A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: reflecting on the plague year, ten years after the Arab spring (9:50), and what if CEOs’ memos were clear and honest? (15:30).
Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is among the largest cities in the U.S. Famed for its bold architecture, it has a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. The city is also renowned for its museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago with its noted Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works.
Michael Portillo embarks on a rail journey through Germany, steered by a Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide published in 1936. His unique window on Europe between the world wars takes him through a tumultuous period in German history, when the nation’s first democracy and its vibrant culture of art, design and decadence were swept away by fascism, nationalism and the increasing likelihood of war.
In a vast stadium, Michael hears how new rail lines were constructed to transport crowds of spectators to the Nazi Olympic Games of 1936. Michael learns how a planned boycott by the United States and other European nations failed and how the success of a black American athlete undermined the Nazi ideology of Aryan superiority.
At the Museum of Modern Art in Berlin’s Kreuzberg, Michael sees how a leading artist of the era, George Grosz, warned of the rise of fascism in a haunting self-portrait. Michael goes to the movies in Potsdam and discovers the success of the Babelsberg Studios, where directors such as Fritz Lang and stars such as Marlene Dietrich worked. He hears how production was taken over by the Nazis for propaganda.
In the Schöneberg district of the capital, Michael researches the decadent night scene of the 1920s, where sexual freedoms attracted gay and lesbian visitors from across the world. Michael sees how cabaret culture is being revived today – a burlesque performance is on the bill. At the birthplace of German democracy in Weimar,
Michael investigates the beginnings of Bauhaus design and visits the movement’s first building – a single-family house which went beyond a statement of style to present a vision of how people would live in the 20th century. Travelling with author Julia Boyd to Nuremberg, Michael discovers that during the 1930s, despite the First World War and the Third Reich, Britons and Americans loved Germany and German culture.
Michael hears how one Briton above all was welcomed by Hitler to Germany – the Duke of Windsor, former King Edward VIII. In the medieval Bavarian city of Nuremberg, Michael visits the monumental buildings and parade grounds, which were the stage for vast Nazi rallies to publicise the regime around the world and arouse popular support at home.
Michael finishes in Stuttgart, where an ambitious engineering project is under way, which will integrate the city into a high-speed train route connecting Paris with Bratislava. Michael bags a ride in a high-performance Porsche to the manufacturer’s Stuttgart headquarters and discovers that in the 1930s, the founder designed an affordable car for mass production – the Beetle.
In the second of our seasonal specials, we bring you the best summer moments from the BBC Earth archive.
Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island, the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a living museum.
South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park is populated by big game. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.
A new original graphic novel, The Final Symphony: A Beethoven Anthology, celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday, has been published via Z2 Comics and Deutsche Grammophon.
The Final Symphony: A Beethoven Anthology, written by Brandon Montclare and Frank Marraffino, was inspired by the composer’s life and music. The graphic novel reimagines the life of the legendary composer through striking new visuals created by world-class artists. Readers will be able to experience both masterpieces and lesser-known gems in a brand new light. The deluxe edition will be accompanied by an exclusive double vinyl LP following the story through the composer’s own works.
Featuring Alice Sara Ott, Ezinma and Max Richter
Pianist Alice Sara Ott, violinist Ezinma and composer Max Richter, are all featured in their own chapters in The Final Symphony: A Beethoven Anthology. In the chapter featuring Alice Sara Ott, drawn by Creees Lee, the pianist invites the composer to hear one of his works played in a modern concert hall. The chapter featuring Ezinma, drawn by Jarrett Williams, celebrates Beethoven’s groundbreaking musical personality, and Max Richter has been transformed by artist Dave Chisholm, who also wrote the chapter.
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, some American politicians continue to deny that climate change exists, while others question the severity of its impact. But public opinion is shifting, and today even oil and gas companies publicly admit that climate change demands action. So why does climate denialism continue to influence U.S. politics? Here’s a look into who is funding the movement, and why denial is mainly a U.S. problem.
Marbella, in the south of Spain is a vibrant coastal town with a large number of sandy beaches, a charming old town. The old town is full of character with the whitewashed buildings, narrow streets, colorful churches, little chapels, lively squares, fragrant orange trees and of course many restaurants and shops. The beaches with its fine sand and the Mediterranean with its clean water are the main attractions of Marbella. A variety of activities, both on land and sea are available, as is shopping, eating and nightlife.
Marbella is a city and resort area on southern Spain’s Costa del Sol, part of the Andalusia region. The Sierra Blanca Mountains are the backdrop to 27 km of sandy Mediterranean beaches, villas, hotels, and golf courses. West of Marbella town, the Golden Mile of prestigious nightclubs and coastal estates leads to Puerto Banús marina, filled with luxury yachts, and surrounded by upmarket boutiques and bars.
Wales has no shortage of magnificent castles – from the impenetrable stronghold of Harlech Castle, to the fierce fortifications of Carnarvon. Wales boasts a series of castles known as the Iron Ring, built as part of Edward I’s determination to stamp his authority over the tribes of Wales.
Aerial Britain: Scotland https://bit.ly/31x9olp