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Rear Vision

50 EpisodesProduced by ABC RadioWebsite

We tease out the complex history behind those baffling events in the news.

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The evolution of cruising, from luxury trips to today's troubled waters

May 24th, 2020


Cruise holidays were once only for the wealthy. In recent decades they've found a mass market, but how and at what cost?

How epidemics and pandemics have changed history

May 17th, 2020


Human history is usually understood through wars, economic changes, technological development or great leaders. What’s frequently …

Animals, humans and disease

May 10th, 2020


Around two thirds of the infectious illnesses we humans suffer are caused by pathogens we’ve picked up from wild or domestic animals. They’re called zoonotic diseases and these kinds of illnesses go …

Will Joe Biden be the next President of the United States?

May 3rd, 2020


Joe Biden has emerged as the Democratic nominee for the United States Presidential race in November. But he’s run twice before and both times been defeated soundly. Why did he win this time and how …

In a fix - how match fixing became sport’s biggest threat

April 26th, 2020


Find out how match fixing works. It's ubiquitous and now recognised as the biggest threat to sport integrity.

What happened to the NBN, Australia's 'information superhighway'?

April 19th, 2020


The NBN was supposed to provide all Australian homes with reliable, super-fast internet connections. As many of us adjust to living and working from home, connected with our jobs, friends and family …

SARS, Ebola and now Covid-19 - world health and the role of the W.H.O.

April 12th, 2020


For over 60 years the World Health Organisation has been the pre-eminent international health organisation but questions have been asked about its response to several infectious diseases. This is the …

SARS and MERS - what did the earlier epidemics teach us?

April 5th, 2020


Singapore and South Korea – partly because of their experience with previous corona virus outbreaks – have managed this pandemic without locking people in their homes or shutting down their …

1929 Revisited

March 29th, 2020


After a month of almost unprecedented drama on global financial markets due to the spread of the Coronavirus, Rear Vision revisits the 1920s and the events that led to the stock market crash of 1929.

The Black Death - the plague that never went away

March 22nd, 2020


In the fourteenth century, the plague killed about half the population of Europe and Asia, making it one of the most devastating …

Benjamin Netanyahu - Hero or Villain?

March 15th, 2020


On the 17th March Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister of Israel will appear in court, charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Despite the charges his party won the most seats in …

How China's wet markets and wild animal trade created an epidemic

March 8th, 2020


With coronavirus most likely having jumped from animals to humans at a wet market in China, here’s what you need to know about …

Secular India and the rise of Hindu Nationalism

March 1st, 2020


Last week as President Donald Trump was visit to India - the national capital New Delhi erupting in communal violence. It’s a …

Ireland - ready for change

February 23rd, 2020


Shifting political dynamics have given new life to the question of the reunification of the Republic in the south with Northern …

Greek Tragedy or Farce: The life and career of Rudy Giuliani

February 16th, 2020


At the heart of the recent US impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump was Trump’s personal lawyer and former Mayor of …

Ghosn has flown - the rise and fall of an auto industry mogul

February 9th, 2020


In December, one of the car industry’s most powerful figures fled from Japan where he was awaiting trial, apparently hidden in a …

The story of fire in the Australian landscape

February 2nd, 2020


Most Australians have been impacted by bush fires this summer. But fires are not new - we live in a country that has been shaped …

E-cigarettes - is there value in vaping?

January 26th, 2020


E-cigarettes first appeared as a healthier alternative to smoking, maybe even a way to quit, but they soon escaped the medical framework and have become a public health nightmare in the US. Yet some …

The anti-vaccination movement

January 19th, 2020


Why do some parents choose not to vaccinate their children, despite the safety and success of vaccines?

How history can help shape the debate about an Indigenous voice to Parliament

January 12th, 2020


In the Uluru Statement from the Heart, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are calling for an Indigenous Voice to parliament. …

The art market

January 5th, 2020


Who decides what a painting is worth? The history of the art market and how it works.

Kashmir in lockdown: The story behind Pakistan and India's ongoing battle for control over Kashmir

December 29th, 2019


Earlier this year the Indian parliament has revoked Article 370 of the India Constitution — which had guaranteed some form of …

Understanding assassination

December 22nd, 2019


Assassination has a very long history yet each one is as singular as the life taken. Do they change the course of history, as …

Nancy Pelosi the most powerful woman in US politics

December 15th, 2019


Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House of Representative, and  the most powerful woman in the United States. For the past two years …

How to get there—the rise of satellite navigation

December 8th, 2019


GPS—where did this handy and incredibly accurate system come from and how did it become so thoroughly integrated into our lives?

Is water recycling the answer to our current drought?

December 1st, 2019


Parts of Australia are in the grip of one of the worst droughts in decades and water security is a key issue. While Sydney is about to go onto level 2 water restrictions, some towns like Cobar, …

A destructive mine and a civil war—Bougainville's path to an independence vote

November 24th, 2019


The desire for independence is driving politics in places as far flung as Catalonia, Scotland and New Caledonia. Will the people …

Protests in Lebanon: Is this the end of their religion-based political system?

November 17th, 2019


For over a month Lebanon’s streets have been brought to a standstill by protesters. The demonstrators are demanding a complete …

The making and breaking of the Berlin Wall

November 10th, 2019


On the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, hear the whole story—why was it built, how did affect the lives of …

Who are the Kurds?

November 3rd, 2019


Since the first Gulf War in 1991 the Kurds have been a key player in the Middle East first in Iraq and later in Syria.

But, who …

Franco’s body—the politics of the Spanish dictator’s remains

October 27th, 2019


Francisco Franco, an ally of Hitler and Mussolini, remains a controversial figure in Spain. The exhumation of his remains is the …

A radical change in drug policy: Decriminalising drug use and possession

October 20th, 2019


Senior police officers in NSW are making the case for decriminalising drug use and possession. But they're not alone — across …

Australia’s no-fault divorce—why it remains controversial

October 13th, 2019


Divorce in Australia can be a straightforward matter if both sides agree but if not, it can be expensive as well as destructive. The Family Law Act has been the subject of dozens of reports and over …

Why do America and Iran hate each other?

October 6th, 2019


Iran and America have despised each other for decades. The Americans see Iran as a nation of Islamic extremists and terrorists, while Iranians believe America is an imperial power determined to …

Mao's revolution - why did the Communists win?

September 29th, 2019


How did the Communists pull off an unexpected victory in China?

Why is Zimbabwe an economic basket case?

September 22nd, 2019


Zimbabwe is potentially one of the richest nations in Africa — it has productive agricultural land, a vast array of mineral …

Land use, climate change and the role of soil

September 15th, 2019


Farming and soil - how can we get the most out of agricultural land?

South Korea and Japan: A relationship in turmoil

September 8th, 2019


While the world’s focus has been on the trade war between China and America, you might have missed the economic stalemate brewing between Japan and South Korea.
But unlike most trade disputes their …

Trump, Greenland and the longer tale of American real estate

September 1st, 2019


Following the failure of President Trump’s clumsy attempt to buy Greenland from Denmark, here's the longer story of US land …

Kashmir in lockdown: The story behind Pakistan and India's ongoing battle for control over Kashmir

August 25th, 2019


The Indian parliament has revoked Article 370 of the India Constitution — which had guaranteed some form of independence for …

Unrest in Hong Kong

August 18th, 2019


Public demonstrations and vigils have long been part of political life in Hong Kong, but nothing matches the current protests.

How history can help shape the debate about an Indigenous voice to Parliament.

August 11th, 2019


In the Uluru Statement from the Heart, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are calling for an Indigenous Voice to parliament. …

Counterculture - the environment movement

August 4th, 2019


The movement to protect Australia’s rich environmental heritage shifted from polite, backroom persuasion to sometimes violent …

Australian farming: family farms or Agro-business

July 28th, 2019


As a nation we have a great affection for our farmers and the family farm. But rural Australia is changing, and there’s an …

How low can they go? A history of interest rates.

July 21st, 2019


A history of interest rates from Ancient Babylon to today.

Being Boris - Boris Johnson

July 14th, 2019


Boris Johnson, the gaffe-prone showman of British politics, is about to get the job he’s always coveted.

The King Crane Commission: America's first political intervention in the Middle East

July 7th, 2019


There’ve been numerous American interventions in the Middle East. But does anyone remember the 1919 King Crane Commission, …

The Impact of the Versailles Treaty

June 30th, 2019


The Treaty of Versailles was signed 100 years ago - it ended WWI and was supposed to end all wars.

But as we all know it didn't end war and arguably laid the foundation for a century of ethnic …

The Paris Peace Conference 1919

June 23rd, 2019


The Paris Peace Conference of 1919, held just months after the end of WWI, gathered together the leaders of the world. Their …

Monopoly power in America

June 16th, 2019


In the United States there is concern about the power and market share of tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and …

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