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34 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
RHODcast #25: Our Town - Bette Hunt
One hot day in June, Rhod joins BETTE HUNT, the emeritus historian of Marblehead, Mass. for a walk through the town’s almost 400 year old graveyard. Old Burial Hill connects the living with the dead in some strange ways as they discourse on Thornton Wilder’s famous play, George Washington’s favorite general, the Marblehead woman convicted at the Salem witch trials and the fairly undiscussed existence of a “negro” burial site in this quintessentially Yankee town.
34 minutes | May 24, 2021
RHODcast #24: Nick Bryant - When America Stopped Being Great
The BBC’s New York correspondent sees the USA that so excited him as a youth sapped of vitality, politically divided against itself but in an old saying, always headed to hell and never getting there. When America Stopped Being great merges Bryant’s reporting experiences with a historian’s perspective in a way which, as the Washington Post said, gives foreign laments a fresh arc.
19 minutes | May 4, 2021
RHODcast #23 The Missing Paintings - an American Story (part two of two)
He tried to hawk them from his wheelbarrow and even built a backyard museum for them without success. After his death some of his paintings were used as building material by his cash-strapped son. And yet as his huge output of historically significant work became better known in the 1950s, “a pretty big shadow” was cast over the art of JOJ Frost. What prevented people who owned his paintings from coming forward? Rhod hears from one of the mother and daughter team who have done more than anyone to try to bring the rest of Frost’s surviving “canvases” to light.
28 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
RHODcast #22: The Missing Paintings - an American story in two parts
The Missing Paintings: an American story in two partsWho hid the painting in the wall of that old house? RHOD SHARP delves into the story of the eccentric artist J.O.J Frost who tried unsuccessfully to sell his pictures from a wheelbarrow, and whose paintings were worth less during the Depression than the boards they were painted on. Yet he left an incomparable account of a vanished way of life. And his paintings keep on turning up.
31 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
RHODcast #21: Once Upon a Rhodcast
Rhod Sharp discovers the pilot of a never-to-be-made podcast series. This cornucopia of offbeat stories from the first week of July 2008 may be of special interest to fans of Rhod’s appearances on BBC 5 Live’s Up All Night.
21 minutes | Mar 26, 2021
RHODcast #20: Rick Boyd
The outrageous success story of RICK BOYD. Since being furloughed by the pandemic from his job managing a small resort in southern Florida, he has done so well trading Bitcoin that he says neither he nor his wife he will ever have to work again.
28 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
RHODcast #19: Jeremy Vine
As city planners ponder the possibilities of leaving lockdown, London has become Ground Zero for improving the experience of commuting on two wheels. But at whose expense? The UK government has already committed over half a billion pounds, but one London council removed a brand new cycle lane a mere seven weeks after it opened. Join Jeremy Vine and me as we explore London’s looming Cycle Wars.
32 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
RHODcast #18: Simon Winchester
At high noon, April 22.1889, a remarkable thing happened. The “Unassigned Lands” of Oklahoma which had not been “assigned” by the federal government to either of the traditional owners, the Cherokee or the Chickasaw, were thrown open to settlers from the east on a first-come basis. They came “like Zulu warriors” writes Simon Winchester at the start of one of many gripping stories in his new book, Land. Is land something to be owned, or just taken care of? What’s the answer to Tolstoy’s question, how much land does a man need?
17 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
RHODcast #17: Republic of Broken Windows - John Nichols
The American ultra-right is back in the shadows, or at least keeping its powder dry. Seeing a massive show of state force with 25,000 National Guard packing Washington DC, and high alerts in state capitals, the far right is picking its fights. Nor will it have the country’s Chief Executive and his enablers minding its back. RHOD SHARP looks to the Wednesday’s Inauguration of President Biden and beyond with The Nation magazine’s National Correspondent JOHN NICHOLS.
14 minutes | Jan 15, 2021
RHODcast #16: Republic of Broken Windows - Patt Morrison
In the City of the Angels, one in three people have now been tested positive for Covid. America’s Covid epicentre - by numbers - is testing its citizens at Dodgers Stadium and vaccinating them at Disneyland. From Los Angeles, LA Times senior staff writer PATT MORRISON.
23 minutes | Jan 14, 2021
RHODcast #15: Republic of Broken Windows - Ethan Zuckerman
A president bound over to the Senate for impeachment yet who said not a word about it in his latest video. What really sent President Donald Trump ballistic in the words of a senior aide quoted by Politico was the decision by Twitter to block his output permanently. ETHAN ZUCKERMAN is associate professor of public policy and information at U Mass Amherst and he has studied social media since it was in diapers (nappies to you). What does it mean to “deplatform” a president, and where do his followers go from here?
14 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
RHODcast #14: Rep. Seth Moulton - Republic of Broken Windows
RHOD SHARP reports the American Insurrection of 2021 in the countdown to the inauguration of President Biden. Representative SETH MOULTON relates his own experience of the Congressional invasion and discusses Monday’s first steps by the House of Representatives towards the second impeachment trial for President Donald Trump.
46 minutes | Dec 22, 2020
RHODcast #13: Brian O’Donovan - A Christmas Celtic Sojourn
We were walking in the woods the other week when we came across this mother and daughter decorating this random little tree. We had noticed its handsome red bow before, but it was purely by chance that we came across their stealthy celebration. BRIAN O’DONOVAN has hosted the traditional music show A Celtic Sojourn on WGBH for enough years for it to qualify for a police pension. Every Christmas since 2003 he has delighted his audience with a live Christmas version. This year it’s online and equally delightful. As we discovered in the woods, magic happens. With my sincere thanks to you for following the road this far as it goes forever on, may I wish you and the ones you love happiness on the path ahead.
48 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
RHODcast #12: Jim Naughtie - A Love Letter to America (part 2)
Many thanks to those who have written to express intense feelings about hearing JIM NAUGHTIE and I on a virtual park bench discussing the state of America. With a new revised edition of Jim’s memoir On the Road in the offing, we continue with some thoughts on presidents from Reagan to Trump and Jim’s regular encounters with the best of America. Including the afternoon when most of the population of a small New Hampshire town turned out to help him rescue the keys of his hire car from the boot. Or should that be rental car from the trunk? You decide.
44 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
RHODcast #11: Jim Naughtie - A Love Letter to America (part 1)
The people have spoken, and American democracy, feeling less timid now, is almost ready to exhale. JIM NAUGHTIE started visiting the USA in 1970 when one political crisis was brewing, and his coverage of the 2020 presidential campaigns for BBC Radio 4 has depicted a people in the throes of another. Throughout it all, Jim’s dedication to reporting America’s cause aright, as Hamlet tasked Horatio, has been unstinting. As has our friendship. There’s a lot to talk about, so haul on your bellbottoms as we take a trip back to the start of the 1970s.
42 minutes | Nov 5, 2020
RHODcast #10: Graham Stuart
Take the most popular chat show on British television and take away the red sofa, and what’s left? Still arguably the funniest TV in or out of lockdown. The Graham Norton Show’s executive producer GRAHAM STUART talks about what Michael Sheen can get up to with a torch (flashlight) and his own adventures in a pair of muddy shoes fronting one of the longest running sports shows in the world.
37 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
RHODcast #9: Margot Livesey
When a young man is found lying unconscious and motionless in a field just outside Oxford (England, that is) it’s time for Rhod to sit down in his garden (back yard) with the author of this fiction. The Boy In The Field is Margot Livesey’s ninth novel and her first and last (we hope) to be released in Covid time.
48 minutes | Oct 8, 2020
RHODcast #8: 4 Young Voters
We can’t let it pass. As committed citizens of the world, we cannot afford to seek comfort in ignorance in the final tumultuous weeks leading up to this election for the next leader of the United States. Join me and a group of four involved and articulate young Americans as we discuss the disease which has turned their world upside down. Let’s hope they don’t miss their shot in the age that is to come. There is no doubt that the world in 2016 was a different place. For a snapshot of the mood in October 2016, follow the link to my BBC report Small Town Angst.
49 minutes | Sep 24, 2020
RHODcast #7: Ian McMillan
“If there's a more engaging presence on the radio than Barnsley poet Ian McMillan and a more entertaining show than Radio 3's The Verb then I don't know it” wrote Stuart Maconie in Radio Times. So when Ian and I met - virtually - for this podcast, what wasn’t to like?
40 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
RHODcast #6: William Dalrymple
Eventually the law will catch up with even the mightiest corporations. But it might take a century or two. Nothing in our modern zero-tax rated, political influence-peddling corporate world has prepared us for the breathtaking greed and recklessness of the biggest and baddest corporation, the East India Company. Look at the grand eighteenth-century palaces that dot the English and Scottish countryside and the exotic loot that adorns their interiors and consider where the money came from. Distinguished historian and multi-award winning author William Dalrymple tells the story of The Anarchy.
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