Chalke Talk

The podcast from the Chalke Valley History Festival
Released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings


Latest releases

  • 128. AMERICA TRUMPED: HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
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    Who better than the charismatic broadcaster Matt Frei to explain the extraordinary phenomenon which was the then President of the United States of America? The award-winning journalist was Washington correspondent for the BBC and Channel 4 News for many years and recently made the documentary ‘Meet the Trumps: From Immigrant to President.’ So how did […]

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  • 127. COPENHAGEN AND AFTER
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    Michael Frayn is one of our most successful and revered playwrights and Copenhagen one of his highly acclaimed and award-winning plays. In this very special talk he discusses the play’s subject: the visit of German atomic scientist Werner Heisenberg to Copenhagen in 1941 to visit fellow scientists Margrethe and Niels Bohr and their subsequent discussions […]

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  • 126. THE EASTER RISING 1916: REMEMBERING THE IRISH REVOLUTION
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    The desire for self-transformation, to define themselves apart from their parents and a determination to reconstruct the world, united the young and disparate of Ireland to form the revolutionary generation. By sifting through letters, journals and photographs, eminent historian Professor Roy Foster FBA examines the vivid public and private lives of the disparate group that […]

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  • 125. TRIDENT DEBATE: BRITAIN’S NUCLEAR DETERRENT SHOULD BE CONSIGNED TO HISTORY
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    This is a fierce debate about whether or not Britain should retain her nuclear deterrent. Speaking for the motion are David Edgerton, Professor of Modern British History at King’s College London, and Kate Hudson, General Secretary of CND. Speaking against are Lord Hennessy, Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary University of London […]

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  • 124. THE ISLAMIC ENLIGHTENMENT: THE MODERN STRUGGLE BETWEEN FAITH AND REASON
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    The Muslim world has often been accused of failing to modernise, reform and adapt. But, from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day, Islamic society in its Middle Eastern heartlands has in fact been transformed by modern ideals and practices. Acclaimed author Christopher de Bellaigue covers 200 turbulent years of Middle Eastern […]

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  • 123. BOOTS ON THE GROUND: BRITAIN AND HER ARMY SINCE 1945
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    In May 1945, the German High Command surrendered to the Allies on Lüneberg Heath. Seventy years later, the British Army finally left their garrisons next to the Heath. General the Lord Dannatt, former Chief of General Staff, follows the compelling story of the British Army since then, tracing Britain’s transformation from a leading military power […]

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  • 122. SOCRATES IN LOVE: THE MAKING OF A PHILOSOPHER
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    Socrates was the philosopher who gave birth to the European tradition of philosophical thought. Yet his trial and death are better known than his life story. Professor Armand D’Angour explores Socrates’ early years revealing what – and who – inspired him to become a philosopher. What emerges is the figure of Socrates as a heroic […]

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  • 121. WAS HITLER A POPULAR DICTATOR?
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    In this talk for junior schools, Chris Culpin shows how Hitler disdained democracy and thereby defeated his political opponents leaving “One people, one nation, one leader”. Was he popular? He was certainly successful as there was no opposition, nor opposition newspapers. This was partly through fear but also as a result of brilliant propaganda with […]

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  • 120. SECRET PIGEON SERVICE: OPERATION COLUMBA, RESISTANCE & THE STRUGGLE TO LIBERATE OCCUPIED EUROPE
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    Between 1941 and 1944, sixteen thousand pigeons were dropped as part of ‘Columba’ – a secret British operation to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation. Gordon Corera, Security Correspondent for BBC news, tells a dramatic and tragic tale of espionage, starring not just pigeons but the networks of ordinary people who were […]

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  • 119. THE BIG BAD GLOSSIES: A PARTISAN HISTORY OF POST-WAR MAGAZINES
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    With a career that has spanned 30 years at the most senior levels of Condé Nast International, no one is better placed to give an insider view of the world of the glossy magazine than Nicholas Coleridge, at the time, Chairman of Condé Nast Britain. In this talk, he combines anecdote and scholarship to review […]

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