Origin Story

Origin Story

By Podmasters

What are the real stories behind the most misunderstood and abused ideas in politics? From Conspiracy Theory to Woke to Centrism and beyond, Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey dig into the astonishing secret histories of concepts you thought you knew. Want to support us in making future seasons? There are now two ways you can help out: Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/originstorypod . Get early episodes, live zooms and more from just £5 per month. Apple Podcasts - https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/origin-story/id1624704966 . Want everything in one place with easy payment? Subscribe to our premium feed on Apple Podcasts for ad-free shows early and more. From Podmasters, the makers of Oh God, What Now? and The Bunker.

Episodes

The Rushdie Affair – Blasphemous Rumours

The final episode of season five covers the Rushdie Affair. On 14 February 1989, the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie made The Satanic Verses the most famous novel in the world — for all the wrong reasons. The controversy had far-reaching implications for free speech, international relations and the political identity of British Muslims. Although the issue seemed to have been resolved in 1998, the attempted murder of Rushdie in 2022 showed that it was far from over. Dorian and Ian tell the whole story from all angles: Rushdie’s decade in hiding, Iran’s rivalry with Saudi Arabia, community relations in Britain, divisions in the literary scene, and the conflicted responses of politicians around the world. What exactly did The Satanic Verses say that made people so angry? Which public figures were on Rushdie’s side and which ones thought he had it coming? How did Rushdie get his life back, only to almost lose it decades later? And what is the cultural and political legacy of the affair today? It is a tale of artistic freedom colliding with religious dogma and political calculations to turn a work of fiction into an international incident for the first time. Reading list Abdulrazak Gurnah, ed. – The Cambridge Companion to Salman Rushdie (2007) Christopher Hitchens – Hitch-22: A Memoir (2010) Daniel Pipes – The Rushdie Affair: The Novel, the Ayatollah, and the West (1990) Salman Rushdie – The Satanic Verses (1988) Salman Rushdie – Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991 (1991) Salman Rushdie – Joseph Anton (2012)  Salman Rushdie – Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder (2024) Articles John Cunningham – ‘Sentenced to the prison of the word’, The Guardian (1990) Will Lloyd – How We Gave Up on Salman Rushdie, UnHerd (2022) Dorian Lynskey – Salman Rushdie on Quichotte: “The world as I knew it seems to be coming to an end” the i (2019) Sean O’Grady – The Satanic Verses 30 Years On review, The Independent (2019) David Remnick – The Defiance of Salman Rushdie, New Yorker (2023) Salman Rushdie – The Disappeared, New Yorker (2012) Words for Salman Rushdie – New York Times (1989) Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Music by Jade Bailey. Art by Jim Parrett. Logo by Mischa Welsh. Audio production by Simon Williams. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/07/241h 18m

Keir Starmer – PM Dawn

The season five finale coincides with the general election, so we’ve decided to get very topical indeed with the story of Labour leader and likely prime minister Keir Starmer. To his admirers, he’s the master strategist who took Labour from doom to Downing Street in a single term. To his foes, he’s a ruthless liar who will stop at nothing to crush the left. To the average voter, he remains a bit of a blank slate. What kind of prime minister will he be? Ian and Dorian trace Starmer’s youthful journey from working-class Surrey socialist to indie-loving, centrist-bashing law student, explaining the legacy of a difficult childhood. He was the star human rights lawyer, at the heart of 1990s controversies from the McLibel case to policing in Northern Ireland, who became the country’s top prosecutor and then a knight of the realm. At the age of 52, he entered politics and soon found himself on the frontline of the Brexit wars, butting heads with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. We end with his leadership of the party and the price of victory. Why is Starmer such a closed book in public? How did he go from radical socialist to centrist dad? What went down between him and Corbyn? Was he really an arch-remainer? When did he almost throw in the towel? And what are the core values that might define his premiership? Discover all this and more in the story of our next prime minister. • Pre-order the forthcoming Origin Stories books on Centrism, Fascism and Conspiracy Theory and get 20% off using the special discount code revealed in the podcast.  • Support Origin Story on Patreon Reading list Tom Baldwin - Keir Starmer: The Biography (2024) Oliver Eagleton – The Starmer Project: A Journey to the Right (2022) Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire – Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn (2020) Tim Shipman – Fall Out: A Year of Political Mayhem (2017) Articles and podcasts Emily Ashton, ‘Keir Starmer Is Not Who You Think He Is’, Buzzfeed (2020) Elliott Chappell, ‘Interview with Keir Starmer’, Labour List (2020) Desert Island Discs: Sir Keir Starmer (2020) George Eaton, ‘What Is Starmerism?’, The New Statesman (2024) Charlotte Edwardes, ‘“You asked me questions I’ve never asked myself”: Keir Starmer’s most personal interview yet’ The Guardian, ‘In Praise of… Keir Starmer’, The Guardian (2009) Billy Kenber, ‘Keir Starmer: Radical who attacked Kinnock in Marxist journal’, The Times (2020) Keir Starmer, ‘Sorry, Mr Blair, but 1441 does not authorise force’, The Guardian (2003) Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Producer: Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Art by Jim Parrett. Logo by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/07/241h 18m

Anti-vaxxers – Herd impunity

This episode tells the tale of the anti-vaxxers. The word has only been around since 2001 but inoculation has inspired opposition for as long as it has existed in the West. Dorian and Ian chart the life of vaccines and their opponents from the fight against smallpox in the eighteenth century to the vaccine scandals of the post-war decades. Find out why someone threw a bomb through Cotton Mather’s window, why Gandhi changed his mind, and why Leicester became the anti-vaccine capital of the world. The drama accelerates with Dr Andrew Wakefield and the MMR panic of the 2000s, which swept up everyone for Oprah Winfrey to Private Eye, caused a public health disaster and set the stage for the full-blown mania of the backlash against Covid-19 vaccines. How did a rogue British gastroenterologist launch a global movement? How did vaccine scepticism mutate into a giant conspiracy theory? Is Bill Gates really implanting 5G trackers in our blood? (No.) And what’s the best way to get an anti-vaxxer to think again? It’s a gripping story of science, journalism, paranoia, superstition and people who should know better. • Pre-order the forthcoming Origin Stories books on Centrism, Fascism and Conspiracy Theory and get 20% off using the special discount code revealed in the podcast.  • Support Origin Story on Patreon Reading list • David Aaronovitch – Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History (2010) • Jonathan M. Berman – Anti-Vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement (2020) • Steve Brotherton – Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories (2016) • Brian Deer – The Doctor Who Fooled the World: Andrew Wakefield’s War on Vaccines (2020) • Peter Furtado - Plague, Pestilence and Pandemic: Voices from History (2021) • Naomi Klein – Doppelganger (2023) • Anna Merlan – Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power (2020) • Seth Mnookin – The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy (2011) • Tom Phillips and Jonn Elledge - Conspiracy: A History of Bxllocks Theories and How Not to Fall for Them (2022) • Frank M. Snowden - Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present (2019) Podcasts and articles • You’re Wrong About: The Anti-Vaccine Movement (2021) • Maintenance Phase: RFK Jr. and the Rise of the Anti-Vaxx Movement (2023) • Isaac Chotiner, ‘The Influence of the Anti-Vaccine Movement’, The New Yorker (2020) Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Producer: Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Art by Jim Parrett. Logo by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/06/241h 18m

Genocide – Part Two – The search for justice

The war in Gaza has led to accusations of genocide but that word operates on two levels. It’s both a strict legal term that has to be adjudicated by the International Criminal Court and an informal expression of moral outrage. The definition has been contested ever since the word was invented by the lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1944, in the furnace of the Holocaust. In this two-part episode Dorian and Ian tell the story of genocide as a legal and political category. What exactly does it mean? How is it different from crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing? Why is it so hard to prove? And how did it become seen as the ultimate crime? In part two, Ian and Dorian tell the story of Lemkin’s invention of genocide and his efforts to make it an international crime. They explain how legal wrangling during the Nuremberg trials led to the 1948 Genocide Convention, and why it took so long for anybody to be charged with the crime, let alone brought to justice. Why do so many of the twentieth century’s most horrendous offences not qualify as genocide? Why did international condemnation fail to prevent genocides in Rwanda, Darfur and the former Yugoslavia? And why is the case against Israel so contentious? It’s a disturbing story but a fascinating one, raising essential questions about the rights of the individual versus the rights of the group, the limits of international law, and humankind’s capacity for justifying mass murder. • See Origin Story live at the King’s Head Theatre, London on Mon 15 July. Tickets here. • Pre-order the forthcoming Origin Stories books on Centrism, Fascism and Conspiracy Theory and get 20% off using the special discount code revealed in the podcast.  • Support Origin Story on Patreon Reading list • Donald Bloxham and A. Dirk Moses (eds.) - The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies, 2013 • Philip Gourevitch – We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, 1998 • Ben Kiernan – Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur, 2007 • Norman N. Naimark – Genocide: A World History, 2016 • Samantha Power – A Problem from Hell, 2002 • Philippe Sands – East West Street, 2016 Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Producer: Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Art by Jim Parrett. Logo by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/06/241h 5m

Genocide – Part One – The ultimate crime

The war in Gaza has led to accusations of genocide but that word operates on two levels. It’s both a strict legal term that has to be adjudicated by the International Criminal Court and an informal expression of moral outrage. The definition has been contested ever since the word was invented by the lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1944, in the furnace of the Holocaust. In this two-part episode Dorian and Ian tell the story of genocide as a legal and political category. What exactly does it mean? How is it different from crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing? Why is it so hard to prove? And how did it become seen as the ultimate crime? In part one, Ian and Dorian chart the prehistory of genocide — the ancient desire of groups to utterly eradicate their enemies. They go from the vengeful massacres of the Old Testament and Greek myth to the destruction of Carthage and the Holy War of the Crusades. Then they enter the age of empire, from the crimes of the Conquistadors to the elimination of the Tasmanians. Modern genocide began with the slaughter of the Herero in East Africa and the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, setting the stage for the Nazis. It’s a disturbing story but a fascinating one, raising essential questions about the rights of the individual versus the rights of the group, the difference between reckless violence and targeted destruction, and humankind’s capacity for justifying mass murder. • See Origin Story live at the King’s Head Theatre, London on Mon 15 July. Tickets here. • Pre-order the forthcoming Origin Stories books on Centrism, Fascism and Conspiracy Theory and get 20% off using the special discount code revealed in the podcast.  • Support Origin Story on Patreon Reading list • Donald Bloxham and A. Dirk Moses (eds.) - The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies, 2013 • Philip Gourevitch – We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, 1998 • Ben Kiernan – Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur, 2007 • Norman N. Naimark - Genocide: A World History, 2016 • Samantha Power – A Problem from Hell, 2002 • Philippe Sands – East West Street, 2016 Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Producer: Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Art by Jim Parrett. Logo by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/06/2458m 36s

John Stuart Mill & Harriet Taylor Mill – Part Two – Love, bravery and feminism

Back for season five, Origin Story continues to explore the misunderstood ideas and people that shape our politics today. With Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. In this two-parter Ian gets seriously into the research by mining his own book for episode ideas and comes up smiling with this tale of love, bravery and feminism. John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor are the mother and father of liberalism, a joint writing team who produced the most seminal books about freedom in the modern era. But while he was worshipped by those who came afterwards, she was mocked, lambasted and then erased from history. In part two, Ian and Dorian talk about the single most important liberal book ever written, track the ups and downs of the couple's tumultuous affair, and show how Mill became a woke warrior in his old age, fighting against racism and sexism and destroying his carefully-built Victorian reputation in the process. • See Origin Story live at the King’s Head Theatre, London on Mon 15 July. Tickets here. • Pre-order the forthcoming Origin Stories books on Centrism, Fascism and Conspiracy Theory and get 20% off using the special discount code revealed in the podcast.  • Buy The Ministry of Truth through our affiliate bookshop and you’ll help fund Origin Story by earning us a small commission for every sale. Bookshop.org’s fees help support independent bookshops too. • Support Origin Story on Patreon Reading list Ian Dunt – How to be a Liberal (2020) (Has anyone heard of this book? Is it any good?) Jo Ellen Jacobs (ed) – The Complete Works of Harriet taylor Mill (1998) John Stuart Mill (and Harriet Taylor Mill) – On Liberty (1859) John Stuart Mill (and Harriet Taylor Mill) – The Subjection of Women (1869) John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham – Utilitarianism and Other Essays (1987) Richard Reeves – John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand (2007) Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Music by Jade Bailey. Art by Jim Parrett. Logo by Mischa Welsh. Audio production by Simon Williams. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/06/241h 14m

John Stuart Mill & Harriet Taylor Mill – Part One – Liberalism's original power couple

Back for season five, Origin Story continues to explore the misunderstood ideas and people that shape our politics today. With Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. In this two-parter Ian gets seriously into the research by mining his own book for episode ideas and comes up smiling with this tale of love, bravery and feminism. John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor are the mother and father of liberalism, a joint writing team who produced the most seminal books about freedom in the modern era. But while he was worshipped by those who came afterwards, she was mocked, lambasted and then erased from history. In part one, Ian explains Mill's devastating childhood, Taylor's cutting social commentary, their love affairs which rocked Victorian London, the evidence for her co-authorship of several key liberal books, and how they delivered some of the earliest works of British feminism. • See Origin Story live at the King’s Head Theatre, London on Mon 15 July. Tickets here. • Pre-order the forthcoming Origin Stories books on Centrism, Fascism and Conspiracy Theory and get 20% off using the special discount code revealed in the podcast.  • Buy The Ministry of Truth through our affiliate bookshop and you’ll help fund Origin Story by earning us a small commission for every sale. Bookshop.org’s fees help support independent bookshops too. • Support Origin Story on Patreon Reading list Ian Dunt - How to be a Liberal (2020) (Has anyone heard of this book? Is it any good?) Jo Ellen Jacobs (ed) - The Complete Works of Harriet taylor Mill (1998) John Stuart Mill (and Harriet Taylor Mill) - On Liberty (1859) John Stuart Mill (and Harriet Taylor Mill) - The Subjection of Women (1869) John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham - Utilitarianism and Other Essays (1987) Richard Reeves - John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand (2007) Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Producer: Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Art by Jim Parrett. Logo by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/05/2454m 34s

George Orwell Part 2 – From Broadcasting House to Airstrip One

Back for season five, Origin Story continues to explore the misunderstood ideas and people that shape our politics today. With Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. In part two of George Orwell, Dorian picks up the story in 1941, with Orwell taking a job at the BBC. The war grinds on, and so does George, until his anti-Stalinist fairy tale Animal Farm changes everything. We’re on the road to Nineteen Eighty-Four but it is littered with obstacles: grief, madness, bombs, tuberculosis. After the war, Orwell is writing his finest essays but his life is mayhem so he escapes to the Scottish island of Jura with his baby son to write the novel that, little does he know, will make him a legend. It's the story of a writer reaching the height of his powers while everything around him seems to be falling to bits. How did a sick man on a lonely island write perhaps the most influential novel of the twentieth century? Why is his strange masterpiece so widely misunderstood? What were Orwell’s blindspots? Would he have been a good hang? And are taking the right lessons from his life and work? All this, plus Nye Bevan, HG Wells, Ernest Hemingway, Aldous Huxley and the atomic bomb. • Pre-order the forthcoming Origin Stories books on Centrism, Fascism and Conspiracy Theory and get 20% off using the special discount code revealed in the podcast. • Buy The Ministry of Truth through our affiliate bookshop and you’ll help fund Origin Story by earning us a small commission for every sale. Bookshop.org’s fees help support independent bookshops too. • Support Origin Story on Patreon Image: Peter Cushing (Winston Smith) with Yvonne Mitchell (Julia) and André Morrell (O’Brien) in the 1954 BBC production of George Orwell’s 1984. (Getty) Reading list Audrey Coppard and Bernard Crick (eds.) — Orwell Remembered (1984) Bernard Crick – George Orwell: A Life (1982) Peter Davison (ed.) — The Complete Works of George Orwell (1997-2002) Peter Davison (ed.) — The Lost Orwell (2006) Miriam Gross (ed.) — The World of George Orwell (1971) Dorian Lynskey — The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (2019 Jeffrey Meyers (ed.) — George Orwell: The Critical Heritage (1975) John Rodden — George Orwell: The Politics of Literary Reputation (1989) William Steinhoff — George Orwell and the Origins of 1984 (1975) DJ Taylor – Orwell: The Life (2003) DJ Taylor – Orwell: The New Life (2023) Sylvia Topp – Eileen: The Making of George Orwell (2020) Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Music by Jade Bailey. Art by Jim Parrett. Logo by Mischa Welsh. Audio production by Simon Williams. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/05/2452m 0s

George Orwell Part 1 – From Eton to Barcelona

Back for season five, Origin Story continues to explore the misunderstood ideas and people that shape our politics today. With Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. In this opening two-parter Dorian bows to the inevitable and tells the story of the subject of his book, The Ministry of Truth. When George Orwell died on 21 January 1950, at the age of 46, the phenomenal success of his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four made it international news. The obituaries hailed him as a beacon of decency, sanity and wisdom during the darkest years of the twentieth century — “the wintry conscience of a generation” in VS Pritchett’s ringing phrase. To this day, his moral authority is claimed by people across the political spectrum. Behind the myth, Orwell was a complicated man, full of flaws and contradictions. His road to success was long, painful and ridiculously eventful. In part one, Dorian explains how Eric Blair became George Orwell, from Eton to Burma to Paris to Wigan. We then follow Orwell to the Spanish Civil War, where he is shot by fascists and hounded by Stalinists, and finally to Blitz-torn London. It’s the story of a man working out who he is, as a writer and a moral agent, in a world tumbling towards catastrophe. How did Orwell become a socialist? Why did he wind up the other socialists? Why was Spain the great turning point in his life? Are his early novels any good? And was his wife Eileen the queen of deadpan one-liners? All this and more in the return of Origin Story. • Pre-order the forthcoming Origin Stories books on Centrism, Fascism and Conspiracy Theory and get 20% off using the special discount code revealed in the podcast.  • Buy The Ministry of Truth through our affiliate bookshop and you’ll help fund Origin Story by earning us a small commission for every sale. Bookshop.org’s fees help support independent bookshops too. • Support Origin Story on Patreon Reading list Audrey Coppard and Bernard Crick (eds.) — Orwell Remembered (1984) Bernard Crick – George Orwell: A Life (1982) Peter Davison (ed.) — The Complete Works of George Orwell (1997-2002) Peter Davison (ed.) — The Lost Orwell (2006) Miriam Gross (ed.) — The World of George Orwell (1971) Dorian Lynskey — The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (2019 Jeffrey Meyers (ed.) — George Orwell: The Critical Heritage (1975) John Rodden — George Orwell: The Politics of Literary Reputation (1989) William Steinhoff — George Orwell and the Origins of 1984 (1975) DJ Taylor – Orwell: The Life (2003) DJ Taylor – Orwell: The New Life (2023) Sylvia Topp – Eileen: The Making of George Orwell (2020) Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Music by Jade Bailey. Art by Jim Parrett. Logo by Mischa Welsh. Audio production by Simon Williams. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/05/241h 3m

10 Downing Street – The makeshift mansion

We’ve covered ideas, phrases, people and historical events. Now Origin Story profiles its first building: Number 10 Downing Street.  Following Dorian’s bonus episode about the birth of end of the world fiction, based on his new book Everything Must Go, Ian goes deep on a topic from his bestselling book How Westminster Works and Why It Doesn’t. He explains how a house built on marshland by a 17th century scoundrel gradually became the prime minister’s official residence, and how its cramped, chaotic floorplan still influences how vital decisions are made. Why does tradition trump efficient governance? How do wily advisers exploit the layout to increase their influence over the PM? Is the door more important than the rest of the house put together? And is it finally time to say goodbye to Number 10? Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Audio production by Simon Williams. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/04/2435m 1s

The Illuminati – Top of the Plots

• Join Ian and Dorian for Origin Story Live in London on Tue 7 May. They’ll be looking at how the Conservative Party got addicted to conspiracy theory, and more. This time: The Illuminati were a group of Enlightenment idealists who existed for just a few years in 1780s Bavaria. Or were they? The Illuminati have since been blamed for everything from the French Revolution to communism to 9/11. How did a powerless club of intellectuals become reimagined as the secret rulers of the world? And how did the myth of the Illuminati become the template for every megaconspiracy theory about plots to put humanity under the heel of a one-world government? Dorian and Ian unravel this amazing yarn, which takes in America’s Founding Fathers, British fascists, the Knights Templar, David Icke, Jay-Z and the Playboy letters page. The truth is in here. Written and presented by Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/04/2439m 51s

Apocalypse How? Dorian on the birth of end of the world fiction

For 1800 years, Western conceptions of the end of the world were dominated by the Book of Revelation: Armageddon, the Millennium, Judgement Day. But in 1816, political upheaval, Enlightenment science and the Romantic imagination converged to give birth to a radical idea: the end of the world without God. When Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley came together beside Lake Geneva that summer, a volcanic eruption was producing endless rain and apocalyptic prophecies. Drawing on his new book Everything Must Go: The Stories We Tell About the End of the World, Dorian explains how that season of confusion and gloom led to not just Frankenstein but Byron’s revolutionary poem Darkness. And how the deaths of her companions led Mary to write The Last Man, the first ever novel about a world-destroying pandemic. It’s a story of personal tragedy, temporary climate change, shocking new ideas about the past, present and future of life on earth, and the summer that kicked off two centuries (and counting) of apocalyptic fiction. Buy Everything Must Go: The Stories We Tell About the End of the World through our affiliate bookshop and you’ll help fund Origin Story by earning us a small commission for every sale. Bookshop.org’s fees help support independent bookshops too. Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Audio production by Simon Williams. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/04/2435m 18s

Effective Altruism: Morality by numbers

In the last episode of season four, Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey discuss effective altruism. Last month the US entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted on multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the dramatic collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Bankman-Fried was also a prominent advocate of effective altruism, a philanthropic movement based on utilitarian philosophy, and the scandal has thrown the EA community into crisis. Dorian and Ian explain how two maverick young Oxford philosophers ended up creating a multi-billion-dollar movement, explore the ideas behind it, and track its journey towards long termism: the philosophy of safeguarding the future of the human race from threats such as hostile AI. Are the principles of EA sound? Did the influx of billionaires and the obsession with existential risk knock it off course? Was Bankman-Fried a true believer who blew it or just a grifter who took the idealists for a ride? And can EA survive one of the biggest financial scandals of this century? When big ideas collide with big money and big tech, things get messy. Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  Reading list Books: Carol J.Adams, Alice Crary, Lori Gruen, (eds.) — The Good it Promises, the Harm it Does: Critical Essays on Effective Alturism, (2023) Nick Bostrom and Milan M. Ćirković (eds.) — Global Catastrophic Risks (2008) Nick Bostrom — Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (2014) Zeke Faux — Number Go Up: Inside Crypto’s Wild Rise and Staggering Fall (2023) John Leslie — The End of the World: The Science and Ethics of Human Extinction (1996) Michael Lewis — Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon (2023) William MacAskill — Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and How You Can Make a Difference (2015) William MacAskill — What We Owe the Future (2022) Toby Ord — The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity (2020) Online: Core EA Principles, Centre for Effective Altruism Peter Singer — Famine, Affluence and Morality, 1971 Peter Singer — TED talk, 2013 William MacAskill — The history of the term ‘effective altruism’, Effective Altruism Forum, 2014 Raffi Khatchadourian — The Doomsday Invention, New Yorker, 2015 Gideon-Lewis Krauss — The Reluctant Prophet of Effective Altruism, New Yorker, 2022 Charlotte Alter — Effective Altruist Leaders Were Repeatedly Warned About Sam Bankman-Fried Years Before FTX Collapsed, Time, 2023 Sophie McBain — Sam Bankman-Fried and the effective altruism delusion, New Statesman, 2023 Podcasts: 80,000 Hours: Sam Bankman-Fried, 2022 80,000 Hours: Toby Ord, 2023 Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. Twitter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/12/231h 10m

Eugenics Part Two: The Murderous Science

In part two of the history of eugenics, Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey explain how the pseudo-science of “racial hygiene” seduced everyone from feminist birth-control pioneers and social democrats to the ardent white supremacists whose screeds shaped US immigration laws and influenced Hitler. Then they turn to the rise of eugenics in Germany and how it enabled the Nazis to introduce massive programs of sterilisation and extermination. After the Second World War, the name of eugenics was discredited but many of its leading thinkers and institutions kept going under the more acceptable guise of genetics. How was eugenics quietly rehabilitated by IQ fetishists and population-control advocates? Why has it become so popular in Silicon Valley? And does it even make scientific sense or is it really a pseudo-science designed to formalise bigotry? Despite its association with historic atrocities, the belief that biology is destiny and procreation is political has not gone away. Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits including an extended version of the podcast. www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  Reading list: Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine (eds) - The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (2010) Edwin Black — War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (2003) Elof Axel Carlson — The Unfit: A History of a Bad Idea (2001) GK Chesterton — Eugenics and Other Evils (1922) Charles Darwin — The Descent of Man (1871) Lyndsay Andrew Farrall — The Origins and Growth of the English Eugenics Movement 1865-1925 (1969) Francis Galton – Hereditary Genius (1869) Henry H Goddard – The Kallikak Family (1912) Stephen Jay Gould — The Mismeasure of Man (1981/1996) Madison Grant – The Passing of the Great Race (1916) Philippa Levine — Eugenics: A Very Short Introduction (2017) Gina Maranto — Quest for Perfection: The Drive to Breed Better Human Beings (1996) Adam Rutherford — Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics (2022) Lothrop Stoddard – The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy (1920) HG Wells – Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought (1901)  Online: Quinn Slobodian — ‘The rise of the new tech right’, The New Statesman (2023) Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. Twitter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/12/231h 1m

Eugenics Part One: Gene Genies

This week, Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey get started on the history of eugenics, the idea of finding biological solutions to social problems. Say the word now and it calls to mind skull-measuring cranks or Nazi death camps but for decades it was a mainstream project in many parts of the world, attracting not just white supremacists and elitist snobs but liberals, socialists and feminists. Winston Churchill, HG Wells, Nikola Tesla and John Maynard Keynes all expressed an interest. How did bad science and dangerous politics become so popular? Dorian and Ian explore how Francis Galton and Herbert Spencer’s fascination with inherited characteristics was supercharged by Victorian science, from Darwin’s theory of evolution to early breakthroughs in genetics. They talk about how Galton’s voluntary “positive eugenics” led to the authoritarian “negative eugenics” of compulsory sterilisation, and how hardcore American eugenicists drew up a blueprint for Hitler. Also: the birth of scientific racism, the sinister history of IQ tests, how GK Chesterton helped save Britain from eugenics laws, and, yes, the people who thought you could identify criminals by the shape of their skulls. It’s a disturbing and complicated story which mangles your political preconceptions. Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits. Reading list Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine (eds) - The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (2010) Edwin Black — War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (2003) Elof Axel Carlson — The Unfit: A History of a Bad Idea (2001) GK Chesterton — Eugenics and Other Evils (1922) Charles Darwin — The Descent of Man (1871) Lyndsay Andrew Farrall — The Origins and Growth of the English Eugenics Movement 1865-1925 (1969) Francis Galton – Hereditary Genius (1869) Henry H Goddard – The Kallikak Family (1912) Stephen Jay Gould — The Mismeasure of Man (1981/1996) Madison Grant – The Passing of the Great Race (1916) Philippa Levine — Eugenics: A Very Short Introduction (2017) Gina Maranto — Quest for Perfection: The Drive to Breed Better Human Beings (1996) Adam Rutherford — Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics (2022) Lothrop Stoddard – The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy (1920) HG Wells – Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought (1901)  Online: Quinn Slobodian — ‘The rise of the new tech right’, The New Statesman (2023) Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. Follow Origin Story on X Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/11/231h

Night of the Living Allegory: The Politics of Zombies

Born in Haitian folklore and inadvertently reinvented by director George A. Romero, the zombie is the most flexible metaphor in horror fiction, if not all of popular culture. It can represent a war, a virus, a natural disaster, terrorism, capitalism, climate change and much more. In fact, it’s hard to tell a zombie story that isn’t political in one way or another. Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey follow the trail of the walking dead from the Caribbean to Night of the Living Dead and the global outbreak of zombiemania in the 21st century. What does the zombie tell us about life, death and civilisation? How can it contain so many different meanings? And why do the living dead remain uniquely disturbing after all these years? Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits including bonus chat about how Ian and Dorian make each episode: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  Resources: Books Kyle William Bishop — American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture, 2012 Kyle William Bishop — How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century, 2015 Max Brooks — World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, 2006 Greg Garrett — Living with the Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse, 2017 Zachary Graves — Zombies: The Complete Guide to the World of the Living Dead, 2011 Peter Haining, ed. — Zombie!: Stories of the Walking Dead, 1985 Richard Matheson – I Am Legend, 1954 Kim Paffenroth — Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero’s Visions of Hell on Earth, 2006 George Romero & Susanna Sparrow — Dawn of the Dead, 1979 Jamie Russell — Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema, 2014 Colson Whitehead — Zone One, 2012 Tony Williams — The Cinema of George A. Romero: Knight of the Living Dead, 2015 Films, TV and games White Zombie, 1932 I Walked with a Zombie, 1943 The Last Man on Earth, 1964 Night of the Living Dead, 1968 Dawn of the Dead, 1978 Day of the Dead, 1985 Resident Evil, 1996 28 Days Later, 2002 Shaun of the Dead, 2004 28 Weeks Later, 2007 I Am Legend, 2007 Dead Set, 2008 The Walking Dead, 2010-22 The Last of Us, 2022 Online Doug Gross, Why we love those rotting, hungry, putrid zombies, CNN, 2009 https://edition.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/10/02/zombie.love/index.html Torie Bosch, First Eat All the Lawyers, Slate, 2011 https://slate.com/culture/2011/10/zombies-the-zombie-boom-is-inspired-by-the-economy.html Thomas Jones, Les zombies, c’est vous, London Review of Books, 2012 https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v34/n02/thomas-jones/les-zombies-c-est-vous Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Max Brooks Is Not Kidding About the Zombie Apocalypse, New York Times, 2013 https://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/magazine/max-brooks-is-not-kidding-about-the-zombie-apocalypse.html Interview with Alex Garland, 2015 https://www.huffpost.com/entry/interview-director-alex-g_b_7038618 Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/11/231h 12m

John Maynard Keynes Part Two: We’re all Keynesians now

In Part Two of John Maynard Keynes, Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt reconnect with Keynes in the 1930s, as he slowly pulls together his magnum opus, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. This book changed everything for Keynes, and the rest of us, by establishing Keynesianism as a new way to understand both the economy and society. Ian and Dorian discuss the last decade of Keynes’ life, from the New Deal to the Second World War to the Bretton Woods conference which established the post-war order. When Keynes died suddenly in 1946, his ardent disciples had just begun remaking the world. Did Keynes save capitalism from itself? “We are all Keynesians now,” declared Time magazine in 1965, but 10 years later a global economic crisis was opening the door to the neoliberal counter-revolution, led by Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. Were the Keynesians more Keynesian than Keynes himself? Should he be credited with the post-war boom and blamed for its dramatic implosion? Is the relationship between Keynesian and neoliberal visions more complex than it appears? And are Joe Biden and Keir Starmer taking us into a new age of Keynes? Reading list for both episodes Books Roger E. Backhouse and Bradley W. Bateman — Capitalist Revolutionary: John Maynard Keynes, 2011 Bradley W. Bateman, Toshiaki Hirai and Maria Cristina Marcuzzo, eds. — The Return to Keynes, 2010 Zach Carter — The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes, 2020 Peter Clarke — Keynes: The Twentieth Century’s Most Influential Economist, 2010 Roy Harrod — The Life of John Maynard Keynes, 1951 John Maynard Keynes — The Essential Keynes, 2015 Robert Skidelsky — John Maynard Keynes 1883-1946: Economist, Philosopher, Statesman, 2004 Nicholas Wapshott — Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics, 2011 Online: John Maynard Keynes, ‘Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren’, 1930 https://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/archive/keynes_persuasion/Economic_Possibilities_for_our_Grandchildren.htm We Are All Keynesians Now, Time, 1965 https://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,842353,00.html Tides of History podcast with Zach Carter https://podcasts.apple.com/bg/podcast/john-maynard-keynes-and-his-legacies-interview-with/id1257202425?i=1000476041925 Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/11/231h 1m

John Maynard Keynes Part One: The Establishment Radical

Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey discuss perhaps the most extraordinary individual they have encountered so far: John Maynard Keynes. The most significant economist since Adam Smith rewrote our understanding of the relationship between the state and the market. But Keynes was also a philosopher, a statesman, an aesthete and a hell of a writer: a one-man advertisement for the virtues of refusing to stay in your lane. In part one Dorian and Ian track Keynes’ remarkable life in the fifty years leading up to his game changing “general theory” in the 1930s. They talk about his gilded youth at Eton and Cambridge, his complicated friendship with the Bloomsbury Group, his sensational journalism, his rivalries with classical economists, and his rise to wealth and influence. But for all his achievements, his policy prescriptions were usually ignored, from the Treaty of Versailles to the Great Depression. His failures made him Mister Told-you-so. Why was Keynes such a remarkable figure and why wouldn’t politicians listen to him? Was he an arch-centrist in an age of extremes? Along the way we meet Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill, Bertrand Russell, Oswald Mosley and zingers galore. Next week: the rise and fall (and rise again) of Keynesianism. Reading list for both episodes Books: Roger E. Backhouse and Bradley W. Bateman — Capitalist Revolutionary: John Maynard Keynes, 2011 Bradley W. Bateman, Toshiaki Hirai and Maria Cristina Marcuzzo, eds. — The Return to Keynes, 2010 Zach Carter — The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes, 2020 Peter Clarke — Keynes: The Twentieth Century’s Most Influential Economist, 2010 Roy Harrod — The Life of John Maynard Keynes, 1951 John Maynard Keynes — The Essential Keynes, 2015 Robert Skidelsky — John Maynard Keynes 1883-1946: Economist, Philosopher, Statesman, 2004 Nicholas Wapshott — Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics, 2011 Online: John Maynard Keynes, ‘Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren’, 1930 https://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/archive/keynes_persuasion/Economic_Possibilities_for_our_Grandchildren.htm We Are All Keynesians Now, Time, 1965 https://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,842353,00.html Tides of History podcast with Zach Carter https://podcasts.apple.com/bg/podcast/john-maynard-keynes-and-his-legacies-interview-with/id1257202425?i=1000476041925 Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/11/2358m 19s

Boomers: You never had it so good

This week, Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt look at the most powerful and divisive generational cohort of them all: boomers. The people born between 1946 and 1964 have been credited, and blamed, for creating the world we live in. They’re the 60s generation, the Me generation, the Reagan generation and the Third Way generation. Where they lead, the world follows. Now that most of them have passed the age of 60, they are allegedly at war with millennials over their legacy: OK, boomer. But does it really make sense to generalise about a cohort which extends from Dolly Parton to Donald Trump, and Theresa May to Prince? And what is a generation anyway? Ian (early millennial) and Dorian (late Gen X) discuss the roots of generation theory, track the boomers’ rise to power and assess the charges that boomers and millennials throw at each other across the divide. Is the generation gap bigger than ever or a phoney war cooked up by politicians and the media? Reading list Books: Helen Andrews — Boomers: The Men and Women Who Promised Freedom and Delivered Disaster, 2020 Jennie Bristow — Baby Boomers and Generational Conflict, 2015 Bobby Duffy — The Generation Divide: Why We Can’t Agree and Why We Should, 2021 Jill Filipovic — OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind, 2020 Bruce Cannon Gibney — A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America, 2017 Landon Y Jones — Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation, 1980 Joseph Sternberg — Theft of a Decade: Baby Boomers, Millennials, and the Distortion of Our Economy, 2019 William Strauss and Neil Howe — Generations: The History of America’s Future 1584 to 2069, 1991 Jean M Twenge — Generations: The Real Differences Between Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, and Silent — and What They Mean for the Future, 2023 David Willetts — The Pinch: How the Baby Boomers Took Their Children's Future — And Why They Should Give It Back, 2010 Online: Karl Mannheim — ‘The Problem of Generations’, 1928 https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjln8-IiteBAxU2XUEAHcSICu4QFnoECA4QAw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmarcuse.faculty.history.ucsb.edu%2Fclasses%2F201%2Farticles%2F27MannheimGenerations.pdf&usg=AOvVaw37Wl_dRsSZ_rDdODQ0fMbd&opi=89978449 Richard Lorber and Ernest Fladell — ‘The Generation Gap’, Life, 1968 https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=BVUEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA81&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false Neil Howe and William Strauss, ‘The New Generation Gap’, The Atlantic, 1992 https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1992/12/the-new-generation-gap/536934/ Louis Menand — ‘It’s Time to Stop Talking about “Generations”’, The New Yorker, 2021 https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/10/18/its-time-to-stop-talking-about-generations Justin E Smith — ‘My Generation’, Harper’s, 2023 https://harpers.org/archive/2023/09/my-generation/ Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/10/231h 19m

Jordan B Peterson Part Two: The Unravelling

This week, it’s part two of the riddle of Jordan B Peterson, the bestselling author and culture warrior. Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey dig into his two megasellers, 12 Rules for Life and Beyond Order, and try to understand why these very strange cocktails of self-help advice, comparative mythology and biological essentialism resonated with millions of readers, especially men and boys.  Do his ideas add up to a coherent view of how to live? How does he reconcile mythology with zoology? What on earth is “postmodern neo-Marxism”? And what is it with Peterson and Pinocchio?  Dorian and Ian discuss how the man with so many rules for life wound up at the end of his tether in a Russian hospital, and how to reconcile his books with his increasingly eccentric and extreme social media presence. Is he really an intellectual at all? Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod Reading list for both episodes: Books: Ben Burgis, Conrad Hamilton, Matthew McManus and Marion Trejo — Myth and Mayhem: A Leftist Critique of Jordan Peterson, 2020 Jordan B Peterson — Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, 1999 Jordan B Peterson — 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, 2018 Jordan B Peterson — Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, 2021 Sandra Woien, ed. — Critical Responses to Jordan Peterson, 2022 Online: Jason McBride — ‘The Pronoun Warrior’, Toronto Life, 2017 https://torontolife.com/city/u-t-professor-sparked-vicious-battle-gender-neutral-pronouns/ David Brooks — ‘The Jordan Peterson Moment’, The New York Times, 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/opinion/jordan-peterson-moment.html Dorian Lynskey — ‘How dangerous is Jordan Peterson, the rightwing professor who “hit a hornets’ nest”?’, The Guardian, 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/feb/07/how-dangerous-is-jordan-b-peterson-the-rightwing-professor-who-hit-a-hornets-nest Kelefa Sanneh — ‘Jordan Peterson’s Gospel of Masculinity’, The New Yorker, 2018 https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/05/jordan-petersons-gospel-of-masculinity Pankaj Mishra — ‘Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism’, The New York Review of Books, 2018 https://www.nybooks.com/online/2018/03/19/jordan-peterson-and-fascist-mysticism/ Nellie Bowles — ‘Jordan Peterson, Custodian of the Patriarchy’, The New York Times, 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/style/jordan-peterson-12-rules-for-life.html Vinay Menon — ‘Jordan Peterson is trying to make sense of the world — including his own strange journey’, Toronto Star, 2018 https://web.archive.org/web/20191219104703/https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2018/03/16/jordan-peterson-is-trying-to-make-sense-of-the-world-including-his-own-strange-journey.html Bernard Schiff — ‘I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous’, Toronto Star, 2018 https://web.archive.org/web/20200115120600/https:/www.thestar.com/opinion/2018/05/25/i-was-jordan-petersons-strongest-supporter-now-i-think-hes-dangerous.html Johanna Thomas-Corr — ‘Jordan Peterson, Agent of Chaos’, The New Statesman, 2021 https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2023/02/jordan-peterson-agent-chaos-psychology James Marriott — ‘Beyond Order by Jordan Peterson review’, The Times, 2021 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/beyond-order-by-jordan-b-peterson-review-qnhtgs2zj Helen Lewis — ‘What Happened to Jordan Peterson?’, The Atlantic, 2021 https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/04/what-happened-to-jordan-peterson/618082/ Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/10/2359m 0s

Jordan B Peterson Part One: Ascension

Origin Story is back. The critically-acclaimed podcast uncovering the hidden histories of concepts, people and events you thought you knew.  To kick off Series 4 Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey turn their sights on Jordan B Peterson, the bestselling author, diehard culture warrior and, allegedly, the most influential intellectual in the western world. In part one they discuss Peterson’s life up to the publication of 12 Rules for Life in 2018, from his childhood in rural Canada to his first book, Maps of Meaning, his role as a star professor at the University of Toronto and his first taste of public controversy.  How did an obscure academic come to the brink of global celebrity? Why did a young left-leaning activist grow into a ferocious conservative? And what ideas led him to his multi-million-dollar 12 rules? Featuring Nietzsche, Karl Jung, the absence of God and nightmares about the end of the world. Buckle up, bucko. Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  Reading list: Books: Ben Burgis, Conrad Hamilton, Matthew McManus and Marion Trejo — Myth and Mayhem: A Leftist Critique of Jordan Peterson, 2020 Jordan B Peterson — Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, 1999 Jordan B Peterson — 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, 2018 Jordan B Peterson — Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, 2021 Sandra Woien, ed. — Critical Responses to Jordan Peterson, 2022 Online: Jason McBride — ‘The Pronoun Warrior’, Toronto Life, 2017 https://torontolife.com/city/u-t-professor-sparked-vicious-battle-gender-neutral-pronouns/ David Brooks — ‘The Jordan Peterson Moment’, The New York Times, 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/opinion/jordan-peterson-moment.html Dorian Lynskey — ‘How dangerous is Jordan Peterson, the rightwing professor who “hit a hornets’ nest”?’, The Guardian, 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/feb/07/how-dangerous-is-jordan-b-peterson-the-rightwing-professor-who-hit-a-hornets-nest Kelefa Sanneh — ‘Jordan Peterson’s Gospel of Masculinity’, The New Yorker, 2018 https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/05/jordan-petersons-gospel-of-masculinity Pankaj Mishra — ‘Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism’, The New York Review of Books, 2018 https://www.nybooks.com/online/2018/03/19/jordan-peterson-and-fascist-mysticism/ Nellie Bowles — ‘Jordan Peterson, Custodian of the Patriarchy’, The New York Times, 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/style/jordan-peterson-12-rules-for-life.html Vinay Menon — ‘Jordan Peterson is trying to make sense of the world — including his own strange journey’, Toronto Star, 2018 https://web.archive.org/web/20191219104703/https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2018/03/16/jordan-peterson-is-trying-to-make-sense-of-the-world-including-his-own-strange-journey.html Bernard Schiff — ‘I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous’, Toronto Star, 2018 https://web.archive.org/web/20200115120600/https:/www.thestar.com/opinion/2018/05/25/i-was-jordan-petersons-strongest-supporter-now-i-think-hes-dangerous.html Johanna Thomas-Corr — ‘Jordan Peterson, Agent of Chaos’, The New Statesman, 2021 https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2023/02/jordan-peterson-agent-chaos-psychology James Marriott — ‘Beyond Order by Jordan Peterson review’, The Times, 2021 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/beyond-order-by-jordan-b-peterson-review-qnhtgs2zj Helen Lewis — ‘What Happened to Jordan Peterson?’, The Atlantic, 2021 https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/04/what-happened-to-jordan-peterson/618082/ Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Simon Williams. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/10/2354m 11s

Bonuscast! Oppenheimer: Fallout

Christopher Nolan has been generous enough to put together a full-on Origin Story film, combining key elements from the Nuclear War and McCarthyism episodes. So Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt put on their Oppenheimer cosplay outfits including suit trousers waisted up to the chest, and set off to the cinema to watch it.  Here's what they had to say… Support Origin Story on Patreon for more bonus episodes: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  Reading List:  Luis Alvarez – Alvarez: Adventures of a Physicist  Martin Amis – Einstein’s Monsters  Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin – American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer  David C. Cassidy – J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century  Sharon Ghamari-Tabrizi – The Worlds of Herman Kahn  Herman Kahn – On Thermonuclear War  William Lanouette – Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard  William L. Laurence – Dawn Over Zero: The Story of the Atomic Bomb  Robert Jay Lifton and Richard Falk - Indefensible Weapons  Ronald Reagan – An American Life  Jonathan Schell – The Fate of the Earth  P.D. Smith – Doomsday Men: The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon  H.G. Wells – The World Set Free  The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy, by Lawrence Freedman and Jeffrey Michaels The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Alex Rees, music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/08/2341m 57s

Live in London

Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey host an evening of storytelling, debate, gallows humour and intense irritation recorded with an audience on a balmy evening in Soho, London. They look at the idea of The Elite. What the hell does it mean? Where did it come from? How has it changed over the years? And why does it always seem to refer to whoever you happen to disagree with?  For their sins Dorian and Ian read Values, Voice and Virtue: The New British Politics by Matthew Goodwin and pick apart the case against the so-called “new elite". Reading list: Matthew Goodwin - Values, Voice and Virtue: The New British Politics Charles Wright Mills - The Power Elite Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/07/2353m 25s

Elon Musk: The Man Who Fell to Earth

Uncovering the hidden histories of concepts, people and events you thought you knew.  In a first for Origin Story, Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt focus on a living figure: the ubiquitous and divisive richest man in the world, Elon Musk. In the past two years the public perception of Musk has changed dramatically, from Time's Man of the Year and “real-life Iron Man" to radicalised right-wing troll and destroyer of Twitter. Ian and Dorian trace his journey from sci-fi obsessed child prodigy in Apartheid-era South Africa to dotcom entrepreneur to the self-appointed techno-messiah at the helm of SpaceX and Tesla, and ask what happened to the man who said he wanted to save the world. They discuss what his career says about the arc of Silicon Valley and 21st-century capitalism, the cult of technocracy and the dangers of believing your own hype. Support Origin Story on Patreon for exclusive benefits: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  “He doesn’t seem that interested in money. The choices he’s made have not been your regular ‘rich guy’ choices.” – Dorian Lynskey “On Twitter some of the disinformation has been morally abysmal. You think, how could you be a person who would even write these words?” – Ian Dunt "He said it was the duty of the educated to reproduce so ‘we don’t devolve into a not very literate, theocratic and unenlightened future.’ It’s low-level eugenics.” — Dorian Lynskey Reading list: Eric Berger – Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX Agustin Ferrari Braun – The Elon Musk Experience: Celebrity Management in Financialised Capitalism David S. Kidder – The Startup Playbook Hamish McKenzie – Insane Mode: How Elon Musk’s Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil Ashlee Vance – Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Is Shaping Our Future Douglas Coupland, ‘The smartest person in any room anywhere:’ in defence of Elon Musk, The Observer, 2021 Tad Friend, Plugged In, The New Yorker, 2009 Jordan Liles – What We Know About Elon Musk and the Emerald Mine Rumor, Snopes, 2022 Linette Lopez, Elon Musk Doesn’t Care About You, Business Insider, 2018 David J Roth, Burning Down the House, Defector, 2023 Neil Strauss – Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow, Rolling Stone, 2017 Matthew Sweet, Why Jeff Bezos and Elon’s Musk real business inspiration is science-fiction, The Times, 2021 The Elon Musk Show, BBC documentary, 2022 I Do Not like Elon Musk Very Much, Behind the Bastards podcast Elon Musk: The Techno Shaman, Decoding the Gurus podcast Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/07/231h 10m

Zionism Part 2

Explaining the most misunderstood ideas and people in politics In another two-parter, Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt break down the long, THORNY history of Zionism. In part two, the horror of the Holocaust persuades the international community to mandate a Jewish state in Palestine, with the surprising endorsement of Stalin, but Zionism remains divided.  In the year of Israel’s 75th anniversary, Ian and Dorian discuss how successive governments lost the left and courted the right, what happened to Theodor Herzl’s utopian vision, and what people really mean when they say they are anti-Zionist. Hear the next episode right now when you support Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  "In 1948 Israel is one of the most popular countries in the world, perhaps the only country supported by both sides of the Cold War." – Dorian Lynskey "Ultimately if you restrict Zionism to the oldest idea of a homeland for Jews for safety and identity, that is a really provocative, radical and interesting idea.” – Ian Dunt Reading list: Steven Beller – Herzl Lenni Brenner – Zionism in the Age of Dictators Walter Laqueur – A History of Zionism Alex Ryvchin – Zionism: The Concise History Avi Shlaim – The Iron Wall Michael Stanislawski – Zionism: A Very Short Introduction Melvin J. Urofsky – American Zionism from Herzl to the Holocaust Jeff Walker – The Revisionists and the Rise of Right-Wing Zionism Geoffrey Wheatcroft – Churchill’s Shadow Paul Bogdanor’s critique of Lenni Brenner https://fathomjournal.org/an-antisemitic-hoax-lenni-brenner-on-zionist-collaboration-with-the-nazis/ The Making of Modern Zionism: The Intellectual Origins of the Jewish State, by Shlomo Avineri Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/07/2348m 24s

Zionism Part 1

Explaining the most misunderstood ideas and people in politics. In another two-parter, Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt break down the long thorny history of Zionism.  In part one, covering the 1890s to the 1930s, they explain how Theodor Herzl single handedly created a movement for a Jewish nation, Chaim Weizmann won over Churchill and Balfour, and Ze’ev Jabotinsky sowed the seeds of Likud. Utopian dreams wrestle with hard-nosed pragmatism as the Zionists clash with the world’s great powers, and each other, about what a Jewish nation should be.  Hear Part Two right now when you support Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  “Herzl didn’t see the Holocaust coming but he was a realist about the durability of antisemitism.” — Dorian Lynskey It’s a very communistic, very socialistic, very politically radical community that ends up in Palestine.” — Ian Dunt “At the time of Herzl’s death, only about one per cent of the world’s Jews were Zionists.” — Dorian Lynskey Reading list: Steven Beller – Herzl Lenni Brenner – Zionism in the Age of Dictators Walter Laqueur – A History of Zionism Alex Ryvchin – Zionism: The Concise History Avi Shlaim – The Iron Wall Michael Stanislawski – Zionism: A Very Short Introduction Melvin J. Urofsky – American Zionism from Herzl to the Holocaust Jeff Walker – The Revisionists and the Rise of Right-Wing Zionism Geoffrey Wheatcroft – Churchill’s Shadow Paul Bogdanor’s critique of Lenni Brenner: https://fathomjournal.org/an-antisemitic-hoax-lenni-brenner-on-zionist-collaboration-with-the-nazis/ The Making of Modern Zionism: The Intellectual Origins of the Jewish State, by Shlomo Avineri Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/07/2358m 41s

Climate Change Denial part 2: Fuelling the Flames

Uncovering the hidden histories of concepts, people and events you thought you knew. In part two of the story of climate change denial Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey take a closer look at the techniques of the “merchants of doubt" who took the denial of man made global warming into the mainstream. Ian tells the real story behind 2009’s phoney scandal “Climategate”, while Dorian reads Michael Crichton’s crank thriller State of Fear and watches the controversial Channel 4 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle to explain how denial became a kind of conspiracy theory. A tale of wild claims, false balance, scientists under siege and the giant mess that the deniers have left behind. Hear the next episode right now when you support Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  “It’s the most malicious, cynical, unrepresentative assault on good science that you can imagine” – Ian Dunt "It’s apparently a conspiracy between corrupt scientists, hippies, neo-Marxists and Margaret Thatcher. I would love to have been at the meetings." – Dorian Lynskey “Science operates within doubt, that’s how it moves forward” – Ian Dunt Reading List:  Michael Crichton – State of Fear Ross Gelbspan – The Heat Is On: The High Stakes Battle Over Earth’s Threatened Climate Clive Hamilton – Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change Bjorn Lomborg – The Skeptical Environmentalist Chris Mooney – The Republican War on Science Thomas Gale Moore – Climate of Fear: Why We Shouldn’t Worry About Global Warming Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway – Merchants of Doubt Nathaniel Rich – Losing Earth: The Decade We Could Have Stopped Climate Change Peter Stott – Hot Air: The Inside Story of the Battle Against Climate Change Denial The Great Global Warming Swindle (Channel 4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYhCQv5tNsQ Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/07/2349m 8s

Climate Change Denial part 1: Science Friction

Uncovering the hidden histories of concepts, people and events you thought you knew.  This time: Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey try to cool their tempers as they take on climate change denial. They trace denial’s journey from fossil-fuel lobbyists and neoliberal think tanks into the heart of the mainstream media and lay out the dire consequences. In this first part Ian and Dorian discuss how global warming grew from a minor nineteenth-century hypothesis into the consensus scientific position by the eco-conscious 1970s. Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House and even Margaret Thatcher was worried about carbon emissions. Starting in 1988, though, contrarian scientists, lobbyists and right-wing politicians weaponised scepticism to ensure that nothing was done about it. Also: how discredited panics about overpopulation and a new ice age helped to fuel the politics of denial. Conspiracy theories, culture wars, pseudo-science and media credulity come together in the story of one of the greatest scandals of modern times. Hear Part Two right now when you support Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  Tickets for the Origin Story live show are available now: https://www.tickettext.co.uk/ZwCihZbENZ “It is extraordinary how far back this goes…there’s cross-party recognition of man-made climate change in the 1960’s.” – Ian Dunt “It’s incredible that the Clean Air Act actually makes global warming worse.” – Dorian Lynskey “It’s the same technique as McCarthy, used again and again.” – Ian Dunt Reading List:  Michael Crichton – State of Fear Ross Gelbspan – The Heat Is On: The High Stakes Battle Over Earth’s Threatened Climate Clive Hamilton – Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change Bjorn Lomborg – The Skeptical Environmentalist Chris Mooney – The Republican War on Science Thomas Gale Moore – Climate of Fear: Why We Shouldn’t Worry About Global Warming Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway – Merchants of Doubt Nathaniel Rich – Losing Earth: The Decade We Could Have Stopped Climate Change Peter Stott – Hot Air: The Inside Story of the Battle Against Climate Change Denial The Great Global Warming Swindle (Channel 4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYhCQv5tNsQ Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/06/2350m 7s

Nuclear War part 2: The Final Countdown

Uncovering the hidden histories of concepts you thought you knew. Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey pick up the story of nuclear war in the 1950s with the arrival of the H-bomb, and travel from the deadly face-off the Cuban Missile Crisis to the theory of nuclear winter and the place of nuclear weapons in a post-Cold War world. Kennedy and Khrushchev contemplate the abyss, Ronald Reagan frets about Armageddon, and Dr Strangelove brings the twisted psychology of nuclear deterrence to the screen. Plus the dark allure of the Cobalt Bomb, the Doomsday Machine that never existed. It’s a story of threats, war games and hair-raising close shaves. Did the strategists get it right in the end or were we just very lucky? Listen to next week’s episode right now when you support Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod “In the US there was a recognition over and over by presidents stating…we know that if we fire, we get fired back on.” – Ian Dunt “(the Cuban Missile Crisis) brought the world to the abyss of destruction and the end of mankind.” – Robert Kennedy “Distrust almost destroyed the world” – Dorian Lynskey Reading List:  Luis Alvarez – Alvarez: Adventures of a Physicist  Martin Amis – Einstein’s Monsters  Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin – American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer  David C. Cassidy – J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century  Sharon Ghamari-Tabrizi – The Worlds of Herman Kahn  Herman Kahn – On Thermonuclear War  William Lanouette – Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard  William L. Laurence – Dawn Over Zero: The Story of the Atomic Bomb  Robert Jay Lifton and Richard Falk - Indefensible Weapons  Ronald Reagan – An American Life  Jonathan Schell – The Fate of the Earth  P.D. Smith – Doomsday Men: The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon  H.G. Wells – The World Set Free  The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy, by Lawrence Freedman and Jeffrey Michaels The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/06/2344m 15s

Nuclear War part 1: The Unthinkable

Uncovering the hidden histories of concepts you thought you knew.  This time: the ‘genocide machine’ – nuclear war. With Christopher Nolan’s biopic of the father of the atomic bomb J. Robert Oppenheimer on its way and anxieties about Putin’s nuclear arsenal in the air, Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey take us through how the human race learned to live with the first weapon that could potentially spell global annihilation. From the invention of the atomic bomb in a novel by HG Wells to the triumph of the Manhattan Project and the horror of Hiroshima, a modern Pandora’s Box opens. Einstein calls his role in the story his “one great mistake”, Oppenheimer says he has blood on his hands, and an anxious world wonders if it will be blown up tomorrow. This one has the lot: fear, guilt, paranoia and a glimpse of the end of the world. Listen to Part 2 right now when you support Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  “It wasn’t just a weapon. It’s an angry god. It’s Godzilla.” – Dorian Lynskey “The peoples of this world must unite or they will perish… The atomic bomb has spelled [these words] out for all to understand.” – J Robert Oppenheimer    “There should be a statue of Vasili Arkhipov in every town in the world. His refusal to fire stopped a nuclear war.” – Ian Dunt Reading List:  Luis Alvarez – Alvarez: Adventures of a Physicist  Martin Amis – Einstein’s Monsters  Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin – American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer  David C. Cassidy – J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century  Sharon Ghamari-Tabrizi – The Worlds of Herman Kahn  Herman Kahn – On Thermonuclear War  William Lanouette – Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard  William L. Laurence – Dawn Over Zero: The Story of the Atomic Bomb  Robert Jay Lifton and Richard Falk - Indefensible Weapons  Ronald Reagan – An American Life  Jonathan Schell – The Fate of the Earth  P.D. Smith – Doomsday Men: The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon  H.G. Wells – The World Set Free  The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy, by Lawrence Freedman and Jeffrey Michaels The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/06/2347m 0s

Atheism: No God, What Now?

This time: the tumultuous history of Atheism. The concept has been around since the ancient world but for centuries it was demonised and suppressed. Who could believe such a thing? Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey track the ultimate heresy from the earliest days of western civilisation to the freethinkers of the Enlightenment and the bare-knuckle oratory of the New Atheists. What’s the difference between atheism, agnosticism, secularism and deism? What does it stand for? Can it explain the world while also satisfying the need for meaning and community? Was totalitarianism the monstrous zenith of atheism or just a substitute religion? Thomas Paine, Bertrand Russell, Percy Shelley, Albert Camus, Richard Dawkins and more feature in the story of the fight for the right not to believe in God. Listen to next week’s episode right now when you support Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  “Every day around the world it is incalculable the amount of damage done by religions saying; you can’t go there, you can’t marry them, you can’t say that.” – Ian Dunt “Declaring oneself an atheist is still a bold claim.” – Dorian Lynskey “It’s quite a humbling experience to think it’s taken us 1,500 years to get back to the position we were in in 300AD.” – Ian Dunt Reading List:   Julian Baggini – Atheism: A Very Short Introduction  David Berman – A History of Atheism in Britain: From Hobbes to Russell  Albert Camus – The Myth of Sisyphus  John Gray – Seven Types of Atheism  Christopher Hitchens – God Is Not Great  Christopher Hitchens (ed.) – The Portable Atheist  Susan Jacoby – Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism  Percy Bysshe Shelley – The Necessity of Atheism  James Thrower – A Short History of Western Atheism  Tim Whitmarsh – Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Episode art by James Parrett. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/06/231h 14m

Churchill part 2: Inside the Enigma Machine

Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt explain the most misunderstood ideas and people in politics. This time: part 2 of their Winston Churchill deconstruction. The pair chronicle the turbulent decade that defined Churchill's political legacy. From Munich and his unexpected elevation to power, from the Bengal Famine to victory over Hitler, his surprise defeat in the 1945 election and his long, gloomy decline, they look at a life which still casts a shadow over Britain. And they even read Boris Johnson’s Churchill book, so you don’t have to. Churchill craved greatness. Did he live up to his ideal? There’s only one way to find out… Listen to next week’s episode right now when you support Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  “I think what he did was primarily journalism, rather than being a prime minister.” – Ian Dunt “People think they can look at Churchill like a lifestyle guru they can replicate without the nuance.” – Dorian Lynskey  “Churchill personifies the European confusion that has lasted in this country to the present day” – Ian Dunt Reading List: Churchill by Roy Jenkins The Churchill Factor by Boris Johnson Churchill: Military Genius or Menace? By Stephen Napier Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks Churchill: Walking with Destiny by Andrew Roberts Oblivion or Glory: 1921 and the Making of Winston Churchill by David Stafford Churchill’s Shadow by Geoffrey Wheatcroft Free Thinking: Churchill's Reputation – BBC Radio 3 Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. https://twitter.com/OriginStorycast  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/05/231h 11m

Churchill part 1: Rebel Without A Cause

New Series! Explaining the most misunderstood ideas and people in politics. This time: Winston Churchill is caricatured as either a bigoted villain or a stainless hero. Is he neither… or both? Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt take on a Churchillian task: to avoid reducing the legacy of Britain’s war leader into a simple binary.  In part one they look at Churchill’s complicated childhood, his military adventures, his surprisingly progressive time as Home Secretary, his role in the Gallipoli disaster and his journey from the Tories to the Liberals and back again, leaving him on the brink of the 1930s. And they weigh up the allegations against him, from racism to sending troops to fire on striking miners at Tonypandy. Between the myths and the countermyths there’s a fascinating mess of a man. Get Part Two of our Churchill exploration right now – and all of our episodes a week early – when you support Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod  “Yes, he is a racist imperialist warmonger. He’s also the most important antifascist of human history.” – Ian Dunt “He had no followers. No ‘Churchillites’. Nobody in politics would sacrifice a thing for him.” – Dorian Lynskey  “At this point he’s Woke Winston. He's a liberal, supports votes for women, nationalising the railways and restrictions on monopolies.” – Dorian Lynskey  Reading List: Churchill by Roy Jenkins Walking With Destiny by Andrew Roberts The Churchill Factor by Boris Johnson Churchill: Military Genius or Menace? By Stephen Napier Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks  Oblivion or Glory: 1921 and the Making of Winston Churchill by David Stafford Churchill’s Shadow by Geoffrey Wheatcroft Free Thinking: Churchill's Reputation – BBC Radio 3 Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Lead Producer is Anne-Marie Luff. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/05/231h

Special: Gary Lineker, Free Speech and the Nazis

A between-seasons special: The Lineker Affair didn’t just expose the BBC’s fear of the Government. It triggered a flood of bad takes on whether it’s ever permissible to compare contemporary politics to 1930s Germany; BBC employees’ rights to speak their minds; the limits of Twitter; and even whether the Nazis were in fact left-wing. Spoiler: they weren’t. Seasoned spotters of bad faith arguments Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt examine a gala week of political nonsense, obfuscation, straw-manning and plain old bullshit. Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/03/2351m 39s

New podcast: Mugshots with Michael Crick

New series preview: How much do we really know about the people who make the headlines? In a provocative new series the acclaimed journalist Michael Crick, formerly of BBC, C4 and Newsnight, delves into the backgrounds of the powerful and the influential. In this first episode: Few newspaper editors wield as much power as the Daily Mail’s Paul Dacre. Feared and courted by politicians, he’s imposed his singular vision of Britain on successive governments – while sometimes stretching the law in pursuit of justice. But what makes Dacre tick? What does he want? And how might this epic career end? Like this excerpt? Hear the complete episode on all platforms right now here. And subscribe for new episodes every Monday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/02/2313m 41s

A taster of JAM TOMORROW with Ros Taylor – our new documentary podcast

A taster of our new series. Search for Jam Tomorrow in your favourite podcast app or visit https://kite.link/JTS1 Episode One: Every Day Is Like D-Day. How did Britain’s dreams of a new postwar world go unfulfilled? And what does that mean for us today? In the first of a new documentary series from the makers of Oh God, What Now?, Ros Taylor looks at the legacy of the War itself. Ιdeals of the Blitz Spirit and dreams of wartime heroism still shape everything from pop culture and entertainment to the Brexit debate. But the truth of the War is more complex and less comforting. What will it take for us to see the Second World War – and ourselves – clearly? •  “If you’re going to have a foundation myth it might as well be one where you destroy Nazism.” – Al Murray •  “If the response to air raid wasn’t stoicism there was a fear that morale would break down.” – Lucy Noakes •  “The Keep Calm And Carry On poster was designed for a type of war that never arrived.” – Henry Irvine •  “Britain went into the war not alone but at the head of the world’s biggest empire… When Britain went to war, so did vast part of the world.” – Lucy Noakes   Written and presented by Ros Taylor. Produced by Jade Bailey. Voiceovers by Imogen Robertson. Original music by Dubstar. Lead producer: Jacob Jarvis. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Jam Tomorrow is a Podmasters production. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/01/2315m 41s

Freedom of Speech: Censors working overtime

“We surely live in the stupidest possible era of debate about free speech,” says Ian Dunt. When a key arbiter of free expression is the smirking tech bro who owns Twitter, he might be right. How did the right to express yourself freely get hijacked by reactionaries? Are progressives really a threat to freedom of speech? Dorian Lynskey and Ian delve back in time from the printing press and its early “paper bullets” via the surprisingly racy life of John Stuart Mill right up to the First Amendment of the US Constitution and our current panics over woke, hate speech and cancel culture. How did shouting “free speech” become an instant way to shut down debate? Support Origin Story to get extra episodes and more at https://www.patreon.com/originstorypod “If somebody tries to make their point about freedom of speech by using a cartoon on the internet, they’ve probably simplified it a bit.” – Dorian Lynskey “There is a choice not between order and liberty, it is between liberty with order and anarchy without either.” – Justice Robert H Jackson “The whole story of free speech is the story of doubt.” – Ian Dunt Reading List From Ian Jacob Mchangama – Free Speech: A Global History From Socrates To Social Media John Rees – The Leveller Revolution John Stuart Milll – On Liberty The Complete Works Of Harriet Taylor Mill – Editor Jo Ellen Jacobs Richard Reeve – John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand From Dorian Anthony Lewis — Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment Suzanne Nossel — Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All Nat Hentoff – Free Speech for Me But Not for Thee: How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other Stanley Fish — There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech Samuel P Nelson — Beyond the First Amendment: The Politics of Free Speech and Pluralism Karl Popper — The Open Society and Its Enemies Flemming Rose — Tyranny of Silence PE Moskowitz — The Case Against Free Speech Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic — Must We Defend Nazis?: Why the First Amendment Should Not Protect Hate Speech and White Supremacy Henry Louis Gates Jr — Let Them Talk George Orwell — Freedom of the Park Herbert Marcuse — Repressive Tolerance Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/12/221h 20m

The War on Drugs: The smack of firm government

Drugs won the War on Drugs decades ago, so why are governments still squandering billions on this unwinnable battle? Where did the idea come from? Can we even agree on what drugs are? Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt delve into the tortuous evolution of the futile battle against narcotics. From morphine users Jules Verne and Bismarck and cocaine fan Sigmund Freud to the Opium Wars, the Red Scares, the Jazz Panic, Richard Nixon’s declaration of war on narcotics in 1971 up to Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no”, the War on Drugs becomes a justification for racism, a proxy assault on the ’60s – and an immovable block on evidence-based policy. Support Origin Story to get extra episodes and more at https://www.patreon.com/originstorypod Thank you to drugs expert Steve Rolles for his assistance with this episode. “This is about as profound a policy failure as any you can find anywhere on Earth.” – Ian Dunt “If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face-to-face with the monster Marijuana he would drop dead of fright.” – Harry J Anslinger, Federal Bureau of Narcotics director “When they say ‘war on drugs’ what they mean is, war on some things we don’t like.” – Ian Dunt “By accident or design, the drugs war had evolved into a race war.” – Mike Gray, author of Drug Crazy “Drugs function like pornography or the military do with technology. They drive forward rapid change.” – Ian Dunt Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/12/221h 7m

Fascism: The fraternity of violence

Few terms are thrown about as freely now as “Fascist” but what does the ultimate political condemnation really mean? Where did Fascism come from? Are all Fascists Nazis, and were the Nazis even Fascists themselves? From Mussolini and Nietszche to Adolf Hitler, Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey delve into fascism’s primordial stew of violence, racism, antisemitism, mysticism, anti-intellectualism and bizarrely modern aesthetics. They discover a brutal, anti-rational creed that is equally obsessed with futurist technology and ancient myth – and which inevitably drives itself towards war. Get next week’s episode right now when you back us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/originstorypod “Fascists are inferior people who believe it when told they are superior.” – Kurt Vonnegut “Except in struggle there is no more beauty. No work without an aggressive character can be a masterpiece.” – Filippo Tomasso Marinetti “The fist is the synthesis of our theory.” – Italian fascist, 1920 “Germans would even dream of the state interfering in their lives. The Nazis had infiltrated even their sleep.” – Ian “You can’t have a violent rebirth without the sense that you’ve been oppressed and put upon.” – Dorian Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/12/221h 13m

Satire: Laughter in the dark

“But it’s satire!” says every Twitter lout, demagogue or disinformationist to justify their abuse, pile-ons or straight-up lies. But what IS satire? How does it work? What distinguishes it from bullying? Does it even have to be funny? Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey go in search of the truth of satire on a journey that takes in The Thick Of It, Basil Fawlty, Jonathan Swift, Succession, Lenny Bruce, trickster gods, Boris Johnson, Peter Cook and Beyond The Fringe, Spitting Image and more… all the way back to the origin 1.4 million years ago of laughter itself. Help Ian and Dorian develop Origin Story by backing us on Patreon. You’ll get the show early and without ads, plus extra good stuff too. “Wait… this word that I’ve been using all of my life, nobody knows what it means?” – Dorian Lynskey “Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own” – Jonathan Swift “Satire tells you more about its era than any other literature.” – John R Clarke “Laughter is a response to frustration, just as tears are. And it solves nothing, as tears do.” – Kurt Vonnegut “Audiences like to think satire is doing something but mostly it’s making them satisfied – rather than angry, which is what they should be.” – Tom Lehrer Picture: The Thick Of It, BBC Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/11/221h

Culture War: Inside the rage machine

Culture war: it’s been around way longer than Fox News raging against drag queens or The Last Jedi. Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt trace the history of the hatreds that split societies from Bismarck’s original German kulturkampf up to climate denial, gun fetishism, the demonisation of liberal Hollywood, and our modern hellscape of permanent outrage. The secret weapon of culture warriors? Permanent grievance in a battle they can never win. Get next week’s episode right now, and help Ian and Dorian develop the series, when you back Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod “Culture war is not about victory. It’s about perpetual rolling grievance.” “The rhetoric of culture war is absolutist. Your opponents are the absolute worst. They are morally evil and must be stopped.” “The Republicans manage to unhook class conflict from economics and took it to culture. Which was genius.” Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/11/221h 3m

Ayn Rand: The ego has landed

A new series of the podcast that explains the most misused ideas in politics. This time: In a rage against her impoverished Soviet childhood, writer Ayn Rand evangelised for radical selfishness and the glories of unfettered capitalism. Is the most influential political novelist of the 20th Century just the darling of the “neoliberal theatre of cruelty”, a benzedrine-addled monster whose books licence toxic egoism, a creator of thick-skinned heroes for a cult of thin-skinned losers… or is there more to her? Will Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey be won over to Rand’s theory of Objectivism by her surprisingly strong writing? Who enjoyed The Fountainhead? Is Rand a fascist? Think for yourself. No-one can make up your mind except YOU. Get next week’s episode right now and help moochers Ian and Dorian develop the series when you back Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod “When you look at the ruins of Rand’s life, it’s a moral parable of the danger of believing in complete systems.” – Ian Dunt “You can see why millionaires like her, but there’s also a huge appeal to losers… to people who want to be Howard Roarke and never will.” – Dorian Lynskey “Her version of capitalism is exactly what you’d expect from a young old girl trapped in Communist Russia, watching Hollywood movies.” – Ian Dunt “For Rand the idea that the world is complex is a scam that the second-handers pull on you.” – Dorian Lynskey “Atlas Shrugged reads like the novel Lex Luthor would have written.” – Ian Dunt Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/11/221h 14m

Neoliberalism: Everything’s for sale

Neoliberalism has become an all-purpose insult, but what does it actually mean? In the final episode of Series 1, Dorian and Ian tell the extraordinary story of how a friendless group of outsider economists started a decades-long campaign to turn their fringe ideas into mainstream orthodoxy – and succeeded.  –––––––– Neoliberalism: A Reading List From Ian: Wealth of Nations and Theory of Moral Sentiment by Adam Smith. Both of these can be read in their own right, they're not as tough-going as you think History of Economic Thought by Lionel Robbins. One of the greatest economics books ever written. Or spoken rather, given that they're basically transcripts of Robbins’ lectures at the LSE. Masterful.  The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek. Quite completely insane. Rather fun. Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crisis Changed the World by Adam Tooze. Arguably the best single account of the financial crash. Can be tough going, but it’s worth it. From Dorian: Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics by Daniel Stedman Jones. It gets a little dry towards the end but it’s still a valuable attempt to ground an intellectual history of a movement in the combative personalities of the people who created it. A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey. Does what it says on the tin from a left-wing perspective. He’s not a fan. The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. Her thesis might be overstated but Klein shows how the economists of the Chicago School teamed up with authoritarian leaders such as Pinochet to turn entire countries into experimental laboratories for neoliberalism. A reading list and whistle-stop history from the academic and author of The Limits of Neoliberalism, William Davies.  –––––––– “What you see here is the fetishisation of economics above all other concerns. An anatomised view of humanity as economic agents and very little else.” – Ian  “One of the big problems with the term neoliberalism is that it gets applied equally to Barack Obama and General Pinochet.” – Dorian  “Friedman didn’t even believe in certificates for doctors. He thought the market would protect everyone. So this guy chopped up your auntie? That’s OK, the market realises he should no longer practice…” – Ian  “These guys embarked on a 20 year process of legitimising these ideas. They trained people so that when things start to go wrong in the late 60s, they were ready.” – Dorian  “Sometimes Hayek sounds like he’s having a religious experience. The market is unknowable. It’s almost like it really is the hand of God.” – Ian  –––––––– Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/06/221h 14m

Woke: The word that splits the world

Who turned Woke from a badge of African-American pride into a hammer to beat liberals with? How does it relate to PC? And what are Erykah Badu, Piers Morgan, the weaponisation of African-American slang against black people, Julie Burchill and Google’s salad emoji doing in the eye of the Culture War storm?  Ian and Dorian investigate another world-changing concept you thought you knew.  –––––––– Woke: A Reading List From Dorian: The War of the Words by Sarah Dunant. Fascinating 90s collection of essays about political correctness from writers across the political spectrum. We are still having many of the same arguments. Debating PC by Paul Berman. As above but American. Political Correctness: A History of Semantics and Culture by Geoffrey Hughes. A serious attempt at a history of PC. The Culture of Complaint by Robert Hughes. Extremely opinionated and entertaining 1994 polemic against censors and heresy-hunters on both left and right. The Myth of Political Correctness by John Wilson. This forensic examination of the original anti-PC backlash reveals how many of the key case studies were exaggerated or invented, and the role that right wing think tanks played in drumming them up. Sounds familiar. The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom. Of historical interest only. The cranky jeremiad that became a colossal bestseller and kickstarted America’s obsession with political correctness. And from Ian: Wake Up by Piers Morgan. Don’t read this. Welcome To The Woke Trials: How Identity Killed Progressive Politics by Julie Burchill. Don’t read this. The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Jonathan Heidt and Greg Lukianoff. Don’t read this, but if you’re really going to insist on reading one of these, I guess make it this one. –––––––– “Even racists seem to want to appropriate MLK. Maybe if you’re woke and dead you’re OK?” – Dorian Lynskey –––––––– Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Jade Bailey and Alex Rees. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/06/221h 6m

Superheroes: Truth, justice and the outsider way

It had to happen! Superheroes have shaped our shared culture – both popular and political – but where did the idea of the “good superman” come from? How did idealism, power fantasy and radicalism merge so that an outsider generation of young (often Jewish) Americans could transform America?  Join Dorian and Ian on a senses-shattering odyssey that takes in socialist Superman, juvenile delinquents, the polyamorist roots of Wonder Woman, the Nazis (again), the great lost horror comics of the 50s, Stan Lee, how Churchill and FDR inspired Spider-Man… and which one of the X-Men was based on Menachem Begin.  –––––––– Superheroes: A Reading List From Ian: American Comics by Jeremy Dauber. Really comprehensive and full of love for the genre. But maybe a bit too comprehensive. Dauber covers absolute everything, so it can feel a bit too thinly spread. The Ten Cent Plague: The great comic book scare and how it changed America, by David Hajdu. Absolutely masterful retelling of the 50s moral outrage against comics. Impeccably researched, brilliantly written, and full of striking insights. Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison. If you were to read these three together, even as a non-comics fan, you would get a really good crash course in the different approaches taken to the genre since the 80s. From Dorian: Supergods by Grant Morrison. One of the all-time great comic-book writers has also the written the most entertaining and provocative history of the superhero. Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe. Essential reading for anyone interested in the people who built the Marvel universe. Howe has all the stories. I’ve given this book as a gift more than once. All Of The Marvels by Douglas Wolk. The Marvel Universe as explained by somebody who has read all 27,000 comic books. While Howe covers the creators, Wolk digs into the evolution of the characters and ideas. True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee by Abraham Riesman. Juicy and unflinching biography of Mr Marvel. The Comic Book Heroes by Will Jacobs and Gerard Jones. Dated but interesting 1985 encyclopaedia of superheroes. The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. New Yorker writer’s eye-opening history of the love triangle that gave us Wonder Woman. –––––––– “Even by thinking about superheroes, you’re thinking about politics. What is politics about but power and how you use it?” — Dorian –––––––– Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Jade Bailey. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/06/221h 8m

Centrism: Stuck in the middle with you

Centrism has become an all-purpose term of abuse but what does it actually mean? And what does Centrism want? Dorian and Ian journey to the centre of the middle, dropping in on Tony Benn, William Rees-Mogg, the crises of the 70s, Trotsky, fascism, communism, Clinton, Blair, and the guillotine.… Help Ian and Dorian move NOT LEFT, NOT RIGHT, BUT FORWARD by supporting their Origin Story research on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod –––––––– Centrism: A Reading List From Ian: The Oxford History of the French Revolution by William Doyle. The single best all-in-one history of the French revolution. And one of my favourite history books of all time – a rare instance in which the author combines pace, thoroughness and impeccable research. John Stuart Mill, Victorian Firebrand by Richard Reeves. Decent, if slightly pedestrian biography of the great liberal philosopher. John Maynard Keynes trilogy by Robert Skidelsky. The best work on Keynes. The Third Way by Anthony Giddens. Nowhere near as good as it should be, nor as I expected it to be. Surprisingly vacuous. From Dorian: The Vital Centre by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Fascinating post-war argument for the importance of the radical centre Trotsky on centrism  Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics by John Avlon. Solid history of those who sought to occupy the centre of American politics. Toward a Radical Middle by Renata Adler. New Yorker writer’s 1969 manifesto for radical centrism in a fractious time. Life in the Centre by Roy Jenkins. The arch-centrist’s juicy memoir. Safety First: The Making of New Labour by Paul Anderson and Nyta Mann. A first-draft history of New Labour from 1997. Blair and Brown: The New Labour Revolution. Satisfying BBC documentary series on iPlayer, with contributions from all the key players. –––––––– “When centrism is so hard to define, like nailing jelly to the wall, you have to ask does it even deserve to be called an ism at all?” – Ian “Trotsky says Centrism is parasitic, opportunistic, vain, uninterested in theory, and harder on the left than the right… and those criticisms are still levelled at centrists today.” – Dorian “The thing is, Centrism is often popular with voters but unpopular with people who are very interested in politics. Because it’s not passionate.” – Ian  “I myself am an ideologue, an ideologue for liberalism, so it’s possible I feel threatened by something which essentially isn’t ideological.” – Ian  –––––––– Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Alex Rees. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/06/2259m 42s

Conspiracy Theory: What they’re not telling you

How did conspiracy theory grow from a fringe belief to a quasi-religious movement capable of toppling democracies? Ian and Dorian chart the rise of the tinfoil mindset in a wild historical ride that takes in the Illuminati, 9/11, Karl Popper, Watergate, Hitler, QAnon, Oliver Stone’s JFK, and Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn’s secret society. And chillingly, they explain why the tinfoil fringe isn’t just on the fringe any more.  Help Ian and Dorian DO THEIR RESEARCH by supporting Origin Story on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/originstorypod –––––––– Conspiracy Theory: A Reading List From Dorian: Voodoo Histories by David Aaronovitch. Sharp and readable overview of the history and psychology of conspiracy theories. The United States of Paranoia by Jesse Walker. A provocative history which argues that paranoia permeates mainstream American politics, not just the fringes. Among the Truthers by Jonathan Kay. A reporter’s journey through contemporary conspiracy theories. The Paranoid Style in American Politics by Richard Hofstadter. This brilliant diagnosis of the conspiracist mentality still holds up. The Hitler Conspiracies by Richard J Evans. Evans uses case studies including the Reichstag fire and the stab-in-the-back myth to illustrate the importance of conspiracy theories to the Nazi era. Very good on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the difference between event theories and systemic theories. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. The classic novel of American paranoia and the only Pynchon novel you can read in less than a week. The Coming Storm. Superbly reported BBC podcast series, presented by Gabriel Gatehouse, explores the 90s roots of QAnon. On JFK the movie: JFK: The Book of the Film by Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar. The heavily annotated screenplay plus reams of press coverage of Stone’s movie, much of it hostile. Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi. Elephantine takedown of every single JFK conspiracy theory. There are no survivors. Christopher Hitchens on JFK and conspiracy theories in general. And from Ian: Conspiracy Theories by Quassim Cassam. The case for a political analysis. Worthwhile, but flawed. The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories by Jan-Willem van Prooijen. Decent little overview of the psychological work into the area. Also worthwhile, also flawed. –––––––– “The very fact that it’s not proper scholarship makes conspiracy theory so much more exciting to read — and satisfying to write.” – Dorian “JFK is the most powerful argument I’ve seen yet that you should be able to sue for libel after you’re dead.” – Ian “According to Hitler, the fact that the Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion had been called fake proved they were true…” – Dorian “Certain people believe that the CIA invented conspiracy theory in order to discredit people who criticised the Warren Commission. So that means that conspiracy theory is a conspiracy theory…” – Dorian –––––––– Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Jade Bailey and Alex Rees. Music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. . Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/05/221h 13m

McCarthyism: How one grifter still poisons America

What are the real stories behind the most misunderstood ideas in politics? Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey explore the histories of concepts you thought you knew. In this first episode: McCarthyism. Was it really a crusade against communists or just a grifter’s opportunity that got out of hand? How did a witch-hunt morph into a way to denounce any critic, no matter who? And did Joe McCarthy really write the rulebook for Trumpism? Help Dorian and Ian dig deeper into other criminally misrepresented ideas by supporting Origin Story on Patreon at patreon.com/originstorypod  Or if you're listening via Apple Podcasts, you can access a premium subscription in the app: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/origin-story/id1624704966 –––––––– McCarthyism: A Reading List From Ian: Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy by Larry Tye. Dense, but readable and very thorough account of McCarthy's life. Tye is perhaps a little too fair to his subject, but he paints a full portrait. High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic by Glenn Frankel. Beautiful biography of the film, in which the subject matter and the background oppression go hand-in-hand. Film criticism as political science. A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy by David A Oshinsky. The classic McCarthy biography, full of anecdotes and ideas. Fun fact: this is one of the books that inspired REM’s ‘Exhuming McCarthy’. From Dorian: Reds by Ted Morgan. An exhaustive account of various Red Scares and what McCarthyism meant beyond McCarthy himself. Particularly good on the importance of the Venona intercepts. Trumbo by Bruce Cook. Terrifically vivid biography of Dalton Trumbo with much to say about the Hollywood blacklist in general. Much better than the movie. The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The essential contemporary allegory. –––––––– “In a way, McCarthyism is actually the origin story of Donald Trump.” – Ian Dunt "If you say it loudly and aggressively enough, it becomes the truth.” – Peter Fraser “The victims were the people who are always victims in moments of national paranoia: gay people, Jews, free thinkers and liberals.” – Ian Dunt “McCarthy hacked the media… It was as if a restaurant served poisoned food and it was up to the diner to refuse it.” – Dorian Lynskey –––––––– Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production by Jade Bailey and Alex Rees. Music by Jade Bailey. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/05/221h 13m

Trailer

Origin Story - out May 23rd May Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/05/222m 11s
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