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The Forum
12 Oct
Simon Schama, Clive James, Lionel Shriver


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A meeting point for this week's three ideas, by Emily Kasriel

The Forum, the BBC World Service programme which boldly crosses boundaries: scientific, creative and geographic, presented by Bridget Kendall.

This week, in a special recording in front of a live audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Bridget Kendall is joined by British historian, Simon Schama,
currently teaching at Columbia University in New York, Australian polymath, critic and poet, Clive James, and bestselling American novelist, Lionel Shriver.

Together they discuss Simon Schama's latest book and TV series The American Future: A History in which he makes the case that the United States' reverence for its history is unique in the world and has never been as visible as in this year's election.

They also attempt to answer the question: who do they write for? And what sort of recognition are they ultimately after?


Listening to your guest speakers I'm a bit alarmed as an American citizen. I want to help clear the record and let all your listeners understand that Americans are not that full of ourselves. Some of us are smart, yet humble, and believe that thinking is a great pastime. We know the angles of politics are never as innocent as politicians may portray, but it is what it is and you have to pick the lesser of two evils.
William, Tucson

The USA's foreign policy since the end of World War 2 has essentially been a continuation of the British Empire. My question is, are our British friends ready to give up the Empire and withdraw their support for the USA's foreign policy?
William, Chicago

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