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Genius of the Modern World

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Bettany Hughes explores the life and works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud in the three part series from the OU and the BBC.

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Bettany Hughes stands in front of the East side of the Berlin Wall. Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The BBC Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud changed the landscape of the modern world. Together they re-imagined global economics; questioned the very foundations of morality and society; and unravelled the workings of the human mind.

The first episode of 'Genius of The Modern World' will be broadcast on BBC Four on Thursday 16th June 2016 at 21.00. Full broadcast details and watch again links can be found on bbc.co.uk.

Episode guide

Freud

Bettany Hughes stands in front of the East side of the Berlin Wall. Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The BBC Sigmund Freud was dubbed the “Father of psychoanalysis”.  And certainly no other individual exploration of the human condition has had such a lasting and profound effect on the understanding of the psyche. His work changed the climate and the context in which we understand our lives, as well as the landscape of the inner workings of the human mind.

The film begins in Vienna. Sigmund Freud arrived here in 1860 aged 4 and for the next 80 years this was the context for his radical and often disturbing insights into the human psyche: Insights that would wipe away the horizon of all that had come before, and re-envisage the landscape of the mind.

Bettany travels to Vienna to discover that when Freud first came here, this was a city of political and economic turbulence. It was one of the capitals of the Austro Hungarian Empire, and its population of one and half million, half were immigrants. Germans, Poles, Slovaks, Serbs, Italians, and Hungarians filled the streets. And it was in this atmosphere riven with inequalities, that the ideas that would become Freud’s obsession were forged.

Episodes in this series

Episode Description
Marx In the first episode of 'Genius of the Modern World' we investigate the life and works of Karl Marx. Read more
Nietzsche Bettany Hughes takes us on an exploration of Friedrich Nietzsche's life and works. Read more
Freud In the final episode, Bettany Hughes explores the world of Sigmund Freud. Read more