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The Prospect Interview
32 minutes | 6 days ago
#162: George Saunders’s masterclass in the Russian short story
Booker Prize-winning author George Saunders joins the Prospect Interview to discuss his experiences teaching the Russian short story and his new book, A Swim in the Pond in the Rain. What begins as a homage to the technical literary skill of Chekov, Gogol, and Tolstoy soon becomes a broader reflection on the purpose of fiction, and the meaning of life. Saunders joins arts and books editor Sameer Rahim and talks about how he changed his mind on Chekov, getting in the head of a Trump supporter, and the art of getting published. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26 minutes | 13 days ago
#161: Women, slavery and resistance
Who gets to write history—and which narratives win out? Historian and writer Stella Dadzie joins the Prospect Interview to discuss writing the lives of enslaved women in the Caribbean. She talks about the blind spots of history taught in British schools, the importance of foregrounding agency and resistance, and what she makes of the evolving conversation on race and empire in Britain. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
33 minutes | 17 days ago
#160: Covid-19 then and now, with Phil Ball
Over a year ago now in December, scientists first discovered a new virus that caused pneumonia-like symptoms. The rest is history. Science writer Phil Ball joins the Prospect Interview to discuss past lessons from the pandemic in 2020—which countries did well, and which failed—and how the vaccine will change the new normality in 2021. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
33 minutes | a month ago
#159: Who was the real Jesus?
His teachings have been transmitted, interpreted, and some may say misappropriated, for centuries. But what did Jesus Christ really believe? Now, as organised religion declines in popularity, does he have anything to teach our secular age? Author Nick Spencer, who recently wrote an essay on the secularisation of Jesus, joins the Prospect Interview to discuss the many lives of Jesus Christ. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31 minutes | a month ago
#158: Saudi Arabia’s reform and repression
When the young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ascended to power in 2017, he was hailed among the west as a liberal reformer, and was welcomed by Hollywood celebrities and world leaders alike. But what’s happened to Saudi Arabia’s supposedly radical programme of reform? Saudi expert Madawi al-Rasheed joins the Prospect Interview and takes us behind the power struggles and social debates gripping the country. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
32 minutes | 2 months ago
#157: Who killed soft Brexit?
When the nation headed to the polls for the EU referendum in 2016, the result was almost split down the middle. So how come the Brexit deal that's coming will not be the moderate one of a 48-52 nation, but a hard exit? Leading think tankers Anand Menon and Jill Rutter join the Prospect Interview to talk about the long four years since June 2016, and who is to really to blame for killing soft Brexit. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30 minutes | 2 months ago
#156: Douglas Stuart on writing Shuggie Bain
Booker Prize-winning author Douglas Stuart joins the Prospect Interview to discuss writing his powerful novel, Shuggie Bain, which tells the story of a young boy growing up in working-class Glasgow during the 80s. Douglas talks to Arts and Books editor Sameer Rahim—who sat on this year’s Booker judging panel and was captivated by Shuggie Bain—about the importance of diversity in literature, his non-chronological way of writing, and what he made of the other shortlisted novels. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25 minutes | 2 months ago
#155: Radical attention, with Julia Bell
What has the attention economy done to our attention spans—and our minds? Writer and academic Julia Bell joins the Prospect Interview to discuss her latest book, Radical Attention, an essay on the many hidden, and not-so-hidden, costs of today’s technological systems. In an age of infinite distraction, Julia makes a case for the importance of radical attention: a sharp, focused, and generous way of being in the world, which valorises nuanced, difficult thought. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
36 minutes | 2 months ago
#154: Lessons from the pandemic, with Fareed Zakaria
Are we seeing a return to normality? CNN journalist and political commentator Fareed Zakaria joins the Prospect Interview to talk about Joe Biden’s victory, what will happen to populism, and how Covid-19 has changed both America and the world. He walks us through what America feels like after the election, and also lessons from his new book, Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24 minutes | 2 months ago
US Election Special
Who will win? Author and commentator Diane Roberts joins the Prospect Interview and gives a quick summary of the race so far, including which states to look out for. Plus: what have four years of Trump done to public trust in institutions? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
40 minutes | 3 months ago
#153: America in the world, with Stephen Wertheim
How did America become the world’s predominant power? Historian Stephen Wertheim joins the Prospect podcast this week to discuss the short history of America as the world’s policeman, which he outlines in his new book, Tomorrow the World. He also talks about what might happen next—and what a foreign policy under Joe Biden might look like. Stephen is Deputy Director of Research and Policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and is one of Prospect’s Top 50 Thinkers for 2020. Tomorrow the World is published by Harvard University Press. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
38 minutes | 3 months ago
#152: Jacques Derrida's philosophy
Think Jacques Derrida was an inscrutable fraud? Peter Salmon, biographer and recent author of An Event, Perhaps, implores you to think again. Peter joins the Prospect Interview to talk about the life and work of the controversial, and unavoidable, philosopher, and unpicks some of the myths surrounding his philosophy. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
47 minutes | 3 months ago
#151: Owen Jones on the future of the left
Journalist and author Owen Jones joins the Prospect Interview to talk about his new book, This Land. Editor Tom Clark talks to Owen about the highs and lows of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, what he really thinks of the line between campaigning and journalism, and whether it’s just doom and gloom for Britain’s left going forward. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24 minutes | 3 months ago
#150: Hard Brexit now?
The Times journalist Rachel Sylvester joins the Prospect Interview to get us up to date about the state of Brexit talks, and introduce the man behind Britain’s negotiating table, David Frost. Is a hard Brexit inevitable, and what can Frost’s little-known background reveal about where Britain stands with the EU?You can read Rachel’s profile of David Frost here: https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/profile-who-is-david-frost-brexit-negotiator-cliff-edge See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
33 minutes | 3 months ago
#149: Can elitism restore democracy?
Writer and broadcaster Eliane Glaser joins the Prospect Interview to make a defense of what she deems “progressive elitism.” In the era of populism, the trust in institutions and experts has plummeted within the left and right alike. Eliane makes the case for excellence in these divided times—and tells us why restoring standards may in fact restore popular democracy. Elitism: A Progressive Defense is published by Biteback See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29 minutes | 4 months ago
#148: Robert Macfarlane’s Underland
Writer Robert Macfarlane joins the Prospect Interview to discuss writing the Earth’s underworld in his new book, Underland: A Deep Time Journey. MacFarlane talks to our arts and books editor Sameer Rahim about exploring the deepest recesses of the world, the mysteries of the anthropocene, and why he’s rejecting the term “nature writer.” See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27 minutes | 4 months ago
#147: Writing the Booker Prize-shortlisted Burnt Sugar
Avni Doshi’s Booker Prize-shortlisted debut novel, Burnt Sugar, follows an artist in Pune, India, whose mother suddenly gets diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The revelation unravels difficult family histories, uncovering the secrets binding mother and daughter. Avni joins the Prospect Interview to discuss writing the novel—and why it took seven years—and what it’s been like living through the Booker Prize media blitz. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19 minutes | 4 months ago
#146: Celebrating London on film
Film director Sarah Gavron and writer Theresa Ikoko join this week’s Prospect Interview to discuss their new film, Rocks, a celebratory ode to teenage life in today’s London. Rocks follows the story of a teenage girl—nicknamed Rocks—and the fast friendships she develops at her school. The film was made under quite unusual circumstances: casting was done across schools in London, involving nearly 1500 students, before finding the film’s first-time actors, who then workshopped with the creative team for a year to finalise a script. Sarah and Theresa take us behind the making of Rocks, writing the lives of today’s teenagers, and what it’s like to release a film during a pandemic. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
35 minutes | 4 months ago
#145: The Covid-19 economic crisis, with Adam Tooze
The pandemic has shattered economies all over the globe. What can be done about it? Historian Adam Tooze joins the Prospect Interview to talk about the Covid-19 economic crisis. He discusses how the impending recession compares to past crises, what policies ought to be taken, and whether we are really seeing the end of neoliberalism. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27 minutes | 5 months ago
#144: I was Saddam’s prisoner
In 1990, when he was just nine years old, Prospect’s Sameer Rahim joined his parents and sister on a holiday to Iraq. What was first a family trip quickly turned into an international diplomatic fiasco. As Saddam Hussein was then facing international condemnation for the Kuwait War, Sameer and his family were taken as so-called “human-shield hostages”: Britons kept within Iraq as bargaining chips. In a personal essay for the current issue of Prospect, Sameer remembers his time cooped up in a Baghdad hotel—and reflects on what the experience has taught him about the many sides of national identity.You can read Sameer’s essay, I was Saddam’s prisoner, here: https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/i-was-saddams-prisoner See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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