Interviews by Anna Blundy
The 21st century has seen an explosion of feminist activism, with movements like #MeToo and the Women’s March. Accompanying this heightened attention to the lived experience of women, several extraordinary books have been published. Writer, feminist, critic and broadcaster Bidisha selects the best ones.
Systems thinking is key to figuring out how relationships work, says Mira Kirshenbaum, psychotherapist and clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute. She chooses the best books to help us understand modern relationship therapy.
Why has anti-Semitism been such a problem down the ages, and why does it persist today? The emeritus director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, recommends the best books to better understand anti-Semitism.
Franklin D Roosevelt’s inaugural address, 4 March 1933
by Various authors
John F Kennedy’s inaugural address, 20 January 1961
by Various authors
Laurence Olivier’s Oscar Acceptance Speech (1979)
by YouTube video
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, 28 August 1963
by Martin Luther King Jr
Nelson Mandela’s inaugural address as President of South Africa, 10 May 1994
by David Elliot Cohen
Which were the best speeches ever made? Clarence B Jones, lawyer, friend and adviser to Martin Luther King Jr—and contributor to the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech—chooses his top five, and explains what is that makes these famous speeches so good.
Long-time foreign correspondent Michaela Wrong, the author of books on Zaire, Eritrea, Kenya and Rwanda, tells us where to turn for engaging foreign perspectives on Africa. She recommends five of her favourite books on Africa, by anthropologists, journalists and one US president.
Satire is humour used for a moral purpose, explains American political satirist P.J. O’Rourke—though it doesn’t have to be particularly funny and can be quite dark. Here, he chooses five classic works of political satire, books that lay bare the shortcomings of not only communism and fascism but also the two-party system and the quest for a perfect society where everyone is happy.
Inner-city crime is a matter of deprivation not race. It comes from a street culture that respects extreme violence, says Gavin Knight, an author who spent two years among British gangs and the police units covering them
The former editor of Time magazine and CEO of CNN talks to us about the life and work of Albert Einstein, including the bet with his wife that left her with his Nobel Prize money and him with a divorce.
Robert Chandler, one of the best known translators of Russian literature, recommends some of his favourite tales of Soviet Russia. There’s the one about a dog in space and the one about the Soviet café which stocked nothing but champagne and Mars bars…
From the first book he recommends to students coming up to Oxford to read ancient history, to a short, popular book that weaves together all the scholarly research on the fall of the Roman Empire and the terrible things that happened as Rome was sacked by the Vandals, Oxford historian Harry Sidebottom talks us through five must-read books on Ancient Rome.
Everyone’s on the run from something in their life. Bestselling author Louise Bagshawe recommends some of her favourite chase stories, a world of jailbreaks, secret documents, beautiful heroines, honour, revenge, death and glory.
Keynes biographer Robert Skidelsky recommends the best books about one of the most important economists of all time, John Maynard Keynes.
Award winning reporter and novelist says there are no superlatives too superlative for Anna Politkovskaya, who, after three books and innumerable investigative reporting trips to Chechnya, was murdered in Moscow
Russian literature specialist Michael Nicholson, Emeritus Fellow at University College, Oxford, talks us through the best books to learn more about the great Soviet dissident and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
Via five engrossing memoirs, the Zimbabwe-born journalist Georgina Godwin talks wistfully about her country; amongst the older generation, she says, there is a feeling that Rhodesia was sold down the river by Britain and things needn’t have turned out the way they did.