300 episodes

A weekly reflection on a topical issue.

A Point of View BBC Radio 4

    • News
    • 4.6 • 67 Ratings

A weekly reflection on a topical issue.

    A Deadly Serious Game

    A Deadly Serious Game

    As Vladimir Putin warns he is willing to use any military means necessary in the war with Ukraine, Zoe Strimpel - a recent convert to chess - examines how Mr Putin is likely to play his next hand.

    'The future of the world once more hangs in the balance of moves between the West and Russia,' she writes.

    'The question of whether Russia really does have a strategic grandmaster at the helm - and whether the West can outmanoeuvre him - has become a matter of horrible urgency'.

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

    • 9 min
    The Queen: An Acceptance of History

    The Queen: An Acceptance of History

    Michael Morpurgo reflects on the remarkable life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

    'The crown and the jewels were costume, the Palace was a stage. She knew that, we knew that', writes Michael. 'It was a charade, but one that worked wonderfully well, because she was centre stage in our national drama, because enough of us believed in her'.

    As the world changed around her, Michael argues, the Queen at all times looked to the future, helped us find our place in the world and discover who we are as a people.

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

    • 10 min
    Female Fictions

    Female Fictions

    Megan Nolan questions why women writers still struggle to be taken seriously.

    'The appearance of the woman writer', she says, 'is often clumsily welded together with her work in an effort to make the two inseparable, or indeed to act as a sort of explanation of her work, that she is able to create it at all'.

    Megan discusses the pressures this imposes.

    Photo credit: Sophie Davidson

    Producer: Adele Armstrong
    Sound: Peter Bosher
    Production coordinator: Iona Hammond
    Editor: Penny Murphy

    • 9 min
    When Everybody Is Somebody

    When Everybody Is Somebody

    Will Self reflects on success...and failure.

    'Ours is a society', he writes, 'in which that hoary old saying, 'Nothing succeeds like success', has been elevated to the status of a political, philosophic and indeed moral credo.'

    But, Will argues, this is a world typified by hyperbole and exaggeration, where the successful, 'with plenty of cake to eat, have no need to partake of the true bread of life, which is, of course, failure'.

    Producer: Adele Armstrong
    Sound: Peter Bosher
    Production coordinator: Gemma Ashman
    Editor: Penny Murphy

    • 10 min
    The New Age of Empire

    The New Age of Empire

    Linda Colley argues that President Putin's invasion of Ukraine is a wake-up call which should remind people that the days of empire are far from over. And these enduring imperial habits, she says, are evident in some unexpected quarters - not just in places like Russia and China.

    'When Donald Trump floated the idea of the US purchasing Greenland in 2019, this was widely dismissed as just another Trumpian eccentricity', she writes.

    'But this 'real estate deal' as the former president characteristically described his Greenland project, was actually in line with large portions of American history'.

    Producer: Adele Armstrong
    Sound: Rod Farquhar
    Production coordinator: Gemma Ashman
    Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith

    • 10 min
    The Samsara of Salmon

    The Samsara of Salmon

    John Connell goes fishing in northern Spain, home to one of the oldest populations of Atlantic salmon in the world.

    But he discovers a world on an ecological edge - with water at dangerously low levels, distraught fishermen and virtually no fish.

    'What is a fish without a river?' he asks. 'Indeed what is a river without a fish?'

    Producer: Adele Armstrong
    Sound: Neil Churchill
    Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
    Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith

    • 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
67 Ratings

67 Ratings

Bwv878 ,

Enjoyable essays

Opinions presented in an essay format by exceptional writers—what’s not to like.

Sooch49 ,

Moving forward

Thanks, Tom Shakespeare, for swatting this fly of a phrase, which irks me almost as much as “move on,” as in “accept you’ve been f’d over and move on.”

dettifoss ,

Provocative

Each week a commentator - author, historian, economist, thinker - tackles a subject of their choosing and explains what thier opinion is and why. The subject is usually an aspect of modern life, and the opinions range in tone from moralistic to historical, satirical, mournful or even humorous.
The podcast is superbly produced, as are all podcasts from the BBC.

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