UCL CENTRE FOR LANGUAGES & INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION (CLIE)

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Otto von Bismarck was one of Europe's leading statesmen in the 19th Century and credited with the unification of Germany. He had a voracious ambition for his home state Prussia and made it supreme among other states in the German Confederation. After vanquishing Austria and France, he led the new industrialising Germany, managing to remain in power for a further two decades. He founded one of Europe's first welfare states. But he was also known for his ruthless tactics, ignoring democratic institutions if they blocked his will and never afraid to dabble in dirty politics, leaking opportunely to the press and bribing journalists. Bismarck said: “The art of statesmanship is to steer a course on the stream of time.” So was the unification of Germany a carefully planned campaign or a series of unpredictable events that Bismarck made the most of? How did his encouragement of nationalism bear fruit in Nazi Germany? And what is his legacy today in contemporary Germany?

Otto von Bismarck was one of Europe's leading statesmen in the 19th Century and credited with the unification of Germany. He had a voracious ambition for his home state Prussia and made it supreme among other states in the German Confederation. After vanquishing Austria and France, he led the new industrialising Germany, managing to remain in power for a further two decades. He founded one of Europe's first welfare states. But he was also known for his ruthless tactics, ignoring democratic institutions if they blocked his will and never afraid to dabble in dirty politics, leaking opportunely to the press and bribing journalists. Bismarck said: “The art of statesmanship is to steer a course on the stream of time.” So was the unification of Germany a carefully planned campaign or a series of unpredictable events that Bismarck made the most of? How did his encouragement of nationalism bear fruit in Nazi Germany? And what is his legacy today in contemporary Germany?

In The Prince, Machiavelli's great manual of power, he wrote, "since men love as they themselves determine but fear as their ruler determines, a wise prince must rely upon what he and not others can control". He also advised, "One must be a fox in order to recognise traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Those who simply act like lions are stupid. So it follows that a prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honour his word when it places him at a disadvantage". What times was Machiavelli living through to take such a brutal perspective on power? How did he gain the experience to provide this advice to rulers? And was he really the amoral, or even evil figure that so many have liked to paint him?

In The Prince, Machiavelli's great manual of power, he wrote, "since men love as they themselves determine but fear as their ruler determines, a wise prince must rely upon what he and not others can control". He also advised, "One must be a fox in order to recognise traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Those who simply act like lions are stupid. So it follows that a prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honour his word when it places him at a disadvantage". What times was Machiavelli living through to take such a brutal perspective on power? How did he gain the experience to provide this advice to rulers? And was he really the amoral, or even evil figure that so many have liked to paint him?

Neuroscience used to work – by examining the dead or investigating the damaged – but now things have changed. Imaging machines and other technologies enable us to see the active brain in everyday life, to observe the activation of its cells and the mass firing of its neuron batteries. But what picture of the brain has emerged, how has our understanding of it changed and what are the implications for understanding that most mysterious and significant of all phenomena – the human mind?

Neuroscience used to work – by examining the dead or investigating the damaged – but now things have changed. Imaging machines and other technologies enable us to see the active brain in everyday life, to observe the activation of its cells and the mass firing of its neuron batteries. But what picture of the brain has emerged, how has our understanding of it changed and what are the implications for understanding that most mysterious and significant of all phenomena – the human mind?

On 1st March 1881, the Russian Tsar, Alexander II, was travelling through the snow to the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. An armed Cossack sat with the coach driver, another six Cossacks followed on horseback and behind them came a group of police officers in sledges. It was the day that the Tsar, known for his liberal reforms, had signed a document granting the first ever constitution to the Russian people. But his journey was being watched by a group of radicals called 'Narodnaya Volya' or 'The People's Will'. On a street corner near the Catherine Canal, they hurled the first of their bombs to halt the Tsar's iron-clad coach. When Alexander ignored advice and ventured out onto the snow to comfort his dying Cossacks, he was killed by another bomber who took his own life in the blast.

On 1st March 1881, the Russian Tsar, Alexander II, was travelling through the snow to the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. An armed Cossack sat with the coach driver, another six Cossacks followed on horseback and behind them came a group of police officers in sledges. It was the day that the Tsar, known for his liberal reforms, had signed a document granting the first ever constitution to the Russian people. But his journey was being watched by a group of radicals called 'Narodnaya Volya' or 'The People's Will'. On a street corner near the Catherine Canal, they hurled the first of their bombs to halt the Tsar's iron-clad coach. When Alexander ignored advice and ventured out onto the snow to comfort his dying Cossacks, he was killed by another bomber who took his own life in the blast.

Melvyn Bragg is joined by Juliette Wood, Mariner Warner and Tony Phelan to discuss the weird and wonderful worlds of the Brothers Grimm

Melvyn Bragg is joined by Juliette Wood, Mariner Warner and Tony Phelan to discuss the weird and wonderful worlds of the Brothers Grimm

  • In Our Time - The Siege of Orleans: Did Joan of Arc Really Rescue France?

  • Anne Curry, Malcolm Vale & Matthew Bennett

Charles VI, a madman and the King of France, was dead and his kingdom hung in the balance. The French aristocracy were at war with each other, English soldiers occupied Paris and Charles’ crown was up for grabs, contested by his own son, the Dauphin, and the seven-year-old King of England, Henry VI. But as the English army pressed down through France, the only thing that seemed to stand between the English King and the French Crown was the city of Orleans.

Charles VI, a madman and the King of France, was dead and his kingdom hung in the balance. The French aristocracy were at war with each other, English soldiers occupied Paris and Charles’ crown was up for grabs, contested by his own son, the Dauphin, and the seven-year-old King of England, Henry VI. But as the English army pressed down through France, the only thing that seemed to stand between the English King and the French Crown was the city of Orleans.

A timely investigation into the loss of cultural, public and historical records, both analogue and digital, as a result of deterioration or advances in technology. Richard Hollingham investigates specific examples of what is now unplayable or unreadable. For example, he can reveal for the first time, that the UK population census data from 1951 are lost, as are significant parts of the 1961 and 1971 census data. And he hears from the long-term percussionist of The Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart, why the Grateful Dead, unlike other leading touring bands, still have all their master tapes intact. He also finds out about successful efforts on both sides of the Atlantic for preserving and recuperating sound and music.

A timely investigation into the loss of cultural, public and historical records, both analogue and digital, as a result of deterioration or advances in technology. Richard Hollingham investigates specific examples of what is now unplayable or unreadable. For example, he can reveal for the first time, that the UK population census data from 1951 are lost, as are significant parts of the 1961 and 1971 census data. And he hears from the long-term percussionist of The Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart, why the Grateful Dead, unlike other leading touring bands, still have all their master tapes intact. He also finds out about successful efforts on both sides of the Atlantic for preserving and recuperating sound and music.

Programme 1 - Life Before Birth The Rules of Life shape animals' lives even before birth. A mother's nutrition and stress levels affect her offspring's later life.

Programme 1 - Life Before Birth The Rules of Life shape animals' lives even before birth. A mother's nutrition and stress levels affect her offspring's later life.

The hypothesis proposes that the physical characteristics that distinguish us from our nearest cousin apes - standing and moving bipedally, being naked and sweaty, our swimming and diving abilities, fat babies, big brains and language - all of these and others are best explained as adaptations to a prolonged period of our evolutionary history being spent in and around the seashore and lake margins, not on the hot dry savannah or in the forest with the other apes. The programmes explore the varieties of response to the theory, from when it was first proposed to the present day.

The hypothesis proposes that the physical characteristics that distinguish us from our nearest cousin apes - standing and moving bipedally, being naked and sweaty, our swimming and diving abilities, fat babies, big brains and language - all of these and others are best explained as adaptations to a prolonged period of our evolutionary history being spent in and around the seashore and lake margins, not on the hot dry savannah or in the forest with the other apes. The programmes explore the varieties of response to the theory, from when it was first proposed to the present day.

Nanotechnology has become a big buzzword – so much so that the stockbrokers Merrill Lynch has created an index to track investment in the newly burgeoning industry. But others are concerned. Prince Charles, taking a lead from the environmental group ETC, has expressed concerns where this ‘atomtech’ may lead. The environmentalists see it as a step beyond genetic engineering.

Nanotechnology has become a big buzzword – so much so that the stockbrokers Merrill Lynch has created an index to track investment in the newly burgeoning industry. But others are concerned. Prince Charles, taking a lead from the environmental group ETC, has expressed concerns where this ‘atomtech’ may lead. The environmentalists see it as a step beyond genetic engineering.

There's an ass in mythology that stood equidistant between two bunches of carrots. One on its left, the other on its right side. The ass, unable to choose between left and right, starved to death. Luckily for us, life made a decision and didn't perish like Buridan's ass. The molecules that make living things are all handed. What's more they all have the same handedness - but why? Frank Close finds out how a French chemist found the clue to this conundrum at the bottom of a glass of wine a hundred and fifty years ago.

There's an ass in mythology that stood equidistant between two bunches of carrots. One on its left, the other on its right side. The ass, unable to choose between left and right, starved to death. Luckily for us, life made a decision and didn't perish like Buridan's ass. The molecules that make living things are all handed. What's more they all have the same handedness - but why? Frank Close finds out how a French chemist found the clue to this conundrum at the bottom of a glass of wine a hundred and fifty years ago.

  • The Moral Maze: Should scientists be mindful of the social context in which their work is carried out?

  • Melanie Philips, Ian Hargreaves, Claire Fox, Professor Jules Pretty

James Watson discovered this week that being a distinguished Nobel prize winning scientist is no protection when you stray in to controversial territory. His claim that race and intelligence are linked provoked outraged condemnation. Lectures and speaking engagements were cancelled and the professor had to fly home to America, as he put it, to save his job.

James Watson discovered this week that being a distinguished Nobel prize winning scientist is no protection when you stray in to controversial territory. His claim that race and intelligence are linked provoked outraged condemnation. Lectures and speaking engagements were cancelled and the professor had to fly home to America, as he put it, to save his job.

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Professor Ramachandran argues that neuroscience, perhaps more than any other discipline, is capable of transforming man's understanding of himself and his place in the cosmos.

Professor Ramachandran argues that neuroscience, perhaps more than any other discipline, is capable of transforming man's understanding of himself and his place in the cosmos.

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When Osama bin Laden declares that the world is divided between believers and non-believers, it is easy to identify the menace of the fanatic mind but, in what other company can we place George Bush when we hear him declare that 'you are either with us or you are on the side of the terrorists'? We fail at our peril to recognize a twin strain of the same fanatic spore that threatens to consume the world in its messianic fires. What could be the role of the 'invisible' religions and world views in tempering the forces that seek to dichotomise the world?

When Osama bin Laden declares that the world is divided between believers and non-believers, it is easy to identify the menace of the fanatic mind but, in what other company can we place George Bush when we hear him declare that 'you are either with us or you are on the side of the terrorists'? We fail at our peril to recognize a twin strain of the same fanatic spore that threatens to consume the world in its messianic fires. What could be the role of the 'invisible' religions and world views in tempering the forces that seek to dichotomise the world?

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The key political novelty of our age is mass political awareness and mobilization. Mass mobilization has brought the Age of Empire to an end, and accounts for the failures in Iraq. No society any longer tolerates being ruled by another. Social mobilization can be a dramatic force for positive change

The key political novelty of our age is mass political awareness and mobilization. Mass mobilization has brought the Age of Empire to an end, and accounts for the failures in Iraq. No society any longer tolerates being ruled by another. Social mobilization can be a dramatic force for positive change

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Scientific Horizons: Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, Master of Trinity College and Astronomer Royal, delivers four lectures exploring the challenges facing science in the 21st century.In the first lecture he asks who we should trust to explain the risks we face.

Scientific Horizons: Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, Master of Trinity College and Astronomer Royal, delivers four lectures exploring the challenges facing science in the 21st century.In the first lecture he asks who we should trust to explain the risks we face.

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Does science have the answers to help us save our planet?

Does science have the answers to help us save our planet?

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Professor Martin Rees explains where the limits of our scientific knowledge lie.

Professor Martin Rees explains where the limits of our scientific knowledge lie.

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Prof Rees calls for the UK to stay at the forefront of scientific research and discovery.

Prof Rees calls for the UK to stay at the forefront of scientific research and discovery.

  • A Calcutta avec Mére Teresa

  • Noelle Herrenschmidt & Benoìt Marchon , , 1983

An illustrated diary of the events recorded by two French journalists from the magazine Astrapi on their journey to Calcutta and the time they spent with Mother Teresa

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An illustrated diary of the events recorded by two French journalists from the magazine Astrapi on their journey to Calcutta and the time they spent with Mother Teresa

  • Carsten Curator; Der Herr Etatsrat

  • Theodor Storm , Greifenverlag zu Rudolstadt , 1985

Two of Storm’s darker novellas, which tell with typical intensity of life in late 19th century north Germany: Carsten Curator: Heinrich is a constant drain on his father Carsten; losing one job after another either by imprudence or dishonesty. Marriage looks as though it may turn his life around, but drink and fickleness ruin him. In a terrible storm he comes to ask Carsten to save him from bankruptcy. When this is refused, Heinrich, the worse for drink, launches out in a small boat into the rising floods, is carried away by the swift water and drowned. Der Herr Etatsrat: Dyke administrator Sternow is a clever but a completely amoral man who spends his evenings. His two children are utterly neglected. The son, Archimedes, is a good mathematician: he works, but also drinks, undermines his health and dies of a fever. Phia, the daughter, leads an utterly solitary life. Sternow’s scheming servant Käfer takes advantage of the lonely girl who dies in giving birth to a dead child.

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Two of Storm’s darker novellas, which tell with typical intensity of life in late 19th century north Germany: Carsten Curator: Heinrich is a constant drain on his father Carsten; losing one job after another either by imprudence or dishonesty. Marriage looks as though it may turn his life around, but drink and fickleness ruin him. In a terrible storm he comes to ask Carsten to save him from bankruptcy. When this is refused, Heinrich, the worse for drink, launches out in a small boat into the rising floods, is carried away by the swift water and drowned. Der Herr Etatsrat: Dyke administrator Sternow is a clever but a completely amoral man who spends his evenings. His two children are utterly neglected. The son, Archimedes, is a good mathematician: he works, but also drinks, undermines his health and dies of a fever. Phia, the daughter, leads an utterly solitary life. Sternow’s scheming servant Käfer takes advantage of the lonely girl who dies in giving birth to a dead child.

  • Collection Lagarde et Michard - XVIième siécle

  • André Lagarde & Laurent Michard , Bordas , 1985

This century saw the Renaissance arrive in France, followed by humanism and Neo-Platonism, as well as the invention of the printing-press, all of which contributed to the growth of French literary creation. The brilliant courts of Francis II, Henri II and Catherine de Medici became cultural centres as writers flocked to them in search of patronage. This book studies the works of Montaigne, Belleforest and Amyot, among many others

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This century saw the Renaissance arrive in France, followed by humanism and Neo-Platonism, as well as the invention of the printing-press, all of which contributed to the growth of French literary creation. The brilliant courts of Francis II, Henri II and Catherine de Medici became cultural centres as writers flocked to them in search of patronage. This book studies the works of Montaigne, Belleforest and Amyot, among many others

  • Contes du Yiddishland

  • Ben Zimet , , 2000

This book provides an insight into Jewish culture through the accounts of ordinary Jewish people handed down over the generations. At times these stories are humorous and at others are poignant, and reflect the long history of the Jewish diaspora

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This book provides an insight into Jewish culture through the accounts of ordinary Jewish people handed down over the generations. At times these stories are humorous and at others are poignant, and reflect the long history of the Jewish diaspora

  • Doce cuentistas españoles de la Posguerra

  • Adelaide Burns , Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd , 1968

The thirteen stories in this collection, by C. Martín Gaite, R. Sánchez Ferlosio, J. Fernández Santos, Ana Mª Matute and other postbellum Spanish writers reflect the situation in Spain in the aftermath of the Civil War, when a crippled economy and repressive totalitarian government dominated the lives of ordinary Spaniards.

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The thirteen stories in this collection, by C. Martín Gaite, R. Sánchez Ferlosio, J. Fernández Santos, Ana Mª Matute and other postbellum Spanish writers reflect the situation in Spain in the aftermath of the Civil War, when a crippled economy and repressive totalitarian government dominated the lives of ordinary Spaniards.

  • Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde and Other Stories

  • Robert Louis Stevenson , Penguin , 1979

Published as a 'shilling shocker', Robert Louis Stevenson's dark psychological fantasy gave birth to the idea of the split personality. The story of respectable Dr Jekyll's strange association with the 'damnable young man' Edward Hyde; the hunt through fog-bound London for a killer; and the final revelation of Hyde's true identity is a chilling exploration of humanity's basest capacity for evil.

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Published as a 'shilling shocker', Robert Louis Stevenson's dark psychological fantasy gave birth to the idea of the split personality. The story of respectable Dr Jekyll's strange association with the 'damnable young man' Edward Hyde; the hunt through fog-bound London for a killer; and the final revelation of Hyde's true identity is a chilling exploration of humanity's basest capacity for evil.

  • Edmund's Struggle Under the Spell of the White Witch (from The Chronicles of Narnia)

  • C.S. Lewis , Harper Collins , 2005

Edmund Pevensie is finding it hard to get along with his brother and sisters at their new guardian, Professor Kirke's house, and when he follows his little sister, Lucy, into an old wardrobe things get much, much worse for Edmund. For it is in Narnia, the land beyond the wardrobe, that Edmund meets the White Witch and has his first delicious and disastrous taste of her bewitching Turkish Delight. How can Edmund escape from her clutches and help save Narnia, and his family, from a terrible fate?

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Edmund Pevensie is finding it hard to get along with his brother and sisters at their new guardian, Professor Kirke's house, and when he follows his little sister, Lucy, into an old wardrobe things get much, much worse for Edmund. For it is in Narnia, the land beyond the wardrobe, that Edmund meets the White Witch and has his first delicious and disastrous taste of her bewitching Turkish Delight. How can Edmund escape from her clutches and help save Narnia, and his family, from a terrible fate?

  • Eine Liebe in Notting Hill

  • Madeleine St John , Argon , 1997

A novel about a couple whose love for one another gives way to disillusion and disappointment - a tale about what women do to hold on to love, and what men do to get away from it.

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A novel about a couple whose love for one another gives way to disillusion and disappointment - a tale about what women do to hold on to love, and what men do to get away from it.

  • ELE 1 - Un poco de todo

  • Grupo ALCE , Ediciones SM , 1992

The ELE series are collections of texts from various sources that increase in difficulty with each book. This book is aimed at beginners, and includes crosswords, simple articles, recipes and other information on sociocultural aspects of Spain.

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The ELE series are collections of texts from various sources that increase in difficulty with each book. This book is aimed at beginners, and includes crosswords, simple articles, recipes and other information on sociocultural aspects of Spain.

  • Erzählt es euren Kindern - Der Holocaust in Europa

  • Stéphane Bruchfeld & Paul A. levine , , 2000

This book describes what human beings are capable of doing to other human beings when democratic values have been destroyed and replaced by an ideology advocating intolerance, hate and violence. The book presents facts about the Holocaust and attempts to explain how the unimaginable became reality.

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This book describes what human beings are capable of doing to other human beings when democratic values have been destroyed and replaced by an ideology advocating intolerance, hate and violence. The book presents facts about the Holocaust and attempts to explain how the unimaginable became reality.

  • Fabeln, über Tiere und Menschen

  • , Albatros

Very short fables, partly in verse form, written by such greats as Schopenhauer, Lichtwer, and Lessing amongst many others.

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Very short fables, partly in verse form, written by such greats as Schopenhauer, Lichtwer, and Lessing amongst many others.