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Jewish Book Week

Podcasts from our annual festival of art and ideas, held at Kings Place in London.
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Now displaying: July, 2017
Jul 27, 2017

In conversation with China expert, Jonathan Fenby, Oxford Professor of Modern China, Rana Mitter, and economist and broadcaster, Linda Yueh, the FT’s Gideon Rachman, author of Easternisation: War and Peace in the Asian Century, outlines the challenge to America’s supremacy by a troubled but rising China and other ambitious Asian powers, which have the potential to transform the whole world. The consequences could be calamitous. These four leading authorities on the Far East and international affairs, analyse the new world order.  


Ian Morris has pessimistically observed that 'geopolitical shifts on the scale of China’s takeoff have always been accompanied by massive violence.' Taking in Russia and the Middle East', Jonathan Fenby describes Rachman’s book as 'the best survey of global affairs I have read for some time.'  

Jul 25, 2017

In A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever LivedAdam Rutherford tells the story of you and how you came to be. In every one of our genomes we carry the history of our species – births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration and a lot of sex – so this is also our collective story.

In a captivating journey through the expanding landscape of genetics, Adam Rutherford subverts many of our preconceptions. He traces where humankind has passed through or put down roots, uncovering the genetic kinship in all our footfalls. Rutherford reveals what our genes can tell us, what they should be able to tell us, and what they can never fully explain. He talks to Rohan Silva, co-founder of Second Home.

Sponsored by Hanna and Robin Klein.

This event took place on Monday 27th February 2017 as part of Jewish Book Week 2017.

Jul 20, 2017

David Rieff poses hard questions about whether remembrance has – or indeed ever could – inoculate the present against repeating the crimes of the past. Collective remembrance can be toxic, he argues, and sometimes it may be more moral to forget.

Ranging widely across some of the defining horrors of modern times – the Irish Troubles, the white settlement of Australia, the American Civil War, the Balkan Wars, the Holocaust and 9/11 – Rieff presents a pellucid examination of the uses and abuses of historical memory. His contentious, brilliant and elegant essay In Praise of Forgetting is an indispensable work of moral philosophy. David Rieff is challenged by historian Simon Schama.

Sponsored by David and Judy Dangoor.

This event took place on Monday 27th February 2017 as part of Jewish Book Week 2017. 

Jul 18, 2017

Funny and moving in equal measure, Jem Lester’s Shtum and Keith Stuart’s A Boy Made of Blocks reflect the authors’ personal experiences with their autistic sons. In Shtum, Jonah – blissful in his innocence – becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled. To eight-year-old Sam in A Boy Made of Blocks the world is a puzzle he can’t solve on his own, but when he plays Minecraft it opens up a place where he and his father begin to rediscover both themselves and each other. In conversation with Adam Feinstein, also the father of an autistic son.

This event took place on Sunday 26 February 2017.

Jul 13, 2017

Shaul Bassi masterminded the events in the summer of 2016 to commemorate the 500-year anniversary of the Venetian Ghetto, including the production in Italian of The Merchant of Venice. Paulo Gnignati is current President of the Venetian Jewish community; Jacqueline Nicholls was one of the eight artists commissioned to design the etchings for a new Venice Haggadah; and Aviad Stollman, who was involved in last summer's events, is Head of Collections at the NLI. With many visual images on display, they discuss the half-millennium of Jewish life in Venice.

Sponsored by the National Library of Israel.

This event took place on Saturday 25th February 2017 as part of Jewish Book Week 2017.

Jul 11, 2017

Philip Mansel chronicles the history of Syria’s first capital city, vividly describing Aleppo as a pinnacle of cultural and economic power. Few places are as ancient and diverse as Aleppo, a once vibrant world city, famous for its food and music, where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived and traded together in relative peace and harmony. Presenting many first-hand accounts for the first time, Mansel’s portrait is a poignant testament to a city shattered by Syria’s civil war. In conversation with David Abulafia.

This event took place on Sunday 26 February 2017.

Jul 6, 2017

Our confidence in markets comes from economics, and our confidence in economics is underpinned by the Nobel Prize in Economics, first awarded in 1969. Avner Offer’s The Nobel Factor offers an unprecedented account of the impact of economics in the actual world: economic theory may be speculative, but its effects are tangible and powerful and the halo of the Nobel brand has sometimes led to disastrous consequences for societies striving to cope with the requirements of economic theory and deregulated markets.

Avner Offer debates the contentious history of the prize and the controversies that still surround it with Will Hutton.

Sponsored by David and Judy Dangoor.

This event took place on Sunday 26 February 2017.

Jul 4, 2017

Howard Jacobson writes with his customary thunder, passion and peerless wit in his latest collection of journalism, The Dog’s Last Work (and other Pieces). As eloquent in person as he is on the page, the incomparable Jacobson is in conversation with Alex Clark.

Sponsored by David and Judy Dangoor.

This event took place on 26th February 2017 as part of Jewish Book Week 2017.

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