300 episodes

A weekly reflection on a topical issue.

A Point of View BBC Radio 4

    • News
    • 4.2 • 316 Ratings

A weekly reflection on a topical issue.

    Driving the American Dream

    Driving the American Dream

    Sarah Dunant relives a road trip she took 50 years ago, travelling across the USA at a time when Roe v Wade was the talk of America, and revolution was in the air.

    'I can only imagine what it must be like to be a woman living in America this week, she writes in the aftermath of the decision by the US Supreme Court - a decision which almost instantly makes abortion illegal in more than 20 US states.

    She takes us back to 1972 and her travels across America in a beat-up car, when radical lawyers were honing their arguments to first present the case to the country's highest court.

    'America's post-war abundance and energy, its style, its movies and its music saturated our youth', she says. 'We had the time of our lives - even the bad bits were good, we were living the dream'.

    And, fifty years on, she reflects on what has happened to 'the fabric of this extraordinary country'.

    Producer: Adele Armstrong
    Sound: Peter Bosher
    Production coordinator: Iona Hammond
    Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith

    • 9 min
    No-Stalgia

    No-Stalgia

    'It's time to acknowledge', writes Will Self, 'that we don't really feel nostalgia at all - only something far more worrying and debilitating: a condition I've named no-stalgia'.

    Will argues that the West is particularly in thrall to rose-tinted nostalgia and looks to Japan - and its concept of 'mono no aware' - as an alternative and healthier way of thinking about the past.

    Producer: Adele Armstrong
    Sound: Peter Bosher
    Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
    Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith

    • 10 min
    Birthday Blues

    Birthday Blues

    Howard Jacobson reflects on his upcoming 'significant birthday' and why he's become a willing participant in the ways of personal trainers.

    'I say trainer but I am past training,' writes Howard. 'He's more my stretcher. My wife's stretcher, actually, but she doesn't want to be stretched while I shrink. I refused to have him at first. But I capitulated. It was either that or watch my wife by stretched to twice my length'.

    So down on the floor he goes, 'hoping someone - anyone - will think I'm a weekend younger than I actually am'.

    Producer: Adele Armstrong
    Sound: Peter Bosher
    Production coordinator: Gemma Ashman
    Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith.

    • 10 min
    Jubilee Musings

    Jubilee Musings

    Adam Gopnik grew up in Canada, where he saw the Queen age gracefully on the country's bank notes - though he says the royal connection often felt vague. Arriving in London this week amid union flags and flowers, Adam reflects on the constancy of the Queen's reign.

    "What lasts for seventy years," he writes, "and never takes a turn into indecency or becomes cruel or sordid in any of the obvious ways has my vote. Well, not my vote, obviously....my allegiance. Well, okay, not my allegiance... my admiration."

    Producer: Adele Armstrong
    Sound: Nigel Appleton
    Production coordinator: Gemma Ashman
    Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith

    • 10 min
    On Rubble

    On Rubble

    After recently discovering the secret of her local meadow, which hides the ruins of World War Two, Rebecca Stott reflects on how we rebuild lives and landscapes, from 6th Century Britain to post-war Berlin to Beirut.

    She reflects on the damage currently being inflicted on Ukraine, and highlights recent discussions held by the Mayor of Kharkiv to plan the rebuilding of his city.

    'It struck me as remarkable that despite the war, despite seeing his city in ruins... the mayor had the capacity to start thinking about the future.'

    Producer: Adele Armstrong
    Sound: Peter Bosher
    Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
    Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith.

    • 10 min
    Home from Home

    Home from Home

    'Over the centuries', writes Michael Morpurgo, 'we have been a safe haven to so many, and they have helped make us the people we are today - at our best, a deeply humanitarian people. I fear we are not at our best today'.

    Michael argues that, although we need to address the issue of people smuggling and deaths from dangerous Channel crossings, we must not lose our capacity for kindness and 'generosity of spirit' towards those who need our help.

    Producer: Adele Armstrong
    Sound: Peter Bosher
    Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
    Editor: Hugh Levinson

    • 11 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
316 Ratings

316 Ratings

LedleyKingsbackpocket ,

If only we could be spared Roger Scruton

The BBC is and must continue to be a broad church. A thought for the day is a wonderful idea and opportunity for pause and reflection in a world and media landscape that offers very little space for either.

However the dreary musings of Mr Scruton never provoke in me any feeling other than despair, or thought other than the desire that I could opt out of his pallid conservative whinnying. They compare even less favourably to the consistently brilliant surrealist whimsy of the podcasts written by Will Self. More of that please.

Jamesh147 ,

Will Self is head and shoulders above the rest

Keep it coming!

Negzilla ,

simply superb

This podcast presents views supremely illuminating and enlightening from people of superlative intelligence.

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