A Point of View
Summary: Weekly reflections on topical issues from a range of contributors including historian Lisa Jardine, novelist Sarah Dunant and writer Alain de Botton.
Martin Jacques presents a personal view on how best to understand the unique characteristics and apparent mysteries of contemporary China, its development and its possible future. In a new series of talks he sets out the building blocks for making sense of China today.
Sarah Dunant reflects on the role of history in society - and how it changes over time. She also asks what history can learn from historical fiction.
Why is America so obsessed with dental perfection? While American comedians often mock the British for their bad teeth, Sarah reveals how Japanese fashionistas are paying to have their teeth made more crooked.
As Sarah Dunant rummages for bargains in her local charity shop, she reflects on the history of charity shops and their growing importance in times of austerity.
As the Man Booker shortlist is published, author Sarah Dunant examines the merits of literary prizes and explores how new writers and readers find each other.
Sarah Dunant looks at attitudes to sexual behaviour in the aftermath of recent remarks on rape from an American would-be senator. She argues men must be involved in the debate.
John Gray explores the role of memory in giving meaning to our lives. He reflects on how we struggle to preserve our past but at the same time sometimes long to leave it behind.
John Gray looks at the relationship between freedom and democracy. He argues that whenever tyranny is overthrown, the result is not necessary greater liberty throughout society.
John Gray reflects on the enduring appeal of Sherlock Holmes at a time when we've lost confidence in the power of reason alone to solve problems.
John Gray reflects on the climate needed for culture to thrive, identifying totalitarian regimes as the worst enemies of creativity.
The philosopher John Gray wonders what bulk buying of stamps ahead of the price rise tells us about economic gloom.
John Gray reflects on the paradox of immortality as captured by the writer Theodore Powys, "The longest life may fade and perish but one moment can live and become immortal."
John Gray takes a fresh look at the thinking of John Maynard Keynes and wonders what he would have really thought about the current economic crises and how to solve them.
John Gray reflects on the nature of violence which he sees as an inevitable part of the human condition, doubting the ability of reason to tame our warring impulses.
Adam Gopnik muses on what it means in life if - like him - you've been lumbered with a funny name.