Are we living in an Age of Walls? Talk of walls is of course all around us, from heated political rhetoric about building a wall on America’s southernmost border to more amorphous references to the walls of our psyches or firewalls blocking the flow of digital data. In this episode of the History Workshop podcast, HWO’s Laura Forster talks to historian Paul Betts, author of Within Walls: Private Life in the German Democratic Republic. 

Berlin Wall remains. Courtesy Slaunger / CC BY-SA (

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Paul Betts teaches Modern European History at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and is the author of several books, most recently Ruin and Renewal: Civilising Europe after the Second World War (Profile UK/ Basic US, 2020).  He has co-edited seven books, including (with Jennifer Evans and Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann) The Ethics of Seeing: Photography and 20th Century German History (Berghahn, 2018) and (with Steve Smith), Religion, Science and Communism in Cold War Europe (London: Palgrave, 2016).  From 2014 to 2018 he was Co-Investigator of a 4-year AHRC-funded collaborative project on “Socialism Goes Global: Connecting the Second and Third Worlds.”


One Comment

  1. Valerie Mainstone

    I’m so sorry the sound wasn’t clear enough for me to follow what was being said. Is there any chance of having subtitles? I would love to know what Marybeth had to say.

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