Tuesday, August 26, 2008

BBC Radio 4 "In Our Time" with Melvyn Bragg

The British Broadcasting Company's Radio 4 offers its episodes of In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg free for podcast or archived download. The episodes are about three quarters of an hour long, commercial free, and deal with topics from history, science, religion, philosophy, and culture. Specific topics include the work and lives of Abelard, Kierkegaard, Camus and Yeats, range from topics as dry as the speed of light to those as sensational as Tacitus' descriptions of the lives of the emperors, and touch on such seminal matters as the unification of England under Alfred and such exotic topics the late Victorian and Edwardian novels predicting the coming war with Prussia, known to posterity as World War I. This is the link to the main archive. These are the episodes available under the history category:

Tacitus - The Decadence of Rome
The Arab Conquests - the 7th century new world order
The Riddle of the Sands - how Britain learned to fear the Germans
Trofim Lysenko - Joseph Stalin's chief geneticist
The Black Death - a plague on all our houses
The Enclosures - dividing the country
Yeats and Irish Politics - "a terrible beauty is born"
The Norman Yoke - 1067 and all that
The Dissolution of the Monasteries - religion in ruins
The Statue of Liberty - From France with love...
The Court of Rudolf II - the lost powerhouse of Renaissance ideas
The Charge of the Light Brigade - "All in the valley of Death rode the six hundred"
The Sassanian Empire - in the shadow of Ancient Persia
Divine Right of Kings - "there's such divinity doth hedge a king"
The Pilgrim Fathers - the original American dream
Siegfried Sassoon - the poet who survived
The Siege of Orleans - did Joan of Arc really rescue France?
Opium Wars - a conflict that was to affect British-Chinese relations for generations
Bismarck - the Iron Chancellor
William Wilberforce - the man and his legacy
Genghis Khan - founder of one of the world's largest ever land-based empires
The Siege of Constantinople - the end of a thousand years of the Byzantine Empire
The Peasants' Revolt - a lasting legacy for popular uprising?
The Spanish Inquisition - one of the most barbaric episodes in European history
The Great Exhibition - a wonder of the Victorian world
The Carolingian Renaissance - the revival of early medieval Western Europe
Catherine the Great - the Enlightened Despot of Eighteenth Century Russia
The Abbasid Caliphs - when Baghdad ruled the Muslim world.
Seventeenth Century Print Culture - piety, populism and political protest
The Oath - guaranteeing law, government and the army in the Classical world
The Peterloo Massacre - democratic protest and brutal repression
Field of the Cloth of Gold - a Renaissance entente cordiale
The Terror - when Madame Guillotine ruled France
Abelard and Heloise - love, sex and theology in 12th century Pari
Alfred and the Battle of Edington - without Alfred, no England?
The Assassination of Tsar Alexander II - did his killing cause the Russian Revolution?
The Roman Republic - what were Rome's republican ideals?
Machiavelli and the Italian City States - high politics and low cunning in the Italian Renaissance
The Venerable Bede - the father of English history
Agincourt - the real facts behind the battle.
The Odyssey - Homer's epic tale of Odysseus' return home
George Washington and the American Revolution - the most significant event in history
Babylon - the great forgotten civilisation
Tea - an empire in a teacup
China: The Warring States Period - the fiery beginnings of Chinese civilisation
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
The Mughal Empire - the glory of India
The Battle of Thermopylae - battle that defined East & West
The Alphabet - its creation and development
Robin Hood - the greatest of English myths.
The East India Co - a corporate route to empire.
The Aristocracy - how the ruling class survives
The Art of War - maintaining the objective?
The Jacobite Rebellion - could it have succeeded?
Roman Britain - the effects of 400 years of occupation
The Spanish Civil War - causes and legacy
The Aztecs - looking behind the myths
Victorian Realism - how real?
Slavery and empire - were Britons also captives?
Architecture and power - imagery of imperialism
The History of Heritage - its influence on national identity
The American West - was it an "experiment of liberty"?
Bohemia - what did it mean to be Bohemian?
The Celts - what were the Celts in Britain really like?
Marriage - its various forms and the role of the State
John Milton - poet or politician?

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