I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 24-31 May 2020

Heather Cox Richardson. Her Politics and History video on 19 May looked at 1. the changing meaning of communism and socialism between 1850 and the present and the erroneous use of ‘socialism’ to decry any broadscale government initiative  2. the role of the inspector-general (did you know that there are 14,000 of them covering all facets of government?) 3. the World Health Organization.

Soul Search (ABC)  A couple of months back, I read Jill Roe’s Beyond Belief: Theosophy in Australia (my review here). With the republication of this book, Meredith Lake looks at Theosophy both historically and in its present form in a program following the name of Roe’s Book Beyond Belief. In many ways Theosophy as it is presented here is not unlike Unitarianism (which I follow) but many of its more contentious propositions are elided here, I feel. The podcast has an archived interview with Jill Roe (who died in 2017) and interviews with historian Wayne Hudson and Pedro Oliveira the Education Officer, Theosophical Society, Australia.

Rear Vision (ABC) What a weird, pugnacious guy Rudy Giuliani is. This episode Greek Tragedy or Farce: The Life and Career of Rudy Giuiliani traces through his career as a lawyer and public servant, then mayor of New York. Originally a Democrat, he shifted to the Republican party during the 1980s. The program suggests that had 9/11 not occurred, he probably would not have been re-elected as mayor of New York.

Southbank Centre (UK) On the 6 March – a lifetime ago- Hilary Mantel appeared at the Southbank Centre in London to talk about her most recent book The Mirror and the Light, the third in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. I’ve just finished reading it (and have not yet written my review) and this program was perfect listening for someone who has read all three. She has spent 15 years on this magnificent trilogy. They had actors read from all three books, and it made me regret being a fast, non-vocalizing reader because they read aloud beautifully. So, if you’re a Mantel fan and have spent your lockdown with The Mirror and the Light, listen to this- it’s fantastic!

Dan Snow’s History Hit. I hadn’t realized that the Thames was so tidal until we were actually there, close to the Globe, walking along the banks of it. (Nor did I realize that if we picked anything up – which we didn’t- we would have needed a permit from the Port of London Authority). Picking along the banks of the Thames is called Mudlarking and in this episode Dan goes mudlarking, and talks with Lara Maiklem who has been scouring the banks for over 15 years.

The Documentary (BBC) In this program, they get listeners to record their own reports on how the coronavirus lockdown has affected their country. In Lockdown: Tales from Lebanon, Australia, Atlanta and India  from 19 May you realize (if you didn’t already) just how fortunate we have been.

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