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Part 2 of an interview around Roger Scruton's new novel, Underground Notes. The contrast between Prague in the early 1980s and Washington in the late 2000s is the backdrop for a reflection on the nature of love, freedom and necessity

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Part 1 of an interview around Roger Scruton's new novel, Underground Notes. Czechoslovakia in the early 1980s is the backdrop for an exploration of a conservative existentialism.

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JS Mill went from being a strong supporter of national liberation movements in 1848 to a more nuanced position as he saw liberation turn to nationalism, solidarity turn to tribalism. His ideal was of cultural hybridisation and of citizens loyal to their states. He supported foreign intervention especially to counter the intervention of autocrats or on humanitarian grounds, but he firmly opposed any notion of being able to imposes democracy by the sword. And what would he have thought of Syria today?

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JS Mill, liberalism's intellectual giant, justified despotism in India, thought Britain, like Athens, should be a beacon of Liberty (because of its navy) and that it is impossible for a democracy to rule another country well. Listen to Dr Georgios Varouxakis on his latest book, Liberty Abroad

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Dr Georgios Varouxakis in conversation with Tony Curzon Price on his latest book, "Liberty Abroad, J.S.Mill on International Relations".


JS Mill stands to liberalism as Karl Marx does to socialism. Mill is liberalism's intellectual giant of the nineteenth century. He was a public intellectual, a high ranking official of the East India Company, a man who had gained political influence both through the respect accorded to his views and through direct election to Westminster. He involved himself in every important practical issue of mid century politics, and Dr Varouxakis brings the context to light through an analysis of the arguments Mill engaged in. From the American Civil War to the Spring of Nations; from self-government of settler colonies to the character of civilisations ... JS Mill thought subtly about international relations and his themes continue to have strikingly contemporary echoes. Part 1 of the conversation.
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Part 3/3

A December 2012 conversation between Antony Lerman and Tony Curzon Price around Antony Lerman's book, The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist, A Personal and Political Journey

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Part 2/3

A December 2012 conversation between Antony Lerman and Tony Curzon Price around Antony Lerman's book, The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist, A Personal and Political Journey

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Part 1 (of 3)

A December 2012 conversation between Antony Lerman and Tony Curzon Price around Antony Lerman's book, The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist, A Personal and Political Journey

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A conversation around KKH's book, "Judaism, All that matters"

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I imagine that prison would be endlessly dull. And that's a tough quality to represent dramatically - boredom. Sophie Besse, in her debut play, "A woman inside" (Etcetera Theatre, Camden, until May 6 2012) certainly avoids that. This beautifully acted & intense drama is about both brutality and tenderness, about dehumanisation, but also about the triumph of human qualities. No simple oppositions or cliches here.

The two central characters are inside, inside a cell together, but prison is also seeping into them. The guards get inside them - quite literally during the body searches; the smell and dirt gets inside one inmate, a beautician ... but Sharon, the violent, disturbed prisoner also lets music get inside her. Eventually and cathartically, she starts to get some of that inside out.

Sophie Besse has worked as a therapist in prisons and has taught drama to women prisoners. In the play, the women guards also occasionally let their guard down - they are women inside too.

There is no simplistic moralising in the play. Sharon is a tough nut, whatever she has inside, and whatever has toughened her. There are real victims to her crime. Guard number 1 puts on a protective, professional mask when she needs to. And daffy Barbara may be a loving mum, but it takes Sharon to remind her how selfish she has been to her daughter.

The intensity of the drama is amplified by the smallness of the pub theatre; the still louche surroundings of Camden Lock on a darkening evening is just the right context for those marginalised stories that we continue to have to learn to live with.

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