Great Lives

by BBC · · · · 175 subscribers

Biographical series in which guests choose someone who has inspired their lives.

"I am a German American, a pure one, dating back to when German Americans were still marrying each other." Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis in 1922, but the most important event in his life happened in Dresden in 1945. He was a POW and underground in a meat locker during the firebombing. When he emerged he found the city totally destroyed. It took him another two decades to work out how to write his book, Slaughterhouse-Five. Nominating Vonnegut is the comedian Josie Long, who says that finding a writer you love is like finding a friend. Because no expert …


Tags: great, hero, talented, remarkable, society & culture, genius, life, famous, star, story, leader, biography, history, bbc

Older Episodes

Charlie Parker - Bird - proposed by Ken Clarke
Bill Bailey and his love for Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace
Novelist Enid Blyton Dec. 24, 2019
How can Enid Blyton not be a great life?
Jeremy Paxman nominates the Victorian social reformer Lord Shaftesbury.
Lindsey Hilsum on the extraordinary life of Lee Miller
William Brown, star of the Just William books, proposed by Peter Oborne
Author Chibundu Onuzo on the first elected female in Africa, Constance Cummings-John.
Comedian Sindhu Vee nominates Prince, the musical superstar.
Eleonora Duse, pioneering nineteenth-century actress, is the choice of Fiona Shaw.
Psychotherapist Philippa Perry on the Italian educator Maria Montessori.
Ramsay Macdonald, Labour's first prime minister, chosen by Shaun Ley.
Actress and presenter Caroline Quentin nominates dramatist and architect Sir John Vanbrugh
Laura Marling on the first female psychoanalyst Lou Andreas-Salomé.
Robinson Crusoe Aug. 13, 2019
Robinson Crusoe picked by Lucy Irvine, author of Castaway
Ed Balls discusses the influence of 20th-century composer Herbert Howells on his life.
Kamila Shamsie champions the life of the human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir.
Shirley Collins and Billy Bragg on the legendary American song-hunter Alan Lomax.
The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, chosen by artist Jeremy Deller.
Feminist campaigner and writer Caroline Criado-Perez champions the life of Jane Austen.