Podcasts of the Week: American Politics, Tove Janssen and Captivating History

A year ago, last week, a crowd of Donald Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol. You might think you know the story – “QAnon, social media, disgruntled voters” – Danielle Stephens said in The Guardian. But even for those familiar with the background, Gabriel Gatehouse’s new Radio 4 series The storm to come (all episodes available on BBC Sounds) is a ‘must-listen’.

In it, the Newsnight International editor scours the United States to try to understand why so many Americans were convinced the elections had been stolen – and why the rioters thought they had the moral right, or the duty, to “take back their country.” “. Gatehouse comes across as “less condescending than his fellow journalists who have taken a similar path” and has “access to voices that shed a different light on a commonly told story.”

January can be a dark month, Patricia Nicol told The Sunday Times; one way to “keep your pecker up” is to listen to the best radio you missed on Christmas. Moominland in the middle of winter (BBC Sounds, until January 23), Robin Brooks’ ‘magical’ adaptation of Tove Jansson’s classic children’s book, ‘transported the listener to a snow-capped Scandinavian wonderland’.

John Finnemore is wonderful as Moomintroll, while Samantha Bond’s storytelling is as “freshly crisp as frosty snow”. Jansson admirers should also look out for the Frank Cottrell Boyce Beautiful lives episode about the “singular” Finnish author.

Among Radio 4’s other festive goodies was a “smart and humorous” adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ children’s novel. Howl’s moving castle, a joyful audio overhaul by Stephen Keyworth of the William Goldman film The princess to marry, and some popular new portions of Just Guillaume, told by the always “wonderful” Martin Jarvis.

You need “headphones and loneliness” to get the most of Radio 3’s “strange and touching” Sound walk of the four peaks, Miranda Sawyer said in The Observer. Each program includes a hike up the highest mountain in each home country – Ben Nevis, Slieve Donard, Scafell Pike and Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) – with ‘croaking birds, shifting landscapes, temperamental mountain weather and varying numbers. of fellow climbers ”. The “airy and rainy sounds” of nature are accompanied by stories and observations from the show’s excellent host, Horatio Clare.

Finally, don’t miss the special 12 days of Christmas episodes of The rest is history, the “one podcast I’m really addicted to,” James Marriott told The Times. The subjects tackled by Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook range from port to the catastrophe of the Tay Bridge and to Jean-Bédel Bokassa, emperor of the ephemeral Central African Empire. “It’s a total joy.”

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