The LRB Podcast
How to Plot an Abortion
Expanding on her recent Winter Lecture, Clair Wills talks to Tom about the stories people tell about abortions – stories conditioned by tradition, coerced by the courts, compelled by politics and shared in solidarity. They discuss some of the radical reframings and reimaginings of abortion in art, literature and private life.
Find further reading, including the lecture, on the episode page: lrb.me/clairwillspod
Watch the lecture on YouTube: lrb.me/abortionplot
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The Lives of Stonehenge: John Aubrey and William Stukeley43:37In the second episode of her short series looking at why Stonehenge has occupied such an important place in the story of Britain, Rosemary Hill talks to Kate Bennett about the two antiquarians, John Aubrey and William Stukeley, who first treated the stone circle as a material object whose secrets could be revealed through careful measurement, observation and comparison, and so pioneered many of the practices of modern archaeology.Find further reading on the LRB website: lrb.me/stonehengepodtwoSign up to the LRB's Close Readings subscription here: lrb.me/closereadings
Why did Erdoğan win?44:34Following the Turkish president’s success in the run-off election on Sunday, Izzy Finkel and Tom Stevenson join Tom to discuss whether Erdoğan’s victory was ever in doubt, why the recent devastating earthquakes and economic turmoil seem to have had so little impact on his support, the challenges faced by the opposition, and the growing importance of xenophobia in Turkey’s politics.Find further reading, and listen ad-free, on the LRB website: lrb.me/erdoganpodSign up to the LRB's Close Readings podcast here: lrb.me/closereadingspod
The Lives of Stonehenge: Inigo Jones and John Wood44:45Rosemary Hill begins a new four-part series looking at what people have thought about Stonehenge over the past few hundred years, and why it’s come to matter so much in the story of Britain. In the first episode she talks to architectural historian Vaughan Hart about how Inigo Jones and John Wood were inspired by Stonehenge in their designs for Covent Garden and Bath, and how those in turn had an enormous influence on the way British towns and cities look today, from squares and circuses to oversized acorns and the idea of architecture itself.Buy Rosemary Hill's book Stonehenge here: lrb.me/stonehengebookVaughan Hart is the author of numerous books on the history of architecture, including Inigo Jones: the Architect of Kings; Christopher Wren: In Search of Eastern Antiquity and Nicholas Hawksmoor: Rebuilding Ancient Wonders.Sign up to the LRB's Close Readings podcast here: lrb.me/closereadingspod
How radical is Scotland?44:28Rory Scothorne joins Tom to discuss the evolution of Scottish politics over the past century or so, and how best to understand a country that’s shifted from a centre right electoral majority in the 1950s to a Labour stronghold in the 1980s, to being governed by the SNP since 2007. Is Scotland’s left-wing tradition a myth? And with the loss of Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader, and the recent scandals hitting the party, what are the prospects for Scottish independence?Read Rory's piece in the LRB: https://lrb.me/scothornepodSign up for the LRB's Close Readings podcast here: lrb.me/closereadings
What Spotify Wants52:50Spotify, a company worth $23 billion, has come out on top of the streaming wars, and yet it’s never made a profit. Daniel Cohen joins Malin to discuss the history of the platform and how it's changed the way music is made and listened to, and the strangeness of streaming culture, rife with ethical dilemmas.Find further reading on the episode page: lrb.me/spotifypodSubscribe to Close Readings: lrb.me/closereadings
Modi's Big Con44:48Accused of ‘the largest con in corporate history’, Indian magnate Gautam Adani has lost half his net worth and the indulgence of financial journalists. As Adani comes under increasing scrutiny, so do his troubling political connections – not least with India's prime minister, Narendra Modi. Pankaj Mishra joins Tom to discuss Adani and Modi’s intertwined careers, and their shared role in shaping an increasingly ethnonationalist, plutocratic India.Find further reading on the episode page: lrb.me/modipodSubscribe to Close Readings Plus: lrb.me/closereadings
Thomas Hardy's Medieval Mind50:44Two worlds collide in this Close Readings fusion episode in which Mary Wellesley talks to Mark Ford about the medieval in Thomas Hardy and the wider Victorian imagination. They discuss why Hardy liked to present himself as an Arthurian knight, his satirisation of the chivalric ideal in his novel A Pair of Blue Eyes, and the way his training as an architect influenced his devotion to poetic spontaneity and experimentation.Sign up for Close Readings here: https://lrb.me/closereadings
Introducing Past Present Future02:18Past Present Future is a new weekly podcast with David Runciman, host 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. Just subscribe to Past Present Future wherever you get your podcasts.
Sisters Come Second45:22In his introduction to our twelfth collection of LRB archive pieces, Sisters Come Second, Colm Tóibín writes that most siblings dream of being only children. Malin Hay explores this idea with Colm and Andrew O’Hagan, both younger sons in big families. Their conversation considers the examples of the brothers Mann, Yeats, James and Windsor, and why, as Czesław Miłosz observed, when there’s a writer in the family, that family is finished.You can buy Sisters Come Second from the LRB Store for just £5.99: lrb.me/siblingsFind further reading on the episode page: https://lrb.me/siblingspodMusic by Kieran Brunt / Produced by Zoe Kilbourn, Anthony Wilks and Sam Kinchin-Smith