Origin Story

Podmasters

What are the real stories behind the most misunderstood and abused ideas in politics?

  • 52 minutes
    George Orwell Part 2 – From Broadcasting House to Airstrip One

    Back for season five, Origin Story continues to explore the misunderstood ideas and people that shape our politics today. With Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey.

    In part two of George Orwell, Dorian picks up the story in 1941, with Orwell taking a job at the BBC. The war grinds on, and so does George, until his anti-Stalinist fairy tale Animal Farm changes everything. We’re on the road to Nineteen Eighty-Four but it is littered with obstacles: grief, madness, bombs, tuberculosis. After the war, Orwell is writing his finest essays but his life is mayhem so he escapes to the Scottish island of Jura with his baby son to write the novel that, little does he know, will make him a legend.

    It's the story of a writer reaching the height of his powers while everything around him seems to be falling to bits. How did a sick man on a lonely island write perhaps the most influential novel of the twentieth century? Why is his strange masterpiece so widely misunderstood? What were Orwell’s blindspots? Would he have been a good hang? And are taking the right lessons from his life and work? All this, plus Nye Bevan, HG Wells, Ernest Hemingway, Aldous Huxley and the atomic bomb.


    • Pre-order the forthcoming Origin Stories books on Centrism, Fascism and Conspiracy Theory and get 20% off using the special discount code revealed in the podcast.

    • Buy The Ministry of Truth through our affiliate bookshop and you’ll help fund Origin Story by earning us a small commission for every sale. Bookshop.org’s fees help support independent bookshops too.

    • Support Origin Story on Patreon


    Image: Peter Cushing (Winston Smith) with Yvonne Mitchell (Julia) and André Morrell (O’Brien) in the 1954 BBC production of George Orwell’s 1984. (Getty)


    Reading list


    Audrey Coppard and Bernard Crick (eds.) — Orwell Remembered (1984)

    Bernard Crick – George Orwell: A Life (1982)

    Peter Davison (ed.) — The Complete Works of George Orwell (1997-2002)

    Peter Davison (ed.) — The Lost Orwell (2006)

    Miriam Gross (ed.) — The World of George Orwell (1971)

    Dorian Lynskey — The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (2019

    Jeffrey Meyers (ed.) — George Orwell: The Critical Heritage (1975)

    John Rodden — George Orwell: The Politics of Literary Reputation (1989)

    William Steinhoff — George Orwell and the Origins of 1984 (1975)

    DJ Taylor – Orwell: The Life (2003)

    DJ Taylor – Orwell: The New Life (2023)

    Sylvia Topp – Eileen: The Making of George Orwell (2020)


    Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Music by Jade Bailey. Art by Jim Parrett. Logo by Mischa Welsh. Audio production by Simon Williams. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production

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    22 May 2024, 3:00 am
  • 1 hour 3 minutes
    George Orwell Part 1 – From Eton to Barcelona

    Back for season five, Origin Story continues to explore the misunderstood ideas and people that shape our politics today. With Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey.

    In this opening two-parter Dorian bows to the inevitable and tells the story of the subject of his book, The Ministry of Truth. When George Orwell died on 21 January 1950, at the age of 46, the phenomenal success of his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four made it international news. The obituaries hailed him as a beacon of decency, sanity and wisdom during the darkest years of the twentieth century — “the wintry conscience of a generation” in VS Pritchett’s ringing phrase. To this day, his moral authority is claimed by people across the political spectrum. Behind the myth, Orwell was a complicated man, full of flaws and contradictions. His road to success was long, painful and ridiculously eventful.

    In part one, Dorian explains how Eric Blair became George Orwell, from Eton to Burma to Paris to Wigan. We then follow Orwell to the Spanish Civil War, where he is shot by fascists and hounded by Stalinists, and finally to Blitz-torn London. It’s the story of a man working out who he is, as a writer and a moral agent, in a world tumbling towards catastrophe. How did Orwell become a socialist? Why did he wind up the other socialists? Why was Spain the great turning point in his life? Are his early novels any good? And was his wife Eileen the queen of deadpan one-liners? All this and more in the return of Origin Story.


    • Pre-order the forthcoming Origin Stories books on Centrism, Fascism and Conspiracy Theory and get 20% off using the special discount code revealed in the podcast. 

    • Buy The Ministry of Truth through our affiliate bookshop and you’ll help fund Origin Story by earning us a small commission for every sale. Bookshop.org’s fees help support independent bookshops too.

    • Support Origin Story on Patreon


    Reading list


    Audrey Coppard and Bernard Crick (eds.) — Orwell Remembered (1984)

    Bernard Crick – George Orwell: A Life (1982)

    Peter Davison (ed.) — The Complete Works of George Orwell (1997-2002)

    Peter Davison (ed.) — The Lost Orwell (2006)

    Miriam Gross (ed.) — The World of George Orwell (1971)

    Dorian Lynskey — The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (2019

    Jeffrey Meyers (ed.) — George Orwell: The Critical Heritage (1975)

    John Rodden — George Orwell: The Politics of Literary Reputation (1989)

    William Steinhoff — George Orwell and the Origins of 1984 (1975)

    DJ Taylor – Orwell: The Life (2003)

    DJ Taylor – Orwell: The New Life (2023)

    Sylvia Topp – Eileen: The Making of George Orwell (2020)


    Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Music by Jade Bailey. Art by Jim Parrett. Logo by Mischa Welsh. Audio production by Simon Williams. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production

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    15 May 2024, 3:00 am
  • 35 minutes 1 second
    10 Downing Street – The makeshift mansion

    We’ve covered ideas, phrases, people and historical events. Now Origin Story profiles its first building: Number 10 Downing Street. 

    Following Dorian’s bonus episode about the birth of end of the world fiction, based on his new book Everything Must Go, Ian goes deep on a topic from his bestselling book How Westminster Works and Why It Doesn’t. He explains how a house built on marshland by a 17th century scoundrel gradually became the prime minister’s official residence, and how its cramped, chaotic floorplan still influences how vital decisions are made. Why does tradition trump efficient governance? How do wily advisers exploit the layout to increase their influence over the PM? Is the door more important than the rest of the house put together? And is it finally time to say goodbye to Number 10?

    Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits www.Patreon.com/originstorypod 

    Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Audio production by Simon Williams. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production

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    24 April 2024, 3:00 am
  • 39 minutes 51 seconds
    The Illuminati – Top of the Plots

    • Join Ian and Dorian for Origin Story Live in London on Tue 7 May. They’ll be looking at how the Conservative Party got addicted to conspiracy theory, and more.

    This time: The Illuminati were a group of Enlightenment idealists who existed for just a few years in 1780s Bavaria. Or were they? The Illuminati have since been blamed for everything from the French Revolution to communism to 9/11. How did a powerless club of intellectuals become reimagined as the secret rulers of the world? And how did the myth of the Illuminati become the template for every megaconspiracy theory about plots to put humanity under the heel of a one-world government?

    Dorian and Ian unravel this amazing yarn, which takes in America’s Founding Fathers, British fascists, the Knights Templar, David Icke, Jay-Z and the Playboy letters page. The truth is in here.

    Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production

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    17 April 2024, 3:00 am
  • 35 minutes 18 seconds
    Apocalypse How? Dorian on the birth of end of the world fiction

    For 1800 years, Western conceptions of the end of the world were dominated by the Book of Revelation: Armageddon, the Millennium, Judgement Day. But in 1816, political upheaval, Enlightenment science and the Romantic imagination converged to give birth to a radical idea: the end of the world without God. When Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley came together beside Lake Geneva that summer, a volcanic eruption was producing endless rain and apocalyptic prophecies.

    Drawing on his new book Everything Must Go: The Stories We Tell About the End of the World, Dorian explains how that season of confusion and gloom led to not just Frankenstein but Byron’s revolutionary poem Darkness. And how the deaths of her companions led Mary to write The Last Man, the first ever novel about a world-destroying pandemic.

    It’s a story of personal tragedy, temporary climate change, shocking new ideas about the past, present and future of life on earth, and the summer that kicked off two centuries (and counting) of apocalyptic fiction.

    Buy Everything Must Go: The Stories We Tell About the End of the World through our affiliate bookshop and you’ll help fund Origin Story by earning us a small commission for every sale. Bookshop.org’s fees help support independent bookshops too.

    Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Audio production by Simon Williams. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production

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    11 April 2024, 1:42 pm
  • 1 hour 10 minutes
    Effective Altruism: Morality by numbers

    In the last episode of season four, Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey discuss effective altruism. Last month the US entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted on multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the dramatic collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Bankman-Fried was also a prominent advocate of effective altruism, a philanthropic movement based on utilitarian philosophy, and the scandal has thrown the EA community into crisis.

    Dorian and Ian explain how two maverick young Oxford philosophers ended up creating a multi-billion-dollar movement, explore the ideas behind it, and track its journey towards long termism: the philosophy of safeguarding the future of the human race from threats such as hostile AI. Are the principles of EA sound? Did the influx of billionaires and the obsession with existential risk knock it off course? Was Bankman-Fried a true believer who blew it or just a grifter who took the idealists for a ride? And can EA survive one of the biggest financial scandals of this century? When big ideas collide with big money and big tech, things get messy.

    Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits www.Patreon.com/originstorypod 

    Reading list

    Books:

    Carol J.Adams, Alice Crary, Lori Gruen, (eds.) — The Good it Promises, the Harm it Does: Critical Essays on Effective Alturism, (2023)

    Nick Bostrom and Milan M. Ćirković (eds.) — Global Catastrophic Risks

    (2008)

    Nick Bostrom — Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (2014)

    Zeke Faux — Number Go Up: Inside Crypto’s Wild Rise and Staggering

    Fall (2023)

    John Leslie — The End of the World: The Science and Ethics of Human

    Extinction (1996)

    Michael Lewis — Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon (2023)

    William MacAskill — Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and How You

    Can Make a Difference (2015)

    William MacAskill — What We Owe the Future (2022)

    Toby Ord — The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity

    (2020)

    Online:

    Core EA Principles, Centre for Effective Altruism

    Peter Singer — Famine, Affluence and Morality, 1971

    Peter Singer — TED talk, 2013

    William MacAskill — The history of the term ‘effective altruism’, Effective

    Altruism Forum, 2014

    Raffi Khatchadourian — The Doomsday Invention, New Yorker, 2015

    Gideon-Lewis Krauss — The Reluctant Prophet of Effective Altruism, New

    Yorker, 2022

    Charlotte Alter — Effective Altruist Leaders Were Repeatedly Warned

    About Sam Bankman-Fried Years Before FTX Collapsed, Time, 2023

    Sophie McBain — Sam Bankman-Fried and the effective altruism delusion,

    New Statesman, 2023

    Podcasts:

    80,000 Hours: Sam Bankman-Fried, 2022

    80,000 Hours: Toby Ord, 2023

    Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production.

    Twitter

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    11 December 2023, 4:00 am
  • 1 hour 1 minute
    Eugenics Part Two: The Murderous Science

    In part two of the history of eugenics, Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey explain how the pseudo-science of “racial hygiene” seduced everyone from feminist birth-control pioneers and social democrats to the ardent white supremacists whose screeds shaped US immigration laws and influenced Hitler. Then they turn to the rise of eugenics in Germany and how it enabled the Nazis to introduce massive programs of sterilisation and extermination.

    After the Second World War, the name of eugenics was discredited but many of its leading thinkers and institutions kept going under the more acceptable guise of genetics. How was eugenics quietly rehabilitated by IQ fetishists and population-control advocates? Why has it become so popular in Silicon Valley? And does it even make scientific sense or is it really a pseudo-science designed to formalise bigotry? Despite its association with historic atrocities, the belief that biology is destiny and procreation is political has not gone away.

    Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits including an extended version of the podcast. www.Patreon.com/originstorypod 

    Reading list:

    Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine (eds) - The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (2010)

    Edwin Black — War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (2003)

    Elof Axel Carlson — The Unfit: A History of a Bad Idea (2001)

    GK Chesterton — Eugenics and Other Evils (1922)

    Charles Darwin — The Descent of Man (1871)

    Lyndsay Andrew Farrall — The Origins and Growth of the English Eugenics Movement 1865-1925 (1969)

    Francis Galton – Hereditary Genius (1869)

    Henry H Goddard – The Kallikak Family (1912)

    Stephen Jay Gould — The Mismeasure of Man (1981/1996)

    Madison Grant – The Passing of the Great Race (1916)

    Philippa Levine — Eugenics: A Very Short Introduction (2017)

    Gina Maranto — Quest for Perfection: The Drive to Breed Better Human Beings (1996)

    Adam Rutherford — Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics (2022)

    Lothrop Stoddard – The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy (1920)

    HG Wells – Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought (1901) 

    Online:

    Quinn Slobodian — ‘The rise of the new tech right’, The New Statesman (2023)

    Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production.

    Twitter

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    4 December 2023, 4:00 am
  • 1 hour 53 seconds
    Eugenics Part One: Gene Genies

    This week, Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey get started on the history of eugenics, the idea of finding biological solutions to social problems. Say the word now and it calls to mind skull-measuring cranks or Nazi death camps but for decades it was a mainstream project in many parts of the world, attracting not just white supremacists and elitist snobs but liberals, socialists and feminists. Winston Churchill, HG Wells, Nikola Tesla and John Maynard Keynes all expressed an interest. How did bad science and dangerous politics become so popular?

    Dorian and Ian explore how Francis Galton and Herbert Spencer’s fascination with inherited characteristics was supercharged by Victorian science, from Darwin’s theory of evolution to early breakthroughs in genetics. They talk about how Galton’s voluntary “positive eugenics” led to the authoritarian “negative eugenics” of compulsory sterilisation, and how hardcore American eugenicists drew up a blueprint for Hitler. Also: the birth of scientific racism, the sinister history of IQ tests, how GK Chesterton helped save Britain from eugenics laws, and, yes, the people who thought you could identify criminals by the shape of their skulls. It’s a disturbing and complicated story which mangles your political preconceptions.

    Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits.

    Reading list

    Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine (eds) - The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (2010)

    Edwin Black — War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (2003)

    Elof Axel Carlson — The Unfit: A History of a Bad Idea (2001)

    GK Chesterton — Eugenics and Other Evils (1922)

    Charles Darwin — The Descent of Man (1871)

    Lyndsay Andrew Farrall — The Origins and Growth of the English Eugenics Movement 1865-1925 (1969)

    Francis Galton – Hereditary Genius (1869)

    Henry H Goddard – The Kallikak Family (1912)

    Stephen Jay Gould — The Mismeasure of Man (1981/1996)

    Madison Grant – The Passing of the Great Race (1916)

    Philippa Levine — Eugenics: A Very Short Introduction (2017)

    Gina Maranto — Quest for Perfection: The Drive to Breed Better Human Beings (1996)

    Adam Rutherford — Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics (2022)

    Lothrop Stoddard – The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy (1920)

    HG Wells – Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought (1901) 

    Online:

    Quinn Slobodian — ‘The rise of the new tech right’, The New Statesman (2023)

    Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production.

    Follow Origin Story on X

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    27 November 2023, 4:00 am
  • 1 hour 12 minutes
    Night of the Living Allegory: The Politics of Zombies

    Born in Haitian folklore and inadvertently reinvented by director George A. Romero, the zombie is the most flexible metaphor in horror fiction, if not all of popular culture. It can represent a war, a virus, a natural disaster, terrorism, capitalism, climate change and much more. In fact, it’s hard to tell a zombie story that isn’t political in one way or another.

    Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey follow the trail of the walking dead from the Caribbean to Night of the Living Dead and the global outbreak of zombiemania in the 21st century. What does the zombie tell us about life, death and civilisation? How can it contain so many different meanings? And why do the living dead remain uniquely disturbing after all these years?


    Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits including bonus chat about how Ian and Dorian make each episode: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod 


    Resources:

    Books

    Kyle William Bishop — American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture, 2012

    Kyle William Bishop — How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century, 2015

    Max Brooks — World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, 2006

    Greg Garrett — Living with the Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse, 2017

    Zachary Graves — Zombies: The Complete Guide to the World of the Living Dead, 2011

    Peter Haining, ed. — Zombie!: Stories of the Walking Dead, 1985

    Richard Matheson – I Am Legend, 1954

    Kim Paffenroth — Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero’s Visions of Hell on Earth, 2006

    George Romero & Susanna Sparrow — Dawn of the Dead, 1979

    Jamie Russell — Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema, 2014

    Colson Whitehead — Zone One, 2012

    Tony Williams — The Cinema of George A. Romero: Knight of the Living Dead, 2015


    Films, TV and games

    White Zombie, 1932

    I Walked with a Zombie, 1943

    The Last Man on Earth, 1964

    Night of the Living Dead, 1968

    Dawn of the Dead, 1978

    Day of the Dead, 1985

    Resident Evil, 1996

    28 Days Later, 2002

    Shaun of the Dead, 2004

    28 Weeks Later, 2007

    I Am Legend, 2007

    Dead Set, 2008

    The Walking Dead, 2010-22

    The Last of Us, 2022


    Online

    Doug Gross, Why we love those rotting, hungry, putrid zombies, CNN, 2009

    https://edition.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/10/02/zombie.love/index.html


    Torie Bosch, First Eat All the Lawyers, Slate, 2011

    https://slate.com/culture/2011/10/zombies-the-zombie-boom-is-inspired-by-the-economy.html


    Thomas Jones, Les zombies, c’est vous, London Review of Books, 2012

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v34/n02/thomas-jones/les-zombies-c-est-vous


    Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Max Brooks Is Not Kidding About the Zombie Apocalypse, New York Times, 2013

    https://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/magazine/max-brooks-is-not-kidding-about-the-zombie-apocalypse.html


    Interview with Alex Garland, 2015

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/interview-director-alex-g_b_7038618


    Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production.


    https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast 

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    20 November 2023, 4:00 am
  • 1 hour 1 minute
    John Maynard Keynes Part Two: We’re all Keynesians now

    In Part Two of John Maynard Keynes, Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt reconnect with Keynes in the 1930s, as he slowly pulls together his magnum opus, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. This book changed everything for Keynes, and the rest of us, by establishing Keynesianism as a new way to understand both the economy and society. Ian and Dorian discuss the last decade of Keynes’ life, from the New Deal to the Second World War to the Bretton Woods conference which established the post-war order. When Keynes died suddenly in 1946, his ardent disciples had just begun remaking the world. Did Keynes save capitalism from itself?


    “We are all Keynesians now,” declared Time magazine in 1965, but 10 years later a global economic crisis was opening the door to the neoliberal counter-revolution, led by Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. Were the Keynesians more Keynesian than Keynes himself? Should he be credited with the post-war boom and blamed for its dramatic implosion? Is the relationship between Keynesian and neoliberal visions more complex than it appears? And are Joe Biden and Keir Starmer taking us into a new age of Keynes?


    Reading list for both episodes

    Books

    Roger E. Backhouse and Bradley W. Bateman — Capitalist Revolutionary: John Maynard Keynes, 2011

    Bradley W. Bateman, Toshiaki Hirai and Maria Cristina Marcuzzo, eds. — The Return to Keynes, 2010

    Zach Carter — The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes, 2020

    Peter Clarke — Keynes: The Twentieth Century’s Most Influential Economist, 2010

    Roy Harrod — The Life of John Maynard Keynes, 1951

    John Maynard Keynes — The Essential Keynes, 2015

    Robert Skidelsky — John Maynard Keynes 1883-1946: Economist, Philosopher, Statesman, 2004

    Nicholas Wapshott — Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics, 2011


    Online:

    John Maynard Keynes, ‘Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren’, 1930

    https://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/archive/keynes_persuasion/Economic_Possibilities_for_our_Grandchildren.htm

    We Are All Keynesians Now, Time, 1965

    https://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,842353,00.html

    Tides of History podcast with Zach Carter

    https://podcasts.apple.com/bg/podcast/john-maynard-keynes-and-his-legacies-interview-with/id1257202425?i=1000476041925


    Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production.


    https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast  

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    13 November 2023, 4:00 am
  • 58 minutes 19 seconds
    John Maynard Keynes Part One: The Establishment Radical

    Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey discuss perhaps the most extraordinary individual they have encountered so far: John Maynard Keynes. The most significant economist since Adam Smith rewrote our understanding of the relationship between the state and the market. But Keynes was also a philosopher, a statesman, an aesthete and a hell of a writer: a one-man advertisement for the virtues of refusing to stay in your lane.

    In part one Dorian and Ian track Keynes’ remarkable life in the fifty years leading up to his game changing “general theory” in the 1930s. They talk about his gilded youth at Eton and Cambridge, his complicated friendship with the Bloomsbury Group, his sensational journalism, his rivalries with classical economists, and his rise to wealth and influence. But for all his achievements, his policy prescriptions were usually ignored, from the Treaty of Versailles to the Great Depression. His failures made him Mister Told-you-so. Why was Keynes such a remarkable figure and why wouldn’t politicians listen to him? Was he an arch-centrist in an age of extremes? Along the way we meet Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill, Bertrand Russell, Oswald Mosley and zingers galore. Next week: the rise and fall (and rise again) of Keynesianism.


    Reading list for both episodes

    Books:

    Roger E. Backhouse and Bradley W. Bateman — Capitalist Revolutionary: John Maynard Keynes, 2011

    Bradley W. Bateman, Toshiaki Hirai and Maria Cristina Marcuzzo, eds. — The Return to Keynes, 2010

    Zach Carter — The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes, 2020

    Peter Clarke — Keynes: The Twentieth Century’s Most Influential Economist, 2010

    Roy Harrod — The Life of John Maynard Keynes, 1951

    John Maynard Keynes — The Essential Keynes, 2015

    Robert Skidelsky — John Maynard Keynes 1883-1946: Economist, Philosopher, Statesman, 2004

    Nicholas Wapshott — Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics, 2011

    Online:

    John Maynard Keynes, ‘Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren’, 1930

    https://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/archive/keynes_persuasion/Economic_Possibilities_for_our_Grandchildren.htm

    We Are All Keynesians Now, Time, 1965

    https://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,842353,00.html

    Tides of History podcast with Zach Carter

    https://podcasts.apple.com/bg/podcast/john-maynard-keynes-and-his-legacies-interview-with/id1257202425?i=1000476041925


    Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production.


    https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast 

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    6 November 2023, 4:00 am
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