I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 25-31 October 2020

Sydney Writers Festival. Did you know that the Sydney Writers Festival has a site with podcasts by writers who would have participated in the Sydney Writers Festival in a COVID free world? I listened to Cassandra Pybus being interviewed by Jakelin Troy about her book Truganini which I reviewed here. She spoke about lots of things that I don’t remember from the book- I wonder if she was talking from her familiarity with the sources, or whether I just forgot?

The Last Archive. This podcast series is presented by American historian Jill Lepore whose book These Truths: A History of the United States I must read one of these days. In it, she poses the question “Who Killed Truth?”. In episode 1 The Clue of the Blue Bottle, she looks at a murder case from 1919 in Barre, Vermont where a young woman was strangled. Instead of crimes being seen as acts of god, there were now clues, and facts and photographs. It’s a case that was reported in great detail as far as the body was concerned, but the press reports of the trial itself glided over facts that were deemed “unfit for publication”.

Heather Cox Richardson The History and Politics Chat on Tuesday 27th November talks about the opinion polls. She points out that polls are useful for highlighting the issues that people are concerned about, but not for how people vote. She cautions that only Associated Press are in a position to ‘call’ a poll: the other polls are going unofficially on projections from exit polls. She points out that Americans can recall their votes- how weird! I am so grateful to live in a country with compulsory voting.

In Our Time BBC. A few episodes from their ‘Religion’ series. The Thirty Years War pitched Catholics against Protestants, Lutherans against Calvinists and Catholics against Catholics, although it wasn’t a war that the soldiers necessarily believed in from an ideological and political point of view, as 20th century wars are. Instead, it was pretty much soldiers for hire as various kingdoms fought themselves to a point where it was possible to sue for peace.

Papal Infallibility traces through the history of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility from its origins as a means of cementing the authority of the Bishop of Rome, through the Franciscans wanting to ensure that arrangements granted under one pope couldn’t be withdrawn by the next, through the Reformation- and most importantly the Counter Reformation- then the Enlightenment and more recent papal history. If you were Pope, you’d want to keep a handle on what the ‘infallible’ Popes before you had said, because if he could be wrong, so could you.

West Midlands History Beatrice Cadbury: The Heiress Who Gave Away Her Fortune is really good. It’s based on the book by Fiona Joseph. Born into the wealthy Quaker Cadbury family, Beatrice became increasingly uncomfortable about her unearned wealth, and after becoming a Christian Socialist, she tried to give it away. A peace activist, philanthropist and a woman who lived her faith and her politics.

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