This year's Reith lecturer is distinguished Professor of American history, Dr Daniel J Boorstin, the twelfth Librarian of Congress. In his Reith lectures, entitled 'America and the World Experience', he explores how the USA developed into the superpower it is today.
In this first lecture entitled 'The Birth of Exploration', Dr Boorstin explains why the desire to journey to new and undiscovered lands was important in the development of the United States of America. He considers the difference between a 'frontier' and 'the wilderness' for the first colonisers of the continent and explains how a community spirit of adventure made it all possible.
Professor of Sociology and Director of the London School of Economics Ralf Dahrendorf gives his fourth Reith lecture from his series entitled 'The New Liberty'.
In this lecture entitled 'On Difference', Professor Ralf Dahrendorf discusses the concept of diversity and averages. Evaluating the socialist philosophies of different countries, he dissects the averages that are found in society and contemplates what will happen when developing countries try to reassess their status as developed countries.
Justice Without Bondage
Professor of Sociology and Director of the London School of Economics Ralf Dahrendorf gives his third Reith lecture from his series entitled 'The New Liberty'.
In this lecture entitled 'Justice Without Bondage', Professor Dahrendorf evaluates how liberty has been misinterpreted as equality and justice. He claims that advanced demographic societies are bound by a fear of political correctness. In this age, which he describes as 'the alienation of the enlightened progress', he argues that we have become the prisoners of our own good purpose. Society has taken the notion of justice and replaced it with equality. He contemplates whether we can weather the storm of 'social justice' in order to progress to a 'liberal justice' system.
The Liberal Option
Professor of Sociology and Director of the London School of Economics Ralf Dahrendorf gives his second Reith lecture from his series entitled 'The New Liberty'.
In this lecture entitled 'The Liberal Option', Professor Dahrendorf explores the liberal options available to society. He questions why recognised problems in society, which also have visible solutions, do not make any great progress. Who is it that prevents this potential from being realised? To answer these questions he explores how social-economic structures affect our liberty.
From Expansion to Improvement
This year's Reith lecturer is the eminent German-British sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf. Previously a Professor of Sociology at the Universities of Hamburg, Tübingen and Konstanz, he has been a leading figure for liberal politics and an authority on class divisions in modern society. In 1970 he became the European Commissioner in Brussels before taking over as Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1974. In his Reith series entitled 'The New Liberty', he questions the definition of freedom.
In his first Reith lecture entitled 'From Expansion to Improvement', Ralf Dahrendorf argues that we should think about autonomy in a new light. He explores how philosophy, sociology and economics all affect our elemental desires and the definition of freedom. He reflects on the evolution of liberty and questions how we could improve our lives.