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Andrew Marr talks to historians Niall Ferguson and Gabriel Gorodetsky and American novelist Jane Smiley.

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to historian Niall Ferguson about his biography of Henry Kissinger. Reviled and revered in equal measure Kissinger was the statesman at the heart of American foreign policy for decades, and Ferguson argues that far from being a Machiavellian realist he was driven by idealism. Jane Smiley's trilogy of novels chart a hundred years of American life through the lives of one family. She shows clearly how the big political and social upheavals of the time were reflected in the day-to-day. The personal and political come together in the extraordinary diaries of Ivan Maisky, the Russian ambassador to London before WWII. Gabriel Gorodetsky has compiled the diaries which document Britain's drift to war during the 1930s.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

Available now

43 minutes

Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University.

Kissinger 1923-1968: The Idealist is published by Allen Lane.

Gabriel Gorodetsky

Gabriel Gorodetsky is a Quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford and Emeritus Professor of History at Tel Aviv University.

The Maisky Diaries: Red Ambassador to the Court of St James’s 1932-1943 is published by Yale University Press.

Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist.

Golden Age is published by Mantle.

Start the Week at the Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival

Start the Week is recording an edition of the programme at BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead on Saturday 7 November, 2.00-3.00pm.  For tickets to this and other festival events click here.


Role Contributor
Presenter Andrew Marr
Interviewed Guest Niall Ferguson
Interviewed Guest Jane Smiley
Interviewed Guest Gabriel Gorodetsky
Producer Katy Hickman


  • Mon 12 Oct 2015 09:00
  • Mon 12 Oct 2015 21:30