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1 hour, 13 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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A parable play on the ancient theme of the Quest. Featuring music by Benjamin Britten.

First transmitted in 1946, The Dark Tower is a parable play on the ancient theme of the Quest, suggested by Robert Browning's poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.

First transmitted in 1946, The Dark Tower is a parable play on the ancient theme of the Quest, suggested by Robert Browning's poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came. It was written and produced by Louis MacNeice, with music specially composed by Benjamin Britten, and played by an ad hoc orchestra conducted by Walter Goehr.

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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The 80th Congress meets, and maintaining capitalism's 'last stand'.

A fragment preserved from Cooke's talk, reflecting on the importance of democratic capitalism and a free economy to Americans.

The Reith Lectures

Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual: 1948 Social Cohesion and Human Nature

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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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In the inaugural Reith lecture, Bertrand Russell examines the impulses in human nature.

The philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell gives the inaugural Reith lectures, and in his first lecture, examines the role of impulses in human nature.

The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, Russell's pupils included Wittgenstein, and his most influential work, Principia Mathematica, set out to show how mathematics was grounded in logic. He also wrote On Denoting, one of the most significant philosophical essays of the 20th century, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'.

In his first lecture, entitled 'Social Cohesion and Human Nature', Russell explores the role of impulses in human nature. He charts the way these impulses have manifested themselves throughout history, from very primitive communities through to more 'civilised' societies.

The Reith Lectures

Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual: 1948 Social Cohesion and Government

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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Bertrand Russell examines the effects of increasing state control.

Bertrand Russell examines social cohesion throughout history, and considers the effects of increasing state control, as exemplified by Soviet Russia, in his second Reith lecture.

The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, he is the author of Principia Mathematica, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'.

In his second lecture, entitled 'Social Cohesion and Government', he examines how forms of social cohesion have developed throughout history and considers the effects of increasing state control, as exemplified by Soviet Russia.

The Reith Lectures

Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual: 1948 The Role of Individuality

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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Bertrand Russell argues for the importance of individual initiative in a community.

Bertrand Russell considers the importance of individual initiative to a community, and argues for more local autonomy, and less centralisation, in his third Reith lecture.

The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, he is the author of Principia Mathematica, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'.

In his third lecture, entitled 'The Role of Individuality', he considers the importance of individual initiative to a community, and argues for flexibility, local autonomy, and less centralisation in society. Modern organisations, he says, must be more flexible and less oppressive to the human spirit if life is to be saved from boredom.

The Reith Lectures

Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual: 1948 The Conflict of Technique and Human Nature

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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Bertrand Russell considers the role of human nature in the development of society.

Bertrand Russell examines the part human nature has played in the development of civilised society, and how it can be exploited for society's good, in his fourth Reith lecture.

The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, he is the author of Principia Mathematica, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'.

In his fourth lecture, entitled 'The Conflict of Technique and Human Nature', he examines what part human nature has played in the development of civilised society, and argues that poverty, suffering and cruelty are no longer necessary to the existence of civilisation. He believes these can be eliminated with the help of modern science, provided it operates in a humane spirit, and with an understanding of the springs of happiness and life.

The Reith Lectures

Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual: 1948 Control and Initiative: Their Respective Spheres

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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Bertrand Russell considers the roles of state control in a progressive society.

Bertrand Russell considers what matters should be controlled by the state in a progressive society, and what should be left to private initiative, in his fifth Reith lecture.

The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, he is the author of Principia Mathematica, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'.

In his penultimate Reith lecture, entitled 'Control and Initiative: Their Respective Spheres', Bertrand Russell considers which matters should be controlled by the state in a healthy and progressive society, and what should be left to private initiative. He argues that in our complex world, there cannot be fruitful initiative without government, but nor can there be government without initiative.

The Reith Lectures

Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual: 1948 Individual and Social Ethics

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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Bertrand Russell argues for personal morality over tribal customs to guide conduct.

Bertrand Russell argues that man needs personal morality to guide his conduct and must learn to be critical of tribal customs and beliefs that may be generally accepted.

The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, he is the author of Principia Mathematica, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'.

In his final lecture, entitled 'Individual and Social Ethics', he relates social and political doctrines to the individual ethics by which people guide their personal lives. He argues that Man needs a sense of personal morality to guide his conduct, and must learn to be critical of tribal customs and beliefs that may be generally accepted amongst his neighbours. Primitive impulses, he says, can find harmless outlets in adventure and creation. He suggests that Man has always been subject to two miseries: firstly, those imposed by external nature which are now largely diminished by science; and secondly, those that men inflict on each other, such as through war. Russell rejects the argument that human nature demands war, believing instead that the greed for possession will lessen as the fear of destitution is removed from society.

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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The legendary broadcaster recounts his first proper encounter with a native American.

The legendary broadcaster recounts his first proper encounter with a native American in Spring 1947. (1970s rerecording).

Letter from America by Alistair Cooke

Television in America, 1951

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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The early days of television in America, as reported by Alistair Cooke.

How a new daily diet of television in America is changing people's lives, as reported by Alistair Cooke.

Desert Island Discs

Margaret Lockwood

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Roy Plomley's castaway is actress Margaret Lockwood

Roy Plomley's castaway is actress Margaret Lockwood.

Roy Plomley's castaway is actress Margaret Lockwood.

Credits

Presenter
Roy Plomley
Interviewed Guest
Margaret Lockwood

Desert Island Discs

Jimmy Edwards

BBC Radio 4
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40 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Roy Plomley's castaway is comedian Jimmy Edwards

Roy Plomley's castaway is comedian Jimmy Edwards.

Roy Plomley's castaway is comedian Jimmy Edwards.

Credits

Presenter
Roy Plomley
Interviewed Guest
Jimmy Edwards

The Reith Lectures

Cyril Radcliffe: Power and the State: 1951 British Rule In India

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Lord Radcliffe examines the early period of British administration in India.

Lord Radcliffe examines the early period of British administration in India, which he argues illustrates how men respond to the stimulus of great authority.

This year's Reith Lecturer is British lawyer Lord Radcliffe. He was Director-General of the Ministry of Information during the Second World War, and is most famous for his role in Partition, the division of the British Indian Empire, His work led directly to the creation of Pakistan and India as independent nations. He examines the features of democratic society, and considers the problematic notions of power and authority in his series of seven Reith Lectures entitled 'Power and the State'.

In his fifth Reith lecture entitled 'British Rule in India', Lord Radcliffe examines the early years of British administration in India. He argues that period until the Indian Mutiny succeeded more as a result of the character of its institutions than their excellence. He suggests this offers a classic example of how men really respond to the stimulus of great authority.

Desert Island Discs

Kirsten Flagstad

BBC Radio 4
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8 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Roy Plomley's castaway is soprano Kirsten Flagstad

Roy Plomley's castaway is soprano Kirsten Flagstad.

Roy Plomley's castaway is soprano Kirsten Flagstad.

Luxury: Knitting needles and wool

Credits

Presenter
Roy Plomley
Interviewed Guest
Kirsten Flagstad

The Reith Lectures

Arnold Toynbee: The World and the West: 1952 The Psychology of Encounters

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Professor Arnold Toynbee considers the psychological effects of culture.

British historian Arnold J Toynbee considers the psychological effects of culture in his fifth Reith lecture.

This year's Reith Lecturer is British historian Arnold J Toynbee. The former Director of Studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, he is currently the Koraes Professor of History at London University. He considers how Europe interacts with other countries in his Reith Lecture series entitled 'The World and the West'.

In his fifth lecture entitled 'The Psychology of Encounters', Professor Toynbee examines ways in which countries respond to new cultures. He argues that the most important differences are invariably rejected, but that minor "culture strands" are often allowed to flourish, thus creating a patchwork of cultural identities.

Desert Island Discs

Alfredo Campoli

BBC Radio 4
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40 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Roy Plomley's castaway is conductor and violinist Alfredo Campoli

Roy Plomley's castaway is conductor and violinist Alfredo Campoli.

Roy Plomley's castaway is conductor and violinist Alfredo Campoli.

Luxury: Football

Credits

Presenter
Roy Plomley
Interviewed Guest
Alfredo Campoli

Letter from America by Alistair Cooke

William Kapell (1922-1953)

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

A tribute to American pianist William Kappell, and music in America.

A tribute to American Pianist William Kappell, the best pianist of his generation, and what music means to Americans.

The Reith Lectures

Robert Oppenheimer: Science and the Common Understanding: 1953 The Sciences and Man's Community

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Professor Robert Oppenheimer explains how human communities resemble atoms.

Professor Robert Oppenheimer explains how human communities resemble atoms in the final Reith Lecture from his series 'Science and the Common Understanding'.

This year's Reith Lecturer is American theoretical physicist Robert Oppenheimer. Professor of Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, he has been described as the "father of the atomic bomb" for his role in the Manhattan Project while Director of Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory between 1943–45. In his Reith lectures entitled 'Science and the Common Understanding', he examines the impact of quantum and atomic theory on society.

In his sixth and final lecture entitled 'The Sciences and Man's Community', Professor Oppenheimer explains how the "House of Science" helps us to understand the underlying profundities of the earth and our lives. He draws parallels between the construction of human society and the atom: each man is dependent on the next, and through the power of the collective, Man's power grows with the shared knowledge of individuals.

The Reith Lectures

Oliver Franks: Britain and the Tide of World Affairs: 1954 The Atlantic Bridge

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Sir Oliver Franks analyses the political relationship between Britain and the USA.

Sir Oliver Franks analyses the political relationship between Britain and the USA in his third Reith Lecture from his series 'Britain and Tide of World Affairs'.

This year's Reith Lecturer is the Chairman of Lloyds Bank, Sir Oliver Franks. He is the former Provost of Queen's College, Oxford, and the former Professor of Moral Philosophy at University of Glasgow. He was the British Ambassador in Washington, DC, between 1948 and 1952, and has been described as "one of the founders of the post-war world". He delivers his Reith series entitled 'Britain and Tide of World Affairs'.

In his third lecture entitled 'The Atlantic Bridge', Sir Oliver explores the relationship between the United States of America and Britain. He discusses the frictions between the two countries and their mutual interdependence. He analyses the discomforts of the passage of power, McCarthyism, and the fear that the United States will land us in a third world war.

Desert Island Discs

Tod Slaughter

BBC Radio 4
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5 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Roy Plomley's castaway is actor Tod Slaughter

Roy Plomley's castaway is actor Tod Slaughter.

Roy Plomley's castaway is actor Tod Slaughter.

Luxury: Harmonica

Credits

Presenter
Roy Plomley
Interviewed Guest
Tod Slaughter
Results 1 to 20 of more than 10,000

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