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5th, 7th and 8th October 2016
The Assembly Rooms, Chichester City Council, The Council House, North Street, Chichester
 
 Wednesday 5th October 2016
 

 

Isabel and Julian Bannerman
Isabel and Julian Bannerman
Landscape of Dreams: The Gardens of Isabel and Julian Bannerman
Wednesday 5th October 16.45 – 18.00
 
Isabel and Julian Bannerman have been described as "mavericks in the grand manner, touched by genius" (Min Hogg, World of Interiors) and "the Bonnie and Clyde of garden design" (Ruth Guilding, The Bible of British Taste). Their approach to design, while rooted in history and the classical tradition, is fresh, eclectic and surprising. They designed the British 9/11 Memorial Garden in New York and have also designed gardens for the Prince of Wales at Highgrove and the Castle of Mey, Lord Rothschild at Waddesdon Manor, the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk at Arundel Castle in Sussex and John Paul Getty II at Wormsley in Buckinghamshire. The garden they made for themselves at Hanham Court near Bath was acclaimed by Gardens Illustrated as the top garden of 2009, ahead of Sissinghurst. When they moved from Hanham it was to the fairytale castle of Trematon overlooking Plymouth Sound, where they have created yet another magical garden. In their talk on Landscape of Dreams they celebrate the imaginative and practical process of designing, making and planting all of these gardens and many more. 
 
A Q&A session will follow.
 
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Jonathan Trott
Jonathan Trott 
Unguarded: My Autobiography
Wednesday 5th October 18.30 – 19.45
 
Jonathan Trott was England's rock during one of the most successful periods in the team's history - he scored a century on debut to clinch the Ashes in 2009 and cemented his position as their pivotal batsman up to and beyond the team's ascendancy to the number 1 ranked test team in 2011. Yet shortly after reaching those heights, he started to crumble and famously left the 2012-13 Ashes tour of Australia suffering from a stress-related illness. His story is the story of Team England - it encompasses the life-cycle of a team that started out united by ambition, went on to achieve some of the greatest days in the team's history but then, bodies and minds broken, fell apart amid acrimony.
Having seen all of this from the inside, Jonathan's autobiography takes readers to the heart of the England dressing room and to the heart of what it is to be a professional sportsman. Not only does he provide a unique perspective on a remarkably successful period in English cricket and its subsequent reversal, he also offers a fascinating insight into the rewards and risks faced as a sportsman carrying the hope and expectation of a team and a nation. He has a salutary tale of the dangers pressure can bring in any walk of life and the perils of piling unrealistic expectations on yourself.
 
A Q&A session will follow.
 
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AT Williams
A T Williams
A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the End of World War II
Wednesday 5th October 20.15 – 21.30
 
After the horror of the Second World War, the Nuremberg Tribunal became a symbol of the ‘free world’s’ choice of justice in the face of tyranny, aggression and atrocity. But it was only a fragment of retribution as, with their Allies, the British embarked on the largest programme of war crimes investigations and trials in history.
 
Williams exposes the deeper truth of this controlled scheme of vengeance. Moving from the scripted trial of Göring, Hess and von Ribbentrop, to the makeshift courtrooms where ‘minor’ war criminals (the psychotic SS officers, the brutal guards, the executioners) were prosecuted, he tells the story of the extraordinary enterprise, the investigators, the lawyers and the perpetrators and asks the question: was justice done?
 
A T Williams is a professor of law at the University of Warwick, where he directs the Centre for Human Rights in Practice. He has been involved in human rights work nationally and internationally for more than 15 years. His first book, ‘A Very British Killing’ won the 2013 Orwell Prize.
 
A Q&A session will follow.
 
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Friday 7th October 2016
 
Diana Darke
Diana Darke
My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Crisis
Friday 7th October 11.45 - 13.00
 
How did Syria's revolution lose its way? Drawing on the author's first-hand knowledge of the country's complex religious and ethnic communities, Darke explains Syria's history, politics and society. With the unique perspective of an Arabic-speaking British woman, Darke became deeply embedded in all levels of Syrian society when she bought and restored a house in a mixed Sunni/Shi'a neighbourhood of the walled Old City of Damascus. As fighting intensified and millions were forced to flee their homes, she offered her house as a sanctuary to friends. In doing so she gained insight into why most ordinary Syrians are caught between a repressive government and a splintering opposition, now overshadowed by a monster called ISIS.
 
Diana Darke is a well-known as an authority on Syria and has written for the Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times and the BBC. She is the author of several guides to Syria and Eastern Turkey.
 
A Q&A session will follow.
 
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Susan Williams
Susan Williams
Spies in the Congo: The Race for the Ore That Built the Atomic Bomb
Friday 7th October 13.30 – 14.45
 
Spies in the Congo is the untold story of one of the most tightly-guarded secrets of the Second World War: America's desperate struggle to secure enough uranium to build its atomic bomb. The Shinkolobwe mine in the Belgian Congo was the most important deposit of uranium yet discovered anywhere on earth, vital to the success of the Manhattan Project. Given that Germany was also working on an atomic bomb, it was an urgent priority for the US to prevent uranium from the Congo being diverted to the enemy - a task entrusted to Washington's elite secret intelligence agents. Sent undercover to colonial Africa to track the ore and to hunt Nazi collaborators, their assignment was made even tougher by the complex political reality and by tensions with Belgian and British officials.  A gripping spy-thriller, Spies in the Congo is the true story of unsung heroism, of the handful of good men -- and one woman -- in Africa who were determined to deny Hitler his bomb.
 
Susan Williams has published widely on Africa receiving widespread acclaim for Colour Bar  which will become a major motion picture entitled 'A United Kingdom' in late 2016. Her book: Who Killed Hammarskjöld? triggered a fresh UN inquiry into the death of the secretary general. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.
 
A Q&A session will follow
 
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Alison Weir
Alison Weir
Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen
Friday 7th October 15.15 – 16.30
 
The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. This is the story of Katherine - the King’s first wife. Weir draws on new research to tell the story of this indomitable, courageous woman. Was Katherine’s union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts and the allure of an ambitious woman? Weir evokes a court peopled by characters such as Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII himself – a young, and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment. They live in a world of splendour and brutality, dominated by faith and by momentous religious change.
 
Alison Weir is the biggest-selling female historian the UK. She has written over 20 books on the Tudor period.
 
A Q&A session will follow
 
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Tom Bower
Tom Bower
Broken Vows: Tony Blair – The Tragedy of Power
Friday 7th October 17.00 – 18.15
 
This talk is based on what is described as ‘the most explosive book of the year’ by The Times Cultural Review. Bower tells Blair’s story from when he became prime minister in May 1997 when, at 43 years old, he was the youngest person to hold that office since 1812. With a landslide majority, his approval rating was 93 per cent and he went on to become Labour's longest-serving premier.
 
Blair had promised that 'New Labour' would modernize Britain, freeing it from sleaze, special interests and government secrecy. He vowed to give priority to social justice and equal opportunity for all. So what went wrong? The invasion of Iraq was particularly controversial and unleashed public fury against a government accused of not being open and honest. Alastair Campbell's 'dodgy' dossiers about WMDs sparked outrage. But also: What is the truth behind Blair's claims of rebuilding Britain's schools, hospitals and welfare services? Why did he covertly open the doors to mass immigration? And how is it that the same man who risked his government to destroy Slobodan MiloSevic and Saddam Hussein has, since leaving office, earned millions of pounds serving dictators?
 
Tom Bower is an investigative historian, broadcaster and journalist. A former producer and reporter for BBC Television, he is the author of twenty books, including biographies of Robert Maxwell, Mohamed Fayed, Gordon Brown and Conrad Black.
 
A Q&A session will follow
 
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John Gimlette
John Gimlette
Elephant Complex
Friday 7th October 18.45 – 20.00
 
Sri Lanka is a small island with a long, violent and enthralling history. Home to thousands of wild elephants, this is a place where natural beauty has endured, indifferent to human tragedy. Journeying through its many regions - some haunted by war, many rarely seen by our eyes - award-winning travel writer John Gimlette interviews ex-presidents and cricketers, tea planters and terrorists, negotiating the complex relationships of Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities and the more sinister forms of tourism.
 
Each city raises the ghosts of old colonies: Portuguese, Dutch and British armies striving to claim the most significant ports in the country. The political families of Colombo lead Gimlette through recent years of turmoil, survivors of the tsunami tell of their recovery and, tale by tale, scrap by scrap, the thorny truths of the civil war emerge - a war whose wounds have yet to heal.
 
John Gimlette is a travel writer who has won the prestigious Shiva Naipaul Prize for travel writing in 1997. His books have featured on BBC Radio 4 and he has a keen eye for the absurd. He also practices as a barrister.
 
A Q&A session will follow
 
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Azi Ahmed
Azi Ahmed
Worlds Apart: A Muslim Girl with the SAS
Friday 7th October 20.30 – 21.45
 
By the age of 12, Azi Ahmed had been fully trained in all the skills her mother thought necessary to become the perfect housewife: knitting, sewing and sitting pretty. Little did she know that a rather different sort of training lay in her future. With no military experience, physically slight and before entering Chelsea Barracks, socially isolated, Azi suddenly found herself in selection training hoping to become part of the British Army's most elite fighting force:- the SAS. She soon realised that the physical challenges were the least of her worries.
 
Deep-rooted ethnic and gender prejudices abounded and Azi was faced with trying to defend her religion within a regimented and hostile environment, a situation that was not helped by the events of 9/11. While Azi dealt with non-halal ration packs, squaddie drinking culture and the most rigorous tests of mental and physical strength, her parents, completely unaware of her double life, were still trying to find her a suitable boy to marry.
 
This is the incredible true story of the most violent of culture clashes, of one woman's fight not only to be 'the best of the best', but to remain true to herself in the process.
 
A Q&A session will follow
 
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 Saturday 8th October 2016
 
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
Science in Paris: how the French Revolution led to the Tour de France
Saturday 8th October 10.00 - 11.15
 
The TV presenter Professor Steve Jones explains how Paris at the time of the Revolution was the world capital of science and how many of its leading practitioners ended up on the guillotine.
Jones takes a sideways look at the city at the time of the revolution. Paris saw the first flight, the first estimate of the speed of light, the first lightning conductor and the invention of the tin can and the stethoscope. Antoine Lavoisier founded modern chemistry and physiology but ended up on the guillotine for his political activities, with the judge remarking that ‘the Revolution has no need for geniuses’. Jones explains how wrong this was.
 
Professor Steve Jones is a senior Research Fellow at University College London. He has given the Reith lectures and presented a BBC series on genetics and evolution. He frequently appears on radio and television.
 
A Q&A session will follow.
 
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James Boys
James Boys
Hillary Rising: The Politics, Persona and Policies of a New American Dynasty
Saturday 8th October 11.45 - 13.00
 
On 12th April 2015, Hillary Clinton formally announced her intention to run for President, casting herself as the 'champion of everyday Americans'. With universal name recognition and the promise to make history as the first female occupant of the Oval Office, all seems set for Hillary to secure the one role that has eluded her to date. But what drives this most intriguing and polarising of political figures? And, perhaps more importantly, what kind of President would she make?
 
Drawing on original interviews with close associates of both Bill and Hillary, as well as a wealth of recently declassified materials from the Clinton archive, Boys offers a clear-sighted, non-partisan analysis of Hillary's political rise.
 
Dr. James Boys is a political historian specializing in the United States and its place in the world. He has a special interest in the study of the United States’ presidency and specifically in the administration of Bill Clinton. James is a familiar face to viewers of BBC News, Sky News CNBC and Al Jazeera.
 
A Q&A session will follow.
 
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Peter Snowdon
Peter Snowdon
Cameron at 10 - The Verdict
Saturday 8th October 13.30 – 14.45
 
The most intimate account of a prime minister ever published, this is the gripping inside story of David Cameron’s government as told by Snowdon through the senior figures of our time, including the former Prime Minister, George Osborne and Boris Johnson.
Spanning the early days of the coalition to a bitterly contested general election and ending with the astonishing EU Referendum story, Snowdon tells the full story of a momentous premiership. From riots in London to the withdrawal from Afghanistan to the gambles of two seismic referenda – the Prime Minister faced an exceptionally turbulent period in British politics. With insights into his relationships with EU leaders, the Brexit camp and Barack Obama, this is the essential blueprint for understanding the rise and fall of the Cameron government.
 
Peter Snowdon is a journalist and historian. He edits the BBC Radio 4’s flagship ‘Today’ Programme.
 
A Q&A session will follow.
 
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Adrian Tinniswood

Adrian Tinniswood
The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House Between the Wars
Saturday 8th October 15.15 – 16.30
 
There is nothing quite as beautiful as an English country house in summer. And there has never been a summer quite like that Indian summer between the two world wars - a period of gentle decline in which the sun set slowly on the British Empire and the shadows lengthened on the lawns of a thousand stately homes. 
 
Real life in the country house during the 1920s and 1930s was not always so sunny. By turns opulent and ordinary, noble and vicious, its shadows were darker. Tinniswood uncovers the truth about a world half-forgotten, draped in myth and hidden behind stiff upper lips and film-star smiles. Drawing on hundreds of memoirs, on unpublished letters and diaries, on the eye-witness testimonies of belted earls and unhappy heiresses and bullying butlers, he gives a voice to the people who inhabited this world. He brings the stately homes of England to life, giving readers an insight into the guilt and the gingerbread, and showing how the image of the country house was carefully protected by its occupants above and below stairs, and how the reality was so much more interesting than the dream.
 
Adrian Tinniswood has worked for the National Trust and Heritage Fund. He is the author of 12 books and is a well-known lecturer and broadcaster in Britain and the US.
 
A Q&A session will follow.
 
Click HERE to purchase tickets

 

 

Ken Livingstone

Ken Livingstone
Being Red: A Politics for the Future
Saturday 8th October 17.00 – 18.15
 
How should the left govern? In the wake of a huge surge of interest in the Labour Party, Livingstone serves up an insider's account of the Party and its future, at a pivotal moment in its history. At a time when many are now looking to revive Labour's potential, Livingstone has form. His account takes us from the self-proclaimed ‘radical socialism’ of the Greater London Council, to his controversial independent candidacy that saw him branded as ‘dangerous’ by the Blairites, to the political battles against privatisation and pollution that characterised his time as Mayor. At each point, he suggests possible lessons for those who would seek to follow, or improve, on his achievements today.
 
Having spent years at the head of the GLC, serving two terms as London Mayor and having gone head to head with Boris Johnson, Livingstone offers a clear-sighted study of the left's possibilities and limitations, with reflections on the current state of the Labour Party.
 
A Q&A session will follow.
 
Click HERE to purchase tickets

 

 

John Andrews

John Andrews
The World in Conflict: Understanding the world's troublespots
Saturday 8th October 18.45 – 20.00
 
So far in the 21st Century, the USA and its allies have invaded Afghanistan; Russia has waged war with Georgia; the brutal Islamic State has emerged in the Middle East; and a constant contest for precious minerals in Africa has provoked - and financed - war and carnage. Other conflicts are less bloody, but still dangerous - the nervous stand-off between India and Pakistan in Kashmir, for instance, or the continuing stalemate between North and South Korea. Whether explosive or simmering, the number of violent conflicts in the world is high enough to surprise, intrigue and sober any reader. Andrews tackles head-on the reasons why global conflict is ever-present in our lives. He analyses the causes, contexts, participants, impacts and likely outcomes of each conflict. and, crucially, he considers where, why and how new conflicts might erupt.
 
John Andrews was The Economist's most experienced foreign correspondent, with postings in Europe, Asia and America. Before joining The Economist, he wrote from and about north Africa and the Middle East for the Guardian and NBC News.
 
A Q&A session will follow.
 
Click HERE to purchase tickets

 

 

Christina Lamb

Christina Lamb
Farewell Kabul: How the West Ignored Pakistan and Lost Afghanistan
Saturday 8th October 20.30 – 21.45
 
From the award-winning co-author of ‘I Am Malala’, Lamb asks just how the might of NATO, with 48 countries and 140,000 troops on the ground, failed to defeat a group of religious students and farmers? How did it go so wrong? ‘Farewell Kabul’ tells how the West turned success into defeat in the longest war fought by the United States in its history and by Britain since the Hundred Years War. It is the story of well-intentioned men and women going into a place they did not understand at all. And how, what had once been the right thing to do had become a conflict that everyone wanted to exit. It has been a fiasco which has left Afghanistan still one of the poorest and most dangerous nations on earth.
 
The leading journalist on the region with unparalleled access to all key decision makers, Christina Lamb is the best-selling author of ‘The Africa House’ and ‘I Am Malala’, co-authored with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. She is US editor for the Sunday Times and is a former Foreign Correspondent of the Year
 
A Q&A session will follow.
 
Click HERE to purchase tickets
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