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Podcasts: How Foreign Governments Are Facing Covid-19 (The Economist)

A selection of essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the role of big government in the time of covid-19, (10:20) assessing the havoc the pandemic is causing in emerging countries, (17:45).

In just a few weeks a virus a ten-thousandth of a millimetre in diameter has transformed Western democracies. States have shut down businesses and sealed people indoors. They have promised trillions of dollars to keep the economy on life support. If South Korea and Singapore are a guide, medical and electronic privacy are about to be cast aside. It is the most dramatic extension of state power since the second world war.

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Literature: A Reading Of “For Whom The Bell Tolls” – Ernest Hemingway (1940)

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The first three chapters of Ernest Hemingway’s classic novel.

For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel by Ernest Hemingway published in 1940. It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American volunteer attached to a Republican guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As a dynamiter, he is assigned to blow up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia.

It was published just after the end of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), whose general lines were well known at the time. It assumes the reader knows that the war was between a democratically elected, pro-working-class and anti-Catholic government, supported by the Soviet Union, which many foreigners like Robert went to Spain to help, and a successful, dictatorial, Catholic, pro-landowner revolt, supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. It was commonly viewed as the dress rehearsal for the Second World War. In 1940, the year the book was published, the United States had not yet entered the war, which had begun on Sept. 1, 1939, with Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland.

The novel is regarded as one of Hemingway’s best works, along with The Sun Also RisesA Farewell to Arms, and The Old Man and the Sea.

Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American journalist, novelist, short-story writer, and sportsman. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and his public image brought him admiration from later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two nonfiction works. Three of his novels, four short-story collections, and three nonfiction works were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

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Podcast Interviews: Irish-British Author Maggie O’Farrell On Her New Novel “Hamnet” (BBC)

BBC Radio 4 Books and AuthorsBBC Radio 4 “Books And Authors” Talks To Maggie O’Farrell on her new novel, “Hamnet”

 

Hamnet Maggie O'Farrell March 31 2020On a summer’s day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker’s son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.

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New Book Podcast: “The Poster – A Visual History” Authors Gill Saunders & Margaret Timmers (V&A)

Monocle 24 The StackMonocle 24 speaks with Gill Saunders and Margaret Timmers about their upcoming book ‘The Poster’ from Thames & Hudson in partnership with the V&A.

Featuring posters from the world-class collection of the Victoria and Albert Underground Electric Railways Co of London Poster 1930 V&A MuseumMuseum, this book is the perfect resource for all those who appreciate one of the most popular art forms.

Even in the digital age, the printed poster has continued to be one of the most influential and well-loved ways of informing and entertaining audiences. A powerful means of mass communication, posters are an invaluable resource for understanding the time periods in which they were produced and distributed and have often played key roles in shaping society.

Organized into seven thematic chapters, The Poster brings together more than 300 examples that offer a comprehensive history of the poster as a medium that has been used to share, sell, or incite political and social change. The text traces the poster through innovations in design, illustration, typography, and printing, as well as movements in art, including Art Nouveau, modernism, Art Deco, psychedelia, and punk.

Featuring works by A. M. Cassandre, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha, Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, and Peter Gee, and many more, this book is an essential resource for graphic designers, illustrators, and anyone interested in social and political history.

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Media: How The Global Press Is Covering The Coronavirus Pandemic

Monocle 24 On Sunday logoMonocle 24’s Tyler Brûlé is joined by Benno Zogg and Juliet Linley for a look at how the global press is covering the pandemic and whether the tone of the discussion needs a rethink. Plus: Andrew Mueller’s look at what we learnt this week.

Podcast Interviews: GQ Creative Director Jim Moore – His Four Decades Of “Hunks & Heroes”

Monocle 24 The StackMonocle 24 “The Stack” speaks with creative director Jim Moore about his latest book ‘Hunks and Heroes: Jim Moore – Four Decades of Fashion at GQ’.

GQ is revered globally as the ultimate style guide for modern men, and Hunks and Heroes is an epic journey into the world of men’s style as told and edited by Jim Moore. Hunks & Heroes Jim Moore Four Decades of Fashion at GQHe began his career at GQ as an intern in 1979 and has since played a pivotal role in reshaping men’s fashion during his nearly forty-year tenure at the magazine. From discovering new designers, distilling the latest men’s trends, and extolling fashion advice and critiques in his popular online video series GQ Rules, to Channing Tatum wearing a “JIM F&%#ING MOORE” T-shirt, Moore’s influence and impact on men’s style is unequivocal.

In these pages, Moore takes us through forty years of men’s fashion: featuring the most iconic GQ fashion looks, the magazine’s unforgettable covers and editorial shoots, essential styling tips like how to dress up denim or style a khaki suit, insights on developing your own personal style, and stories showcasing Moore’s knack at reworking the look of everyday men the magazine literally pulled off the street. This volume features 250 of Moore’s iconic men’s fashion photographs produced with internationally renowned image makers like Peggy Sirota, Craig McDean, and Inez & Vinoodh, and includes seminal GQ images of cultural icons such as celebrities, athletes, and politicians. This is the must-have style bible for all readers interested in men’s fashion, style, culture, and celebrity.

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Top Podcasts: Alexander Von Humboldt – “The Last Man Who Knew It All”

Smithsonian Sidedoor PodcastAlexander von Humboldt might not be a name you know, but you can bet you know his ideas. Back when the United States were a wee collection of colonies huddled on the eastern seaboard, colonists found the wilderness surrounding them scary. 

It took a zealous Prussian explorer with a thing for barometers to show the colonists what they couldn’t see: a global ecosystem, and their own place in nature. In this The Invention of Nature Alexander von Humborldt's New World Andrea Wulfepisode, we learn how Humboldt—through science and art—inspired a key part of America’s national identity.

More fascinating Humboldt facts:

  • He strongly opposed slavery in the early 19th century, calling it the “greatest of all the evils which have afflicted mankind.”
  • He was the first to theorize human caused climate change by changing how water flows through a landscape, on a local level, and warned about deforestation.
  • He invented isotherms, the lines on a weather map that we still use today. He used them to show which parts of the world were experiencing similar temperatures.
  • He made the world’s most detailed map of Mexico and the American west.
  • He nearly summited what was then thought to be the world’s tallest mountain (while wearing 18th century wools, no less.).
  • Another thing Humboldt and Jefferson bonded over? Mastodons. Humboldt was the first to discover remains of a species now known as Cuvieronius hyodon in Ecuador, which were similar to the “giant elephants” being found in Ohio. The teeth Humboldt found were the clue that these weren’t modern elephants; they looked pretty different. And because these teeth looked sharp, Jefferson and some American scientists thought they were for meat eating! Eventually Georges Cuvier, a French scientist who was friends with Humboldt, proved that these were different from Indian and African elephants, and even woolly mammoths—and the species eventually ended up renamed after him. One of the few eponymous misses for our friend Humboldt!

If you’re interested in learning more about the life and times of Alexander von Humboldt, I’d recommend reading Andrea Wulf’s book The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World.