1,046 episodes

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ideas, people and events that have shaped our world.

In Our Time BBC Podcasts

    • 歷史
    • 4.6 • 14 Ratings

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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ideas, people and events that have shaped our world.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Philippa Foot

    Philippa Foot

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss one of the most significant philosophers of the twentieth century, Philippa Foot (1920 - 2010). Her central question was, “Why be moral?” Drawing on Aristotle and Aquinas, Foot spent her life working through her instinct that there was something lacking in the prevailing philosophy of the 1950s and 1960s which held that values could only be subjective. Could there really be no objective response to the horrors of the concentration camps that she had seen on newsreels, no way of saying that such acts were morally wrong? Foot developed an ethics based on virtues, in which humans needed virtues to flourish as surely as plants needed light and water. While working through her ideas she explored applied ethics and the difference between doing something and letting it happen, an idea she illustrated with what became The Trolley Problem.

    With

    Anil Gomes
    Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Trinity College, University of Oxford

    Sophie Grace Chappell
    Professor of Philosophy at the Open University

    And

    Rachael Wiseman
    Reader in Philosophy at the University of Liverpool

    Producer: Simon Tillotson
    In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio Production

    Reading list:

    Philippa Foot, Virtues and Vices (Oxford University Press, 1978)

    Philippa Foot, Moral Dilemmas (Oxford University Press, 2002)

    Philippa Foot, Natural Goodness (Oxford University Press, 2001)

    John Hacker-Wright, Philippa Foot's Moral Thought (Bloomsbury, 2013)

    Benjamin Lipscomb, The Women Are Up To Something (Oxford University Press, 2021)

    Clare Mac Cumhaill and Rachael Wiseman, Metaphysical Animals: How Four Women Brought Philosophy Back to Life (Chatto, 2022)

    Dan Russell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics (Cambridge University Press), especially ‘Virtue Ethics in the Twentieth Century’ by Timothy (now Sophie Grace) Chappell

    Sir Thomas Wyatt

    Sir Thomas Wyatt

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss 'the greatest poet of his age', Thomas Wyatt (1503 -1542), who brought the poetry of the Italian Renaissance into the English Tudor world, especially the sonnet, so preparing the way for Shakespeare and Donne. As an ambassador to Henry VIII and, allegedly, too close to Anne Boleyn, he experienced great privilege under intense scrutiny. Some of Wyatt's poems, such as They Flee From Me That Sometime Did Me Seek, are astonishingly fresh and conversational and yet he wrote them under the tightest constraints, when a syllable out of place could have condemned him to the Tower.


    With

    Brian Cummings
    50th Anniversary Professor of English at the University of York

    Susan Brigden
    Retired Fellow at Lincoln College, University of Oxford

    And

    Laura Ashe
    Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford

    Producer: Simon Tillotson
    In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio Production

    Reading list:

    Thomas Betteridge and Suzannah Lipscomb (eds.), Henry VIII and the Court: Art, Politics and Performance (Routledge, 2016)

    Susan Brigden, Thomas Wyatt: The Heart’s Forest (Faber, 2012)

    Nicola Shulman, Graven with Diamonds: The Many Lives of Thomas Wyatt: Courtier, Poet, Assassin, Spy (Short Books, 2011)

    Chris Stamatakis, Sir Thomas Wyatt and the Rhetoric of Rewriting (Oxford University Press, 2012)

    Patricia Thomson (ed.), Thomas Wyatt: The Critical Heritage (Routledge, 1995)

    Greg Walker, Writing Under Tyranny: English Literature and the Henrician Reformation (Oxford University Press, 2005)

    Thomas Wyatt (ed. R. A. Rebholz), The Complete Poems (Penguin, 1978)

    Mercury

    Mercury

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the planet which is closest to our Sun. We see it as an evening or a morning star, close to where the Sun has just set or is about to rise, and observations of Mercury helped Copernicus understand that Earth and the other planets orbit the Sun, so displacing Earth from the centre of our system. In the 20th century, further observations of Mercury helped Einstein prove his general theory of relativity. For the last 50 years we have been sending missions there to reveal something of Mercury's secrets and how those relate to the wider universe, and he latest, BepiColombo, is out there in space now.

    With

    Emma Bunce
    Professor of Planetary Plasma Physics and Director of the Institute for Space at the University of Leicester

    David Rothery
    Professor of Planetary Geosciences at the Open University

    And

    Carolin Crawford
    Emeritus Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, and Emeritus Member of the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge

    Producer: Simon Tillotson
    In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio production

    Reading list:

    Emma Bunce, ‘All (X-ray) eyes on Mercury’ (Astronomy & Geophysics, Volume 64, Issue 4, August 2023)

    Emma Bunce et al, ‘The BepiColombo Mercury Imaging X-Ray Spectrometer: Science Goals, Instrument Performance and Operations’ (Space Science Reviews: SpringerLink, volume 216, article number 126, Nov 2020)

    David A. Rothery, Planet Mercury: From Pale Pink Dot to Dynamic World (Springer, 2014)

    Napoleon's Hundred Days

    Napoleon's Hundred Days

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Napoleon Bonaparte's temporary return to power in France in 1815, following his escape from exile on Elba . He arrived with fewer than a thousand men, yet three weeks later he had displaced Louis XVIII and taken charge of an army as large as any that the Allied Powers could muster individually. He saw that his best chance was to pick the Allies off one by one, starting with the Prussian and then the British/Allied armies in what is now Belgium. He appeared to be on the point of victory at Waterloo yet somehow it eluded him, and his plans were soon in tatters. His escape to America thwarted, he surrendered on 15th July and was exiled again but this time to Saint Helena. There he wrote his memoirs to help shape his legacy, while back in Europe there were still fears of his return.
    With
    Michael Rowe
    Reader in European History at Kings College London
    Katherine Astbury
    Professor of French Studies at the University of Warwick
    And
    Zack White
    Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouth
    Producer: Simon Tillotson
    In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio production.
    Reading list:
    Katherine Astbury and Mark Philp (ed.), Napoleon's Hundred Days and the Politics of Legitimacy (Palgrave, 2018)
    Jeremy Black, The Battle of Waterloo: A New History (Icon Books, 2010)
    Michael Broers, Napoleon: The Decline and Fall of an Empire: 1811-1821 (Pegasus Books, 2022)
    Philip Dwyer, Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in power 1799-1815 (Bloomsbury, 2014)
    Charles J. Esdaile, Napoleon, France and Waterloo: The Eagle Rejected (Pen & Sword Military, 2016)
    Gareth Glover, Waterloo: Myth and Reality (Pen & Sword Military, 2014)
    Sudhir Hazareesingh, The Legend of Napoleon (Granta, 2014)
    John Hussey, Waterloo: The Campaign of 1815, Volume 1, From Elba to Ligny and Quatre Bras (Greenhill Books, 2017)
    Andrew Roberts, Napoleon the Great (Penguin Books, 2015)
    Brian Vick, The Congress of Vienna: Power and Politics after Napoleon (Harvard University Press, 2014)
    Zack White (ed.), The Sword and the Spirit: Proceedings of the first ‘War & Peace in the Age of Napoleon’ Conference (Helion and Company, 2021)

    • 58 min
    Bertolt Brecht

    Bertolt Brecht

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss one of the greatest European playwrights of the twentieth century. The aim of Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) was to make the familiar ‘strange’: with plays such as Mother Courage and The Caucasian Chalk Circle he wanted his audience not to sit back but to engage, observe and discover the contradictions in life, and act on what they learnt. He developed this approach in turbulent times, from Weimar Germany to the rise of the Nazis, to exile in Scandinavia and America and then post-war life in East Berlin, and he has since inspired dramatists around the world.

    With

    Laura Bradley
    Professor of German and Theatre at the University of Edinburgh

    David Barnett
    Professor of Theatre at the University of York

    And

    Tom Kuhn
    Professor of Twentieth Century German Literature, Emeritus Fellow of St Hugh's College, University of Oxford

    Producer: Simon Tillotson
    In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio production

    Reading list:

    David Barnett, Brecht in Practice: Theatre, Theory and Performance (Bloomsbury, 2014)

    David Barnett, A History of the Berliner Ensemble (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

    Laura Bradley and Karen Leeder (eds.), Brecht and the GDR: Politics, Culture, Posterity (Camden House, 2015)

    Laura Bradley, ‘Training the Audience: Brecht and the Art of Spectatorship’ (The Modern Language Review, 111, 2016)

    Bertolt Brecht (ed. Marc Silberman, Tom Kuhn and Steve Giles), Brecht on Theatre (Bloomsbury, 2014)

    Bertolt Brecht (ed. Tom Kuhn, Steve Giles and Marc Silberman), Brecht on Performance (Bloomsbury, 2014)

    Bertolt Brecht (trans. Tom Kuhn and David Constantine), The Collected Poems of Bertolt Brecht (Norton Liveright, 2018) which includes the poem ‘Spring 1938’ read by Tom Kuhn in this programme

    Stephen Brockmann (ed.), Bertolt Brecht in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2021)

    Meg Mumford, Bertolt Brecht (Routledge, 2009)

    Stephen Parker, Bertolt Brecht: A Literary Life (Bloomsbury, 2014)

    Ronald Speirs, Brecht’s Poetry of Political Exile (Cambridge University Press, 2000)

    David Zoob, Brecht: A Practical Handbook (Nick Hern Books, 2018)

    Lysistrata

    Lysistrata

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Aristophanes' comedy in which the women of Athens and Sparta, led by Lysistrata, secure peace in the long-running war between them by staging a sex strike. To the men in the audience in 411BC, the idea that peace in the Peloponnesian War could be won so easily was ridiculous and the thought that their wives could have so much power over them was even more so. However Aristophanes' comedy also has the women seizing the treasure in the Acropolis that was meant to fund more fighting in an emergency, a fund the Athenians had recently had to draw on. They were in a perilous position and, much as they might laugh at Aristophanes' jokes, they knew there were real concerns about the actual cost of the war in terms of wealth and manpower.
    With
    Paul Cartledge
    AG Leventis Senior Research Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge
    Sarah Miles
    Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University
    And
    James Robson
    Professor of Classical Studies at the Open University
    Producer: Simon Tillotson
    Reading list:
    Aristophanes (ed. Jeffrey Henderson), Lysistrata (Oxford University Press, 1987)
    Aristophanes (ed. Jeffrey Henderson), Three Plays by Aristophanes: Staging Women (Routledge, 2010)
    Aristophanes (ed. Jeffrey Henderson), Birds; Lysistrata; Women at the Thesmophoria (Loeb Classical Library series, Harvard University Press, 2014)
    Aristophanes (ed. Alan H. Sommerstein), Lysistrata and Other Plays: The Acharnians; The Clouds; Lysistrata (Penguin, 2002)
    Aristophanes (ed. Alan H. Sommerstein), Lysistrata (Aris & Phillips, 1998)
    Paul Cartledge, Aristophanes and his Theatre of the Absurd (Bristol Classical Press, 1999)
    Kenneth Dover, Aristophanic Comedy (University of California Press, 1972)
    Germaine Greer, Lysistrata: The Sex Strike: After Aristophanes (Aurora Metro Press, 2000)
    Tony Harrison, The Common Chorus: A Version of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata (Faber & Faber, 1992)
    Douglas M. MacDowell, Aristophanes and Athens: An Introduction to the Plays (Oxford University Press, 1995)
    S. Douglas Olson (ed.), Ancient Comedy and Reception: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey Henderson (De Gruyter, 2013), especially 'She (Don't) Gotta Have It: African-American reception of Lysistrata' by Kevin Wetmore
    James Robson, Aristophanes: Lysistrata, Bloomsbury ancient comedy companions (Bloomsbury, 2023)
    James Robson, Aristophanes: An Introduction (Duckworth, 2009)
    Ralph M. Rosen and Helene P. Foley (eds.), Aristophanes and Politics. New Studies (Brill, 2020)
    Donald Sells, Parody, Politics and the Populace in Greek Old Comedy (Bloomsbury, 2018)
    David Stuttard (ed.), Looking at Lysistrata: Eight Essays and a New Version of Aristophanes' Provocative Comedy (Bristol Classical Press, 2010)

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

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