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Ross King on the art of history

Ross King originally wanted to be a novelist. And after researching his doctoral thesis on T. S. Eliot, his first book told the story of a castrato singer in 18th-century London, as seen through the eyes of an aspiring painter. Then he became fascinated by Italian architect, Filippo Brunelleschi, who designed and built the famous cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, in Florence. King says he discovered that it was more fun to write when you didn't need to "make up the facts." IDEAS host Paul Kennedy talks to the man who's also written non-fiction books about Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, Edouard Manet and Claude Monet, and about Canada's Group of Seven.
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Ross King on the art of history

Ross King is one of the most popular historians Canada has ever produced. Yet originally, he wanted to be a novelist. And after researching his doctoral thesis on T. S. Eliot, he published his first book, which fictionalized the story of a castrato singer in 18th century London, as seen through the eyes of an aspiring painter. Then he became fascinated by Italian architect, Filippo Brunelleschi, who designed and built the famous cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, in Florence. King says he discovered that it was more fun to write when you didn't need to "make up the facts." IDEAS host Paul Kennedy talks to the man who's also written non-fiction books about Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, Edouard Manet and Claude Monet, and about Canada's Group of Seven.

Reporting from War

War reporter Janine di Giovanni approaches her work like an anthropologist by embedding herself in conflict zones. Her goal is to understand how war, disease, and poverty have impacted human lives in war torn communities. In the 2018 Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondents Lecture, she details her experiences covering disease outbreaks, genocides and sieges in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East.
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Reporting from War: Janine di Giovanni

War reporter Janine di Giovanni approaches her work like an anthropologist by embedding herself in conflict zones. Her goal is to understand how war, disease, and poverty have impacted human lives in war torn communities. In the 2018 Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondents lecture, she details her experiences covering disease outbreaks, genocides and sieges in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East.
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Janine di Giovanni spent 30 years covering war zones, and now back in the U.S., she's terrified to see the stirrings of war at home.

Janine di Giovanni delivered the 2018 Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondents Lecture.

Overlooked: Photography and the Smartphone

We've gone from capturing special moments on film, to snapping every aspect of our day on smartphones. What are the upsides and what are we losing? Photographers, curators and thinkers reflect on how this new image culture affects us, as well as its surprising links to earlier eras of photography.

The Case for Populism

Trump was just the tip of the iceberg. Since his election in 2016, populism has blazed a disquieting trail across Europe, North America and around the world. While many of these movements are marred by racist and nationalistic rhetoric, they also represent a grassroots effort to challenge the political status quo. In this public debate, presented by the Battle of Ideas festival in London, England, a panel argues over whether this new era of political disruption should be embraced, rather than feared.
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The Case for Populism

Trump was just the tip of the iceberg. Since his election in 2016, populism has blazed a disquieting trail across Europe, North America and around the world. While many of these movements are marred by racist and nationalistic rhetoric, they also represent a grassroots effort to challenge the political status quo. In this public debate, presented by the Battle of Ideas festival in London, England, a panel argues over whether this new era of political disruption should be embraced, rather than feared.
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Matthew Goodwin warns that "the left" cannot simply dismiss populism - they must offer a viable alternative to it.

Matthew Goodwin is a professor of political science and senior fellow at Chatham House.

Paul and Ed's Excellent Adventure

World-famous environmental photographer Edward Burtynsky and IDEAS host Paul Kennedy both grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. In fact, their childhood homes were less than 300 metres apart, and paperboy Paul delivered a daily dose of newspaper comic strips to eventual visual artist Ed. They return to their old home town and revisit their roots, including the site of the now-dismantled GM Plant # 1, where both of their fathers worked; and the new subdivision that's recently replaced Meadowvale School, where they both started kindergarten, so many decades ago
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Paul and Ed's Excellent Adventure

World-famous environmental photographer Edward Burtynsky and IDEAS host Paul Kennedy both grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. In fact, their childhood homes were less than 300 metres apart, and paper-boy Paul delivered a daily dose of newspaper comic strips to eventual visual artist Ed. They return to their old home town and revisit their roots, including the site of the now-dismantled GM Plant # 1, where both of their fathers worked; and the new subdivision that's recently replaced Meadowvale School, where they both started kindergarten, so many decades ago
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Ed Burtynsky describes the characteristics that make a good photographer.

Edward Burtynsky is a world renowned Canadian photographer .

Mythologizing Empire

For people of Shakespeare's time, the idea of "empire" was something new. As Britain’s power spread, the eternal questions remained: what makes a great empire successful, and what pitfalls need to be watched out for? No ancient empire offered more lessons than the Roman Empire — which had, of course, conquered Britain. In his plays set in the Roman Empire, Shakespeare explored themes of leadership, human frailty, political downfall, while at the same time mythologizing the birth of a new Rome in Britain.
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Mythologizing Empire

For people of Shakespeare's time, the idea of "empire" was something new. As Britain's power spread, the eternal questions remained: what makes a great empire successful, and what pitfalls need to be watched out for? No ancient empire offered more lessons than the Roman Empire - which had, of course, conquered Britain. In his plays set in the Roman Empire, Shakespeare explored themes of leadership, human frailty, political downfall, while at the same time mythologizing the birth of a new Rome in Britain. A discussion from the Stratford Festival, featuring artistic director Antoni Cimolino, theatre critic Robert Cushman, and Royal Ontario Museum researcher Kate Cooper.
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Kate Cooper talks about the difficulty historians have in knowing what the ancient world was really like.

Kate Cooper is a researcher at the Royal Ontario Museum.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

The Long Arm of Ayn Rand: Why she still matters, Part 2

The intelligentsia mocked her writings and lampooned her philosophy, which she called Objectivism. But Ayn Rand's books, especially her two major works, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, continue to sell millions of copies. There are Ayn Rand think tanks, academies, even dating sites. And her influence on politics and popular culture are stronger than ever. Contributor Sandy Bourque outlines Rand's improbable rise to fame and influence, and the surprising Canadian connection which helped secure her place in the history of ideas.
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The Triumph of Narrative - Part 1

Of all the ways that people have learned to communicate with each other, the story is the most human, the most flexible, and perhaps the most dangerous. Journalist and critic Robert Fulford tells the story of how stories live and breathe at the heart of our culture.
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The Triumph of Narrative - Part 2

Of all the ways that people have learned to communicate with each other, the story is the most human, the most flexible, and perhaps the most dangerous. Journalist and critic Robert Fulford tells the story of how stories live and breathe at the heart of our culture.
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The Triumph of Narrative - Part 4

Of all the ways that people have learned to communicate with each other, the story is the most human, the most flexible, and perhaps the most dangerous. Journalist and critic Robert Fulford tells the story of how stories live and breathe at the heart of our culture.
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The Triumph of Narrative - Part 3

Of all the ways that people have learned to communicate with each other, the story is the most human, the most flexible, and perhaps the most dangerous. Journalist and critic Robert Fulford tells the story of how stories live and breathe at the heart of our culture.
Audio

The Triumph of Narrative - Part 5

Of all the ways that people have learned to communicate with each other, the story is the most human, the most flexible, and perhaps the most dangerous. Journalist and critic Robert Fulford tells the story of how stories live and breathe at the heart of our culture.

Internal Hard Drive: What's lost when we forget to remember

We rely on our handy smartphones to remember everything from phone numbers to our friend’s birthdays. Those sleek devices serve as a type of 'external hard drive' for our memory. Contributor Jess Shane explores what happens when the art of memorization is lost.

Utopian Dinner Table: How to feed the world in 100 years

One hundred years from now the planet will have 3-billion more people to feed. Global food security expert Evan Fraser considers possible solutions by contrasting two distinct visions of utopia -- one found through embracing science and technology, and the other arguing for overthrow of capitalism.
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Utopian Dinner Table: How to feed the world in 100 years

A hundred years from now the planet will have 3-billion more people to feed. Global food security expert Evan Fraser considers possible solutions by contrasting two distinct visions of utopia -- one found through embracing science and technology, and the other arguing for overthrow of capitalism.
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Evan Fraser questions Raj Patel's position on overthrowing industrial agriculture.

Raj Patel is the author of "Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System".