The John Batchelor Show

Friday 24 December 2021

Air Date: 
December 24, 2021



1/8  Nick Lloyd, THE WESTERN FRONT
Nick Lloyd, The Western Front: A History of the Great War, 1914-1918 – March 30, 2021. Hardcover.
A panoramic history of the savage combat on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918 that came to define modern warfare.
The Western Front evokes images of mud-spattered men in waterlogged trenches, shielded from artillery blasts and machine-gun fire by a few feet of dirt. This iconic setting was the most critical arena of the Great War, a 400-mile combat zone stretching from Belgium to Switzerland where more than three million Allied and German soldiers struggled during four years of almost continuous combat. It has persisted in our collective memory as a tragic waste of human life and a symbol of the horrors of industrialized warfare.
In this epic narrative history, the first volume in a groundbreaking trilogy on the Great War, the acclaimed military historian Nick Lloyd captures the horrific fighting on the Western Front beginning with the surprise German invasion of Belgium in August 1914 and taking us to the Armistice of November 1918. Drawing on French, British, German, and American sources, Lloyd weaves a kaleidoscopic chronicle of the Marne, Passchendaele, the Meuse-Argonne, and other critical battles, which reverberated across Europe and the wider war. From the trenches, where men as young as 17 suffered and died, to the headquarters behind the lines where Generals Haig, Joffre, Hindenburg, and Pershing developed their plans for battle, Lloyd gives us a view of the war both intimate and strategic, putting us amid the mud and smoke while at the same time depicting the larger stakes of every encounter. He shows us a dejected Kaiser Wilhelm II―soon to be eclipsed in power by his own generals―lamenting the botched Schlieffen Plan; French soldiers piling atop one another in the trenches of Verdun; British infantryman wandering through the frozen wilderness in the days after the Battle of the Somme; and General Erich Ludendorff pursuing a ruthless policy of total war, leading an eleventh-hour attack on Reims even as his men succumbed to the Spanish Flu.
35 black-and-white illustrations, 8 maps

2/8  Nick Lloyd, THE WESTERN FRONT

3/8:  Nick Lloyd, THE WESTERN FRONT

4/8: Nick Lloyd, THE WESTERN FRONT



5/8:  Nick Lloyd, THE WESTERN FRONT

6/8:  Nick Lloyd, THE WESTERN FRONT

7/8:  Nick Lloyd, THE WESTERN FRONT 

 8/8: Nick Lloyd, THE WESTERN FRONT

1/4: Marilyn Brookwood, THE ORPHANS OF DAVENPORT
The Orphans of Davenport: Eugenics, the Great Depression, and the War over Children's Intelligence, by Marilyn Brookwood  @MarilynBrookwo1    @wwnorton.  Hardcover – July 27, 2021
The fascinating―and eerily timely―tale of the forgotten, Depression-era psychologists who launched the modern science of childhood development.
“Doomed from birth” was how the psychologist Harold Skeels described two toddler girls at the Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home in Davenport, Iowa, in 1934. Their IQ scores, added together, totaled just 81. Following prevailing eugenic beliefs of the times, Skeels and his colleague Marie Skodak assumed that the girls had inherited their parents’ low intelligence and were therefore unfit for adoption. The girls were sent to an institution for the “feebleminded” to be cared for by “moron” women. To Skeels and Skodak’s astonishment, under the women’s care, the children’s IQ scores became normal. 
Now considered one of the most important scientific findings of the twentieth century, the discovery that environment shapes children’s intelligence was also one of the most fiercely contested―and its origin story has never been told. In The Orphans of Davenport, the psychologist and esteemed historian Marilyn Brookwood chronicles how a band of young psychologists in 1930s Iowa shattered the nature-versus-nurture debate and overthrew long-accepted racist and classist views of childhood development.

2/4: Marilyn Brookwood, THE ORPHANS OF DAVENPORT

3/4: Marilyn Brookwood, THE ORPHANS OF DAVENPORT

4/4: Marilyn Brookwood, THE ORPHANS OF DAVENPORT


1/4: Mark Piesing, N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia
N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia,  by Mark Piesing  PorterSqBooks.  Hardcover – August 31, 2021
Triumphantly returning from the North Pole on May 24, 1928, the world-famous exploring airship Italia—code-named N-4—was struck by a terrible storm and crashed somewhere over the Arctic ice, triggering the largest polar rescue mission in history. Helping lead the search was the famed Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, the poles’ greatest explorer, who himself soon went missing in the frozen wastes. Amundsen’s body has never been found, the last victim of one of the Arctic’s most enduring mysteries.

2/4: Mark Piesing, N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia


3/4: Mark Piesing, N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia 

1245-100 AM  
4/4: Mark Piesing, N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia