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:
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Recent episodes (10)

  • Adam Gopnik: A Lesson from Lovelocks 24 Oct 14

    Fri, 24 Oct 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Adam Gopnik draws a poignant lesson on the nature of true love from the eyesore of love locks in Paris. "Love should never be symbolised by a shackle. Love - real love, good love, love to grow on rather than be trapped in - is a lock to which the key is always available." Producer: Sheila Cook

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  • The Football Fallacy - Fri 17 Oct 2014

    Fri, 17 Oct 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Adam Gopnick explains why the English are better at watching football than playing it and why the Americans are better at talking about democracy than practising it.

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  • Dying with Dignity 10 Oct 14

    Fri, 10 Oct 14

    Duration:
    11 mins

    Adam Gopnik thinks we fail too often to let people die with dignity at the end of their lives and believes the answer lies in showing deference. "Dignity, I think is an exceptional demand, one that depends on at least an illusion or masquerade of an anti-egalitarian, indeed pre-modern - indeed an essentially feudal sense - of deference." Producer: Sheila Cook

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  • Short and Successful: 3 Oct 2014

    Fri, 3 Oct 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Adam Gopnik thinks there's a simple reason for the recent findings that short men enjoy stable marriages. It's not that they are desperate to please, but are desperate to prevail. "In every area of life, we underrate the merits of desperation, and persistently overrate the advantages of free choice." Producer: Sheila Cook

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  • Lisa Jardine: Keeping Time: 26 Sept 14

    Fri, 26 Sep 14

    Duration:
    11 mins

    Lisa Jardine reflects on the rich history of time-pieces and the power of clocks and watches. "Each watch on display in the British Museum's Clocks and Watchers galleries speaks to me of a world galvanized by scientific innovation, whose horizons were expanding through voyages of discovery and the new objects and ideas brought back." Producer: Sheila Cook

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  • 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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