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From the archive: Trotsky in Mexico; Angela Carter on the maternity ward – Audio Long Reads

Revisiting two seminal articles from 1937 and 1983.

By Kingsley Martin, Angela Carter, Adrian Bradley and Melissa Denes

In a second archive edition of the audio long read, we bring you two classic magazine articles. In the first, the then editor of the New Statesman, Kingsley Martin, visits Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1937, where the Russian communist revolutionary was the guest of the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo (here referred to only as “Rivera’s wife”, though she was also Trotsky’s lover, or about to be). Martin wanted to ask the exile about the show trials then being held in Moscow, in which Stalin extracted confessions of sedition from Trotskyists. Why, he asked, had his supporters not been bolder and stood their ground? He came away from the encounter, beside a “bright blue patio where the bougainvillea blazes in the sunshine”, with more questions than he brought.

In the second article, the ground-breaking novelist Angela Carter writes about her experiences on a London maternity ward in 1983, shortly after becoming a mother for the first time at the age of 42. As in her fiction, she captures a strange mix of emotions and characters – the insulting doctor, the bossy nurse, the struggling NHS hospital, the bliss of breastfeeding her son, “who is doomed to love us, because we are his parents”, she writes. “The same goes for us. That is life. That’s the hell of it.”

Read by Adrian Bradley and Melissa Denes. You can read text versions of Martin’s article here, and of Carter’s here.

For more about Carter’s life and work, read A Card From Angela Carter by Susannah Clapp (her friend and literary executor) and The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography by Edmund Gordon.

If you enjoyed this episode, listen to From the New Statesman archive: when HG Wells met Josef Stalin.

Podcast listeners can subscribe to the New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special offer. Just visit newstatesman.com/podcastoffer.

How to listen to Audio Long Reads

1. In podcast apps

Audio Long Reads is available to listen on all major podcast players, including Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsYouTube and more.

Either click the links above to open in your preferred player, or open the podcast app on your device and search for “Audio Long Reads”.

Follow or subscribe in your podcast app to receive new episodes as soon as they publish.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
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2. On the New Statesman website

The podcast is also available to listen right here on the New Statesman website. Bookmark https://www.newstatesman.com/podcasts/audio-long-reads, where we will publish new episodes every Saturday morning.

3. On your smart speaker

If you have an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod, ask it to “play the latest episode of Audio Long Reads from the New Statesman”.

The command will also work on other smart devices equipped with Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri.

[See also: From the archive: when HG Wells met Josef Stalin – Audio Long Reads]

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU