In Our Time: The Written World

Starting on 2 January 2012, Melvin Bragg’s radio show In Our Time will start a five-part series on the history of writing on BBC 4. The shows will also be available as podcasts.

Part 1: Technology and evolution of writing
Part 2: Invention of the codex (the book)
Part 3: Writing and religion
Part 4: Writing and literature
Part 5: Writing and science

The series is being produced in association with the British Library. You can read more about the manuscripts and books to be discussed on the show here.

In Our Time is one of the better radio shows/podcasts out there. I regularly listen to it. The show covers a wide range of topics relating to how our world came to be what it is, from Plato to quantum mechanics. As a result, it can be somewhat general and cursory, and experts in a particular subject will find fault with the shows, but few programs devote an hour to these topics and In Our Time does a rather good job all things considered. And Bragg is a good host, although he does tend to subscribe to the “great men” school of history and sometimes displays insufferably unreflective British nationalism. (Guests, for instance, should never suggest the industrial revolution was caused by anything other than the cleverness and ingenuity of the British people or Bragg will bring a wrath down upon them.)

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