Why Do we Want or Need Heroes?

On the Why Factor this week, Angie Hobbs asks why do we want or need heroes? What constitutes a heroic act? Is it something you set out to do, or something you don’t choose, but live up to when it’s thrust upon you? And why do societies celebrate heroism? Professor Hobbs talks to people who’ve been hailed as heroes: Colonel Tim Collins who gave a much praised eve-of-battle speech to his troops as they were about to enter Iraq in 2003, Justin Oliphant who tackles gang violence in South Africa and Dame Ellen MacArthur who broke the record for solo round the world sailing. Angie also hears from experts on heroism: psychologist professor Alice Eagly of Northwestern University, historian Sir Max Hastings and MP and explorer Rory Stewart.

Produced by Arlene Gregorius and Jessica Treen

(Photo of a helicopter rescue. Credit: IStock)

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18 minutes

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Mon 18 Jan 2016 14:32 GMT
BBC World Service except Online, Americas and the Caribbean, Australasia, UK DAB/Freeview

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