Copenhagen) to show how they often cast far more light on their respective subjects - and particularly the emotions and personal convictions involved - than that found in the history books. Producer: Adele Armstrong

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  • Will Self: Why Orwell is the Supreme Mediocrity: 29 Aug 14

    Fri, 29 Aug 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Will Self takes on one of the nation's best loved figures, George Orwell ... and braces himself for the backlash! Producer: Adele Armstrong

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  • Will Self: What's Funny? 15 Nov 13

    Fri, 22 Aug 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Will Self reflects on comedy, asking why we laugh and whether there's too much of the wrong type of humour in our culture. Producer: Caroline Bayley.

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  • Will Self: The Affliction of Consumption 15 Aug 2014

    Fri, 15 Aug 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Will Self reflects on the power of modern day consumption and the effect it is having on us.

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  • Will Self: Believing in Beliefs : 08 Aug 14

    Fri, 8 Aug 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Will Self argues that our modern secular brand of beliefs can't deal with the "heavy stuff" in life. Producer: Adele Armstrong

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  • Will Self: The Changing Nature of Utopias: 01 Aug 14

    Fri, 1 Aug 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Will Self reflects on what the changing nature of utopias says about us, from Thomas More's sixteenth century Utopia to the recent TV series of the same name. Producer: Arlene Gregorius

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  • Is patriotism the last refuge of the scoundrel? 25 July 14

    Fri, 25 Jul 14

    Duration:
    11 mins

    Republican or royalist we all need something or someone in which to invest our loyalty. Will Self reflects on what really lies behind our sense of patriotism. Producer: Arlene Gregorius

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  • John Gray: Believing in reason is childish: 18 July 14

    Fri, 18 Jul 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Some critics of religion see having faith as being childish. But John Gray argues that believing that human beings are rational is more childish than believing in religion. The belief in the power of reason to improve humankind rests on childishly simple ideas he says. One of the commonest is that history's crimes are mistakes that can be avoided as we gain greater knowledge. But if history teaches us anything, Grey asserts, it's that behaviours and attitudes like cruelty and hatred are permanent human flaws. To imagine that we can become more rational is an example of magical thinking and an expression of the belief in the omnipotence of the human will that psychoanalysts identify as the fundamental infantile fantasy. John Gray believes that we'd all be better off if we saw ourselves as we are: intermittently and only ever partly rational creatures, who never really grow up. Producer: Arlene Gregorius

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