The Book Club

Robin Hanbury-Tenison’s guide to defeating pandemics and more

33 min listen

In This Episode

This week’s Book Club podcast is brought to you rather later than we’d planned. In spring this year, the explorer and writer Robin Hanbury-Tenison was due to be talking to me about his new book Taming The Four Horsemen: Radical Solutions to Defeat Pandemics, War, Famine and the Death of the Planet. We’d been excited to have him on, not least because his book’s interest in pandemic disease was starting to seem strangely prescient. The day before we were due to record, Robin emailed me to say that he had developed a terrible cough that would make recording impossible so we agreed to postpone our conversation. The next I heard was from Robin’s son Merlin: Robin had been taken into hospital with Covid and the prognosis was grim. He’d been given only a 20 per cent chance of survival. But survive he did — and once his health permitted we finally had our encounter. Listen to Robin talk about what the collapse of ancient civilisations can teach us about our own, how he sees the future of agriculture and medicine… and about what he remembers of his latest expedition to the gates of the beyond.

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