Friday 12 February 2016, Rossa Minogue

Power of Reading: from Socrates to Twitter

Podcast: Frank Furedi discusses his new book in conversation with Russell Celyn Jones.

Have we forgotten how to read well? Is there a tendency to reduce reading to a minimalist set of functional skills? Or is reading over-fetishised as a signifier of civil and enlightened society? In The Power of Reading, Frank Furedi addresses twenty-first-century anxieties about the future of reading. He takes a wide-ranging historical approach to examining the changing meanings attributed to the act of reading. From ancient Rome to contemporary society, his book focuses on the relationship between reading and social discourses about morality and culture. He questions key contemporary beliefs such as that the internet damages our ability to digest information and that boys don’t read, and argues for the art of reading, not as a mechanism to moral good or social and economic advancement, but as a humanist pursuit.

In this podcast, recorded at the launch of the book earlier this month, Furedi delivers a talk on reading followed by a discussion of the book with Russell Celyn Jones.


Frank Furedi
sociologist and social commentator; former professor of sociology, University of Kent in Canterbury; author of numerous books, including Authority: A Sociological History, On Tolerance and Wasted: Why Education Is Not Educating.


Russell Celyn Jones
professor of creative writing, Birkbeck, University of London; prize-winning novelist and short-story writer; book reviewer, The Times; Man Booker Prize judge.

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