What makes a respected US soldier torture and humiliate prisoners in an Iraqi jail? Why would a loving Hutu mother in Rwanda beat to death the Tutsi children next door? What could possibly compel ordinary German citizens to become slaughterers in Nazi concentration camps? Throughout history and around the world, there have been many bewildering instances where apparently good people have committed appalling acts. But why do these ordinary individuals sometimes act so immorally? Internationally renowned social psychologist PHILIP ZIMBARDO has spent over 30 years investigating this area and talks about these fundamental questions, as uncovered in his new book The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil, published by Rider.
MARGARET ATWOOD is one of the world’s most celebrated authors. Throughout her thirty five years of writing, Margaret has received numerous awards for her books of fiction, poetry and essays. She talks about the future of books and the future of the author in the age of new technology. As more and more books go online, will digitalisation change the way people read books and does the book as we know it have a future? Margaret will be taking part in two debates at the London Book Fair entitled Digitise or Die? What is the Future of the Author on Monday 16 April and Tuesday 17 April.
It is difficult – if at times rather pleasant – to imagine a world without teenagers. Of course, young people aged between twelve and twenty have always been around but it is only in the last century that the age group has become a recognised category in its own right, feted by retailers, often reviled by the more staid members of an older generation. It is usually agreed that the teenager arrived around 1945 and JON SAVAGE’s new book is about how we got to that moment – the century and a half of angst and ferment that created the Teen Age. Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945 is published by Chatto & Windus.
Many of Shakespeare’s plays were originally published in two different versions, Folio and Quarto. Editors of the Complete Works have adopted a ‘pick and mix’ approach for the last three hundred years, but now for the first time JONATHAN BATE, Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick, has done what no other editor of Shakespeare’s Complete Works has done before, he has based his entire text on the First Folio of 1623, the version authorised by Shakespeare’s fellow actors. He discusses the case for the Folio over the Quarto, how Shakespeare’s plays reached print and how they have been reshaped over the years. The RSC Shakespeare Complete Works is edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen and published by Macmillan. Jonathan will also be talking about the book at the British Library on Wednesday 18 April at 6.30pm.