Past Present Future is a new weekly podcast with David Runciman, host and creator of Talking Politics, exploring the history of ideas from politics to philosoph...
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Animal Farm and Other Allegories
This week David talks to novelists Adam Biles and John Lanchester about the timeless appeal of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Why has it retained its hold far longer than other political allegories? Do readers need to know about the Russian history it describes? What makes the animals so relatable? Plus we discuss other favourite political allegories, from The Wizard of Oz to WALL-E.Adam Biles’s new novel – inspired by Animal Farm – is Beasts of England, available now.Read John Lanchester in the current issue of the LRB. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Other 9/11: Chile & Allende
This week is the fiftieth anniversary of the coup in Chile that ended the life of Salvador Allende and marked the temporary death of Chilean democracy. We talk to the politician and economist Andrés Velasco and the writer and translator Lorna Scott Fox about their memories of the coup and their understanding of its significance today. What does it say about the unfulfilled promise and ongoing fragility of democratic politics, in Chile and beyond?More from the LRB:Lorna Scott Fox on the feminisation of Chile:‘I doubt any of the men in a cabinet meeting are worrying about whether there is loo paper at home, as I do.’Greg Grandin on Allende in power:‘Allende was a pacifist, a democrat and a socialist by conviction not convenience.’Michael Wood on Neruda and death:‘The dead are never entirely dead in Neruda’s poems, forgetting and remembering are always entangled.’ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week Lea Ypi joins David to talk about some of the ideas in his new book, The Handover: How We Gave Control of Our Lives to Corporations, States and AIs. They discuss how to think about the power of the state in the modern world: Can it be changed? Can it be controlled? Can it be anything other than capitalist? Plus, how will AI alter the relationship between human beings and the corporate machines that rule our world?To order the Handover and support independent bookshops, please use the code HANDOVER at checkout here. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Great Essays: Q & A
In this bonus episode David answers some of your questions about our series on the great political essays and essayists, from Montaigne to Joan Didion. Can great political thinkers also be committed members of political parties? Which of these writers would make a good prime minister? And where are the great essays being written today? With PPF producer Ben Walker posing the questions. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
History of Ideas: Joan Didion
For the last episode in our summer season on the great twentieth-century essays and essayists, David discusses Joan Didion's 'The White Album' (1979), her haunting, impressionistic account of the fracturing of America in the late 1960s. From Jim Morrison to the Manson murders, Didion offers a series of snapshots of a society coming apart in ways no one seemed to understand. But what was true, what was imagined, and where did the real sickness lie?More on Joan Didion from the LRB archive:Thomas Powers on Didion and California:'The thing that California taught her to fear most was snakes, especially rattlesnakes...This gets close to Didion's core anxiety: watching for something that could be anywhere, was easily overlooked, could kill you or a child playing in the garden – just like that.'Mary-Kay Wilmers on Didion and memory:'Reassurance is something Didion doesn't need. She is talking to herself, weighing up the past, going over old stories, keeping herself company. Staging herself.'Martin Amis on Didion's style:'The Californian emptiness arrives and Miss Didion attempts to evolve a style, or manner, to answer to it. Here comes divorces, breakdowns, suicide bids, spliced-up paragraphs, 40-word chapters and italicised wedges of prose that used to be called "fractured".'Patricia Lockwood on reading Didion now:'To revisit Slouching Towards Bethlehem or The White Album is to read an old up-to-the-minute relevance renewed. Inside these essays the coming revolution feels neither terrifying nor exhilarating but familiar – if you are a reader of Joan Didion, you have been studying it all your life.' Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Past Present Future is a new weekly podcast with David Runciman, host and creator of Talking Politics, exploring the history of ideas from politics to philosophy, culture to technology. David talks to historians, novelists, scientists and many others about where the most interesting ideas come from, what they mean, and why they matter.Ideas from the past, questions about the present, shaping the future. Brought to you in partnership with the London Review of Books.New episodes every Thursday. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.