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Start the Week
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22 December 2008
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This week Andrew Marr is joined by John Parker, Tom Holland, Deborah Moggach and Andrew Price.
Journalist JOHN PARKER believes that society is not ‘dumbing down’ but instead ‘wising up’. He cites the rapid growth in literary festivals, operas being screened in cinemas and audio books of Ulysses to argue that people are now much more discerning about culture and actively seek intellectual stimulation. John’s article ‘Mass Intelligence’ is in the Winter 2008 edition of Intelligent Life magazine.

Writer TOM HOLLAND argues that in Britain we do not know our own past because it is unfashionable to learn a narrative history of it. He argues that we need a working knowledge of our history to facilitate informed debates about contemporary life. Tom’s article ‘Golden Thread, National Myth’ is in New Statesman.

DEBORAH MOGGACH’s new adaptation of the diary of Anne Frank and her family confronts and overcomes the challenge of bringing to life people who actually lived, giving voices to people whose voices were never recorded, and reconstructing events from their tragic description in the diary of a young girl. The Diary of Anne Frank is on BBC1 from 5 to 9 January.

ANDREW PRICE, Professorial Fellow in Biological Sciences at Warwick University, believes that the modern world has put its faith in high-tech processes that have left it weakened and ill-equipped to withstand catastrophe. The reckless pursuit of efficiency and cost-effectiveness frequently backfires, he says. Unexpected and counter-intuitive, his book Slow-Tech offers an alternative vision for life in the twenty-first century, based on balance and robustness that would be healthier for the planet and healthier for us. Slow-Tech: Manifesto for an Overwound World is published by Atlantic Books.

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