In Our Time: History

BBC Radio 4

Historical themes, events and key individuals from Akhenaten to Xenophon.

  • 58 minutes 56 seconds
    Napoleon's Hundred Days

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Napoleon Bonaparte's temporary return to power in France in 1815, following his escape from exile on Elba . He arrived with fewer than a thousand men, yet three weeks later he had displaced Louis XVIII and taken charge of an army as large as any that the Allied Powers could muster individually. He saw that his best chance was to pick the Allies off one by one, starting with the Prussian and then the British/Allied armies in what is now Belgium. He appeared to be on the point of victory at Waterloo yet somehow it eluded him, and his plans were soon in tatters. His escape to America thwarted, he surrendered on 15th July and was exiled again but this time to Saint Helena. There he wrote his memoirs to help shape his legacy, while back in Europe there were still fears of his return.

    With

    Michael Rowe Reader in European History at Kings College London

    Katherine Astbury Professor of French Studies at the University of Warwick

    And

    Zack White Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouth

    Producer: Simon Tillotson In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio production.

    Reading list:

    Katherine Astbury and Mark Philp (ed.), Napoleon's Hundred Days and the Politics of Legitimacy (Palgrave, 2018)

    Jeremy Black, The Battle of Waterloo: A New History (Icon Books, 2010)

    Michael Broers, Napoleon: The Decline and Fall of an Empire: 1811-1821 (Pegasus Books, 2022)

    Philip Dwyer, Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in power 1799-1815 (Bloomsbury, 2014)

    Charles J. Esdaile, Napoleon, France and Waterloo: The Eagle Rejected (Pen & Sword Military, 2016)

    Gareth Glover, Waterloo: Myth and Reality (Pen & Sword Military, 2014)

    Sudhir Hazareesingh, The Legend of Napoleon (Granta, 2014)

    John Hussey, Waterloo: The Campaign of 1815, Volume 1, From Elba to Ligny and Quatre Bras (Greenhill Books, 2017)

    Andrew Roberts, Napoleon the Great (Penguin Books, 2015)

    Brian Vick, The Congress of Vienna: Power and Politics after Napoleon (Harvard University Press, 2014)

    Zack White (ed.), The Sword and the Spirit: Proceedings of the first ‘War & Peace in the Age of Napoleon’ Conference (Helion and Company, 2021)

    16 May 2024, 9:15 am
  • 50 minutes 14 seconds
    Julian the Apostate

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the last pagan ruler of the Roman Empire. Fifty years after Constantine the Great converted to Christianity and introduced a policy of tolerating the faith across the empire, Julian (c.331 - 363 AD) aimed to promote paganism instead, branding Constantine the worst of all his predecessors. Julian was a philosopher-emperor in the mould of Marcus Aurelius and was noted in his lifetime for his letters and his satires, and it was his surprising success as a general in his youth in Gaul that had propelled him to power barely twenty years after a rival had slaughtered his family. Julian's pagan mission and his life were brought to a sudden end while on campaign against the Sasanian Empire in the east, but he left so much written evidence of his ideas that he remains one of the most intriguing of all the Roman emperors and a hero to the humanists of the Enlightenment.

    With

    James Corke-Webster Reader in Classics, History and Liberal Arts at King’s College, London

    Lea Niccolai Assistant Professor in Classics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics, Trinity College

    And

    Shaun Tougher Professor of Late Roman and Byzantine History at Cardiff University

    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    Reading list:

    Polymnia Athanassiadi, Julian: An Intellectual Biography (first published 1981; Routledge, 2014)

    Nicholas Baker-Brian and Shaun Tougher (eds.), Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian the Apostate (Classical Press of Wales, 2012)

    Nicholas Baker-Brian and Shaun Tougher (eds.), The Sons of Constantine, AD 337-361: In the Shadows of Constantine and Julian, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

    G.W. Bowersock, Julian the Apostate (first published 1978; Harvard University Press, 1997)

    Susanna Elm, Sons of Hellenism, Fathers of the Church: Emperor Julian, Gregory of Nazianzus, and the Vision of Rome (University of California Press, 2012)

    Ari Finkelstein, The Specter of the Jews: Emperor Julian and the Rhetoric of Ethnicity in Syrian Antioch (University of California Press, 2018)

    David Neal Greenwood, Julian and Christianity: Revisiting the Constantinian Revolution (Cornell University Press, 2021)

    Lea Niccolai, Christianity, Philosophy, and Roman Power: Constantine, Julian, and the Bishops on Exegesis and Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2023)

    Stefan Rebenich and Hans-Ulrich Wiemer (eds), A Companion to Julian the Apostate (Brill, 2020)

    Rowland Smith, Julian’s Gods: Religion and Philosophy in the Thought and Action of Julian the Apostate (Routledge, 1995)

    H.C. Teitler, The Last Pagan Emperor: Julian the Apostate and the War against Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2017)

    Shaun Tougher, Julian the Apostate (Edinburgh University Press, 2007)

    W. C. Wright, The Works of Emperor Julian of Rome (Loeb, 1913-23)

    18 April 2024, 9:15 am
  • 57 minutes 32 seconds
    The Mokrani Revolt

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the revolt that broke out in 1871 in Algeria against French rule, spreading over hundreds of miles and countless towns and villages before being brutally suppressed. It began with the powerful Cheikh Mokrani and his family and was taken up by hundreds of thousands, becoming the last major revolt there before Algeria’s war of independence in 1954. In the wake of its swift suppression though came further waves of French migrants to settle on newly confiscated lands, themselves displaced by French defeat in Europe and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, and their arrival only increased tensions. The Mokrani Revolt came to be seen as a watershed between earlier Ottoman rule and full national identity, an inspiration to nationalists in the 1950s.

    With

    Natalya Benkhaled-Vince Associate Professor of the History of Modern France and the Francophone World, Fellow of University College, University of Oxford

    Hannah-Louise Clark Senior Lecturer in Global Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow

    And

    Jim House Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone History at the University of Leeds

    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    Reading list:

    Mahfoud Bennoune, The Making of Contemporary Algeria: 1830-1987 (Cambridge University Press, 1988)

    Julia Clancy-Smith, Rebel and Saint: Muslim Notables, Populist Protest, Colonial Encounters, Algeria and Tunisia 1800–1904 (University of California Press, 1994)

    Hannah-Louise Clark, ‘The Islamic Origins of the French Colonial Welfare State: Hospital Finance in Algeria’ (European Review of History, vol. 28, nos 5-6, 2021)

    Hannah-Louise Clark, ‘Of jinn theories and germ theories: translating microbes, bacteriological medicine, and Islamic law in Algeria’ (Osiris, vol. 36, 2021)

    Brock Cutler, Ecologies of Imperialism in Algeria (University of Nebraska Press, 2023)

    Didier Guignard, 1871: L’Algérie sous Séquestre (CNRS Éditions, 2023)

    Idir Hachi, ‘Histoire social de l’insurrection de 1871 et du procès de ses chefs (PhD diss., University of Aix-Marseille, 2017)

    Abdelhak Lahlou, Idir Hachi, Isabelle Guillaume, Amélie Gregório and Peter Dunwoodie, ‘L'insurrection kabyle de 1871’ (Etudes françaises volume 57, no 1, 2021)

    James McDougall, A History of Algeria (Cambridge University Press (2017)

    John Ruedy, Modern Algeria: The Origins and Development of a Nation (Indiana University Press, 2005, 2nd edition)

    Jennifer E Sessions, By Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of Algeria (Cornell University Press, 2011)

    Samia Touati, ‘Lalla Fatma N’Soumer, 1830–1863: Spirituality, Resistance and Womanly Leadership in Colonial Algeria (Societies vol. 8, no. 4, 2018)

    Natalya Vince, Our Fighting Sisters: Nation, Memory and Gender in Algeria, 1954-2012 (Manchester University Press, 2015)

    4 April 2024, 9:15 am
  • 46 minutes 32 seconds
    The Sack of Rome 1527

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the infamous assault of an army of the Holy Roman Emperor on the city of Rome in 1527. The troops soon broke through the walls of this holy city and, with their leader shot dead early on, they brought death and destruction to the city on an epic scale. Later writers compared it to the fall of Carthage or Jerusalem and soon the mass murder, torture, rape and looting were followed by disease which was worsened by starvation and opened graves. It has been called the end of the High Renaissance, a conflict between north and south, between Lutherans and Catholics, and a fulfilment of prophecy of divine vengeance and, perhaps more persuasively, a consequence of military leaders not feeding or paying their soldiers other than by looting.

    With

    Stephen Bowd Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Edinburgh

    Jessica Goethals Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Alabama

    And

    Catherine Fletcher Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University

    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    Reading list:

    Stephen Bowd, Renaissance Mass Murder: Civilians and Soldiers during the Italian Wars (Oxford University Press, 2018)

    Benvenuto Cellini, Autobiography (Penguin Classics, 1999)

    Benvenuto Cellini (trans. Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella), My Life (Oxford University Press, 2009)

    André Chastel (trans. Beth Archer), The Sack of Rome 1527 (Princeton University Press, 1983

    Catherine Fletcher, The Beauty and the Terror: An Alternative History of the Italian Renaissance (Bodley Head, 2020)

    Kenneth Gouwens and Sheryl E. Reiss (eds), The Pontificate of Clement VII: History, Politics, Culture (Routledge, 2005)

    Francesco Guicciardini (trans. Sidney Alexander), The History of Italy (first published 1561; Princeton University Press, 2020)

    Luigi Guicciardini (trans. James H. McGregor), The Sack of Rome (first published 1537; Italica Press, 2008)

    Judith Hook, The Sack of Rome (2nd edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)

    Geoffrey Parker, Emperor: A New Life of Charles V (Yale University Press, 2019)

    21 March 2024, 10:15 am
  • 49 minutes 1 second
    The Hanseatic League

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Hanseatic League or Hansa which dominated North European trade in the medieval period. With a trading network that stretched from Iceland to Novgorod via London and Bruges, these German-speaking Hansa merchants benefitted from tax exemptions and monopolies. Over time, the Hansa became immensely influential as rulers felt the need to treat it well. Kings and princes sometimes relied on loans from the Hansa to finance their wars and an embargo by the Hansa could lead to famine. Eventually, though, the Hansa went into decline with the rise in the nation state’s power, greater competition from other merchants and the development of trade across the Atlantic.

    With

    Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Amsterdam

    Georg Christ Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern History at the University of Manchester

    And

    Sheilagh Ogilvie Chichele Professor of Economic History at All Souls College, University of Oxford

    Producer: Victoria Brignell

    Reading list:

    James S. Amelang and Siegfried Beer, Public Power in Europe: Studies in Historical Transformations (Plus-Pisa University Press, 2006), especially `Trade and Politics in the Medieval Baltic: English Merchants and England’s Relations to the Hanseatic League 1370–1437`

    Nicholas R. Amor, Late Medieval Ipswich: Trade and Industry (Boydell & Brewer, 2011)

    B. Ayers, The German Ocean: Medieval Europe around the North Sea (Equinox, 2016)

    H. Brand and P. Brood, The German Hanse in Past & Present Europe: A medieval league as a model for modern interregional cooperation? (Castel International Publishers, 2007)

    Wendy R. Childs, The Trade and Shipping of Hull, 1300-1500 (East Yorkshire Local History Society, 1990)

    Alexander Cowan, Hanseatic League: Oxford Bibliographies (Oxford University Press, 2010)

    Philippe Dollinger, The German Hansa (Macmillan, 1970)

    John D. Fudge, Cargoes, Embargoes and Emissaries: The Commercial and Political Interaction of England and the German Hanse, 1450-1510 (University of Toronto Press, 1995)

    Donald J. Harreld, A Companion to the Hanseatic League (Brill, 2015)

    T.H. Lloyd, England and the German Hanse, 1157 – 1611: A Study of their Trade and Commercial Diplomacy (first published 1991; Cambridge University Press, 2002)

    Giampiero Nigro (ed.), Maritime networks as a factor in European integration (Fondazione Istituto Internazionale Di Storia Economica “F. Datini” Prato, University of Firenze, 2019), especially ‘Maritime Networks and Premodern Conflict Management on Multiple Levels. The Example of Danzig and the Giese Family’ by Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz

    Sheilagh Ogilvie, Institutions and European Trade: Merchant Guilds, 1000-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

    Paul Richards (ed.), Six Essays in Hanseatic History (Poppyland Publishing, 2017)

    Paul Richards, King’s Lynn and The German Hanse 1250-1550: A Study in Anglo-German Medieval Trade and Politics (Poppyland Publishing, 2022)

    Stephen H. Rigby, The Overseas Trade of Boston, 1279-1548 (Böhlau Verlag, 2023)

    Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz and Stuart Jenks (eds.), The Hanse in Medieval & Early Modern Europe (Brill, 2012) Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz, ‘The late medieval and early modern Hanse as an institution of conflict management’ (Continuity and Change 32/1, Cambridge University Press, 2017)

    29 February 2024, 10:15 am
  • 49 minutes 50 seconds
    Nefertiti

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the woman who inspired one of the best known artefacts from ancient Egypt. The Bust of Nefertiti is multicoloured and symmetrical, about 49cm/18" high and, despite the missing left eye, still holds the gaze of onlookers below its tall, blue, flat topped headdress. Its discovery in 1912 in Amarna was kept quiet at first but its display in Berlin in the 1920s caused a sensation, with replicas sent out across the world. Ever since, as with Tutankhamun perhaps, the concrete facts about Nefertiti herself have barely kept up with the theories, the legends and the speculation, reinvigorated with each new discovery.

    With

    Aidan Dodson Honorary Professor of Egyptology at the University of Bristol

    Joyce Tyldesley Professor of Egyptology at the University of Manchester

    And

    Kate Spence Senior Lecturer in Egyptian Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Emmanuel College

    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    Reading list:

    Dorothea Arnold (ed.), The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty from Ancient Egypt (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996) Norman de Garis Davies, The Rock Tombs of el-Amarna (6 vols. Egypt Exploration Society, 1903-1908) Aidan Dodson, Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb and the Egyptian Counter-reformation. (American University in Cairo Press, 2009 Aidan Dodson, Nefertiti, Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt: her life and afterlife (American University in Cairo Press, 2020)

    Aidan Dodson, Tutankhamun: King of Egypt: his life and afterlife (American University in Cairo Press, 2022)

    Barry Kemp, The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Amarna and Its People (Thames and Hudson, 2012)

    Dominic Montserrat, Akhenaten: History, Fantasy and Ancient Egypt (Routledge, 2002)

    Friederike Seyfried (ed.), In the Light of Amarna: 100 Years of the Nefertiti Discovery (Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussamlung Staatlich Museen zu Berlin/ Michael Imhof Verlag, 2013)

    Joyce Tyldesley, Tutankhamun: Pharaoh, Icon, Enigma (Headline, 2022)

    Joyce Tyldesley, Nefertiti’s Face: The Creation of an Icon (Profile Books, 2018)

    Joyce Tyldesley, Nefertiti: Egypt’s Sun Queen (Viking, 1998)

    15 February 2024, 10:15 am
  • 53 minutes 10 seconds
    Tiberius

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Roman emperor Tiberius. When he was born in 42BC, there was little prospect of him ever becoming Emperor of Rome. Firstly, Rome was still a Republic and there had not yet been any Emperor so that had to change and, secondly, when his stepfather Augustus became Emperor there was no precedent for who should succeed him, if anyone. It somehow fell to Tiberius to develop this Roman imperial project and by some accounts he did this well, while to others his reign was marked by cruelty and paranoia inviting comparison with Nero.

    With

    Matthew Nicholls Senior Tutor at St. John’s College, University of Oxford

    Shushma Malik Assistant Professor of Classics and Onassis Classics Fellow at Newnham College at the University of Cambridge

    And

    Catherine Steel Professor of Classics at the University of Glasgow

    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    Reading list:

    Edward Champlin, ‘Tiberius the Wise’ (Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 57.4, 2008)

    Alison E. Cooley, ‘From the Augustan Principate to the invention of the Age of Augustus’ (Journal of Roman Studies 109, 2019)

    Alison E. Cooley, The Senatus Consultum de Cn. Pisone Patre: text, translation, and commentary (Cambridge University Press, 2023)

    Eleanor Cowan, ‘Tiberius and Augustus in Tiberian Sources’ (Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 58.4, 2009)

    Cassius Dio (trans. C. T. Mallan), Roman History: Books 57 and 58: The Reign of Tiberius (Oxford University Press, 2020)

    Rebecca Edwards, ‘Tacitus, Tiberius and Capri’ (Latomus, 70.4, 2011)

    A. Gibson (ed.), The Julio-Claudian Succession: Reality and Perception of the Augustan Model (Brill, 2012), especially ‘Tiberius and the invention of succession’ by C. Vout

    Josephus (trans. E. Mary Smallwood and G. Williamson), The Jewish War (Penguin Classics, 1981)

    Barbara Levick, Tiberius the Politician (Routledge, 1999)

    E. O’Gorman, Tacitus’ History of Political Effective Speech: Truth to Power (Bloomsbury, 2019)

    Velleius Paterculus (trans. J. C. Yardley and Anthony A. Barrett), Roman History: From Romulus and the Foundation of Rome to the Reign of the Emperor Tiberius (Hackett Publishing, 2011)

    R. Seager, Tiberius (2nd ed., Wiley-Blackwell, 2005)

    David Shotter, Tiberius Caesar (Routledge, 2005)

    Suetonius (trans. Robert Graves), The Twelve Caesars (Penguin Classics, 2007)

    Tacitus (trans. Michael Grant), The Annals of Imperial Rome (Penguin Classics, 2003)

    11 January 2024, 10:15 am
  • 46 minutes 12 seconds
    Marguerite de Navarre

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Marguerite, Queen of Navarre (1492 – 1549), author of the Heptaméron, a major literary landmark in the French Renaissance. Published after her death, The Heptaméron features 72 short stories, many of which explore relations between the sexes. However, Marguerite’s life was more eventful than that of many writers. Born into the French nobility, she found herself the sister of the French king when her brother Francis I came to the throne in 1515. At a time of growing religious change, Marguerite was a leading exponent of reform in the Catholic Church and translated an early work of Martin Luther into French. As the Reformation progressed, she was not afraid to take risks to protect other reformers.

    With

    Sara Barker Associate Professor of Early Modern History and Director of the Centre for the Comparative History of Print at the University of Leeds

    Emily Butterworth Professor of Early Modern French at King’s College London

    And

    Emma Herdman Lecturer in French at the University of St Andrews

    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    Reading list:

    Giovanni Boccaccio (trans. Wayne A. Rebhorn), The Decameron (Norton, 2013)

    Emily Butterworth, Marguerite de Navarre: A Critical Companion (Boydell &Brewer, 2022)

    Patricia Cholakian and Rouben Cholakian, Marguerite de Navarre: Mother of the Renaissance (Columbia University Press, 2006)

    Gary Ferguson, Mirroring Belief: Marguerite de Navarre’s Devotional Poetry (Edinburgh University Press, 1992)

    Gary Ferguson and Mary B. McKinley (eds.), A Companion to Marguerite de Navarre (Brill, 2013)

    Mark Greengrass, The French Reformation (John Wiley & Sons, 1987)

    R.J. Knecht, The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France (Fontana Press, 2008)

    R.J. Knecht, Renaissance Warrior and Patron: The Reign of Francis I (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

    John D. Lyons and Mary B. McKinley (eds.), Critical Tales: New Studies of the ‘Heptaméron’ and Early Modern Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993)

    Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Paul Chilton), The Heptameron (Penguin, 2004)

    Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Rouben Cholakian and Mary Skemp), Selected Writings: A Bilingual Edition (University of Chicago Press, 2008)

    Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Hilda Dale), The Coach and The Triumph of the Lamb (Elm Press, 1999)

    Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Hilda Dale), The Prisons (Whiteknights, 1989)

    Marguerite de Navarre (ed. Gisèle Mathieu-Castellani), L’Heptaméron (Libraririe générale française, 1999)

    Jonathan A. Reid, King’s Sister – Queen of Dissent: Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549) and her Evangelical Network (Brill, 2009)

    Paula Sommers, ‘The Mirror and its Reflections: Marguerite de Navarre’s Biblical Feminism’ (Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 5, 1986)

    Kathleen Wellman, Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France (Yale University Press, 2013)

    21 December 2023, 10:15 am
  • 55 minutes 32 seconds
    The Theory of the Leisure Class

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the most influential work of Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929). In 1899, during America’s Gilded Age, Veblen wrote The Theory of the Leisure Class as a reminder that all that glisters is not gold. He picked on traits of the waning landed class of Americans and showed how the new moneyed class was adopting these in ways that led to greater waste throughout society. He called these conspicuous leisure and conspicuous consumption and he developed a critique of a system that favoured profits for owners without regard to social good. The Theory of the Leisure Class was a best seller and funded Veblen for the rest of his life, and his ideas influenced the New Deal of the 1930s. Since then, an item that becomes more desirable as it becomes more expensive is known as a Veblen good.

    With

    Matthew Watson Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick

    Bill Waller Professor of Economics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York

    And

    Mary Wrenn Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of the West of England

    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    Reading list:

    Charles Camic, Veblen: The Making of an Economist who Unmade Economics (Harvard University Press, 2021)

    John P. Diggins, Thorstein Veblen: Theorist of the Leisure Class (Princeton University Press, 1999)

    John P. Diggins, The Bard of Savagery: Thorstein Veblen and Modern Social Theory (Seabury Press, 1978)

    John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (Penguin, 1999) Robert Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers (Penguin, 2000), particularly the chapter ‘The Savage Society of Thorstein Veblen’

    Ken McCormick, Veblen in Plain English: A Complete Introduction to Thorstein Veblen’s Economics (Cambria Press, 2006)

    Sidney Plotkin and Rick Tilman, The Political Ideas of Thorstein Veblen (Yale University Press, 2012)

    Juliet B. Schor, The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need (William Morrow & Company, 1999)

    Juliet B. Schor, Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture (Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2005)

    Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class (first published 1899; Oxford University Press, 2009)

    Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of Business Enterprise (first published 1904; Legare Street Press, 2022)

    Thorstein Veblen, The Higher Learning in America (first published 2018; Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015)

    Thorstein Veblen, Absentee Ownership and Business Enterprise in Recent Times: The Case of America (first published 1923; Routledge, 2017)

    Thorstein Veblen, Conspicuous Consumption (Penguin, 2005)

    Thorstein Veblen, The Complete Works (Musaicum Books, 2017)

    Charles J. Whalen (ed.), Institutional Economics: Perspective and Methods in Pursuit of a Better World (Routledge, 2021)

    14 December 2023, 10:15 am
  • 52 minutes 59 seconds
    The Barbary Corsairs

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the North African privateers who, until their demise in the nineteenth century, were a source of great pride and wealth in their home ports, where they sold the people and goods they’d seized from Christian European ships and coastal towns. Nominally, these corsairs were from Algiers, Tunis or Tripoli, outreaches of the Ottoman empire, or Salé in neighbouring Morocco, but often their Turkish or Arabic names concealed their European birth. Murad Reis the Younger, for example, who sacked Baltimore in 1631, was the Dutchman Jan Janszoon who also had a base on Lundy in the Bristol Channel. While the European crowns negotiated treaties to try to manage relations with the corsairs, they commonly viewed these sailors as pirates who were barely tolerated and, as soon as France, Britain, Spain and later America developed enough sea power, their ships and bases were destroyed.

    With

    Joanna Nolan Research Associate at SOAS, University of London

    Claire Norton Former Associate Professor of History at St Mary’s University, Twickenham

    And Michael Talbot Associate Professor in the History of the Ottoman Empire and the Modern Middle East at the University of Greenwich

    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    Reading list:

    Robert C. Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)

    Peter Earle, Corsairs of Malta and Barbary (Sidgwick and Jackson, 1970)

    Des Ekin, The Stolen Village: Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates (O’Brien Press, 2008)

    Jacques Heers, The Barbary Corsairs: Warfare in the Mediterranean, 1450-1580 (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018)

    Colin Heywood, The Ottoman World: The Mediterranean and North Africa, 1660-1760 (Routledge, 2019)

    Alan Jamieson, Lords of the Sea: A History of the Barbary Corsairs (Reaktion Books, 2013)

    Julie Kalman, The Kings of Algiers: How Two Jewish Families Shaped the Mediterranean World during the Napoleonic Wars and Beyond (Princeton University Press, 2023)

    Stanley Lane-Poole, The Story of the Barbary Corsairs (T. Unwin, 1890)

    Sally Magnusson, The Sealwoman’s Gift (A novel - Two Roads, 2018)

    Philip Mansel, Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean (John Murray, 2010)

    Nabil Matar, Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery (Columbia University Press, 1999)

    Nabil Matar, Britain and Barbary, 1589-1689 (University Press of Florida, 2005)

    Giles Milton, White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa’s One Million European Slaves (Hodder and Stoughton, 2004)

    Claire Norton (ed.), Conversion and Islam in the Early Modern Mediterranean: The Lure of the Other (Routledge, 2017)

    Claire Norton, ‘Lust, Greed, Torture and Identity: Narrations of Conversion and the Creation of the Early Modern 'Renegade' (Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 29/2, 2009)

    Daniel Panzac, The Barbary Corsairs: The End of a Legend, 1800-1820 (Brill, 2005)

    Rafael Sabatini, The Sea Hawk (a novel - Vintage Books, 2011)

    Adrian Tinniswood, Pirates of Barbary: Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the 17th century (Vintage Books, 2010)

    D. Vitkus (ed.), Piracy, Slavery and Redemption: Barbary Captivity Narratives from Early Modern England (Columbia University Press, 2001)

    J. M. White, Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean (Stanford University Press, 2018)

    7 December 2023, 10:15 am
  • 50 minutes 41 seconds
    The Federalist Papers

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay's essays written in 1787/8 in support of the new US Constitution. They published these anonymously in New York as 'Publius' but, when it became known that Hamilton and Madison were the main authors, the essays took on a new significance for all states. As those two men played a major part in drafting the Constitution itself, their essays have since informed debate over what the authors of that Constitution truly intended. To some, the essays have proved to be America’s greatest contribution to political thought.

    With

    Frank Cogliano Professor of American History at the University of Edinburgh and Interim Saunders Director of the International Centre for Jefferson Studies at Monticello

    Kathleen Burk Professor Emerita of Modern and Contemporary History at University College London

    And

    Nicholas Guyatt Professor of North American History at the University of Cambridge

    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    Reading list:

    Bernard Bailyn, To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders (Knopf, 2003)

    Mary Sarah Bilder, Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention (Harvard University Press, 2015)

    Noah Feldman, The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President (Random House, 2017)

    Jonathan Gienapp, The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era (Harvard University Press, 2018)

    Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison (eds. George W. Carey and James McClellan), The Federalist: The Gideon Edition (Liberty Fund, 2001)

    Alison L. LaCroix, The Ideological Origins of American Federalism (Harvard University Press, 2010)

    James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, The Federalist Papers (Penguin, 1987)

    Pauline Maier, Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 (Simon and Schuster, 2010)

    Michael I. Meyerson, Liberty's Blueprint: How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist Papers, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the World (Basic Books, 2008)

    Jack Rakove, Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (Knopf, 1996)

    Jack N. Rakove and Colleen A. Sheehan, The Cambridge Companion to The Federalist (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

    9 November 2023, 9:45 am
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