Truth-Seekers: Essential History

Truth-Seekers: Essential History

It has often been said that History is only written by the victors, so how do we find out what really happened in our past? And is it possible to get an unbiased account of historic events when so many perspectives and experiences have been omitted from official records? The historians joining us this August get to the heart of our historic truths – retracing lost narratives and reflecting on the shortcomings and all-too-often devastating legacies of our distorted past. Expect some fascinating conversations.

 

Jonathan Freedland: The Man Who Escaped Auschwitz

Saturday 13 August 13:00 - 14:00

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Imagine trying to escape from Auschwitz as a teenager, hiding for three days, while 3,000 SS and their bloodhounds search for you. This is the story of Rudolf Vrba, whose report on the atrocity of Auschwitz reached Roosevelt, Churchill and the Pope,...
 

Fintan O'Toole: The Unknown Knowns of Ireland

Saturday 13 August 16:00 - 17:00

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One of Ireland’s finest journalists shares an intimate account of how the country has changed during his lifetime. There are many contradictions in Ireland’s history and the title of Fintan O’Toole’s personal history, We Don’t Know Ourselves,...
 

Simon Jenkins: Who Exactly Are the Celts?

Sunday 14 August 10:30 - 11:30

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Since Scotland’s independence referendum and Brexit, the United Kingdom has felt far from united. Into this context, former editor of the Times Sir Simon Jenkins offers a timely analysis of Celtic identity, from its mysterious origins to its...
 

Patrick Radden Keefe: Money is a Drug

Monday 15 August 19:00 - 20:00

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It was a family whose fortune was built up by Valium, then destroyed by Oxycontin. Patrick Radden Keefe’s electrifying history, Empire of Pain, won the 2021 Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction, but he discusses the challenges he faced in publishing...
 

William Dalrymple: The Privatised Imperialists

Monday 15 August 20:30 - 21:30

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200 years of tumultuous colonial history are contained within the pages of historian William Dalrymple’s four magisterial books The Anarchy, White Mughals, Return of a King and The Last Mughal. To celebrate a new edition of Dalrymple’s 20-year...
 

Iain MacGregor: Stalingrad Revisited

Tuesday 16 August 20:15 - 21:15

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In his acclaimed Checkpoint Charlie, Iain MacGregor sheds new light on the Cold War. Now, in The Lighthouse of Stalingrad, MacGregor unearths vital eyewitness testimonies about the battle that shaped the outcome of the Second World War. Built on...
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The Russian invasion is one of many devastating episodes for Ukraine over the past century. Serhii Plokhy is Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard and the author of The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine. Today, he explores how precursors such as...
 

Murray Pittock: Old Scotia's Grandeur Springs

Wednesday 17 August 10:00 - 11:00

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Who better to chronicle Scotland’s role in international affairs than Murray Pittock, one of Scotland’s leading historians? He has authored a series of key texts on Scottish history and identity and brought his huge expertise to bear on a roster of...
 

David Hendy: 100 Years of the BBC

Wednesday 17 August 13:00 - 14:00

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Media historian David Hendy looks back on a century of hustle and bustle at a defining cultural institution. The BBC: A People’s History delves into the archives to share the stories of typists and runners, presenters and foreign correspondents from...
 

Christopher de Bellaigue: A Life That Changed History

Thursday 18 August 13:00 - 14:00

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In over 600 years of Ottoman rule, the longest-reigning sultan was Suleiman the Magnificent. The Lion House by Christopher de Bellaigue narrates the epic tale of Suleiman’s rise to become the most powerful man of the 16th century. Fans of Hilary...