Case History

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Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
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19990121

Prof Roy Porter reconsiders the performance of political figures of the 20th century, focusing on British PM Ramsay Macdonald and German president Hindenburg in the 1930s.

MacDonald was suffering from DEPRESSION, his eyesight and his mind were failing; Hindenburg had retired before the First World War and was now in his eighties.

Were these men fit enough to meet the rise of Hitler?

19990107

Professor Roy Porter reconsiders the performance of leading political figures of the 20th-century by looking at their health.

Reagan and Brezhnev.

In the 1980s, the world's superpowers were led on one side by someone who could not always remember the names of the cabinet, on the other by a man who called Margaret Thatcher Mrs Gandhi just because an aid had given him the wrong cue card.

19990114

Professor Roy Porter reconsiders Anthony Eden's performance during the Suez Crisis.

Was the British prime minister taking a cocktail of drugs to help him to stay alert and to help him SLEEP? Eden's widow Lady Avon, historians and doctors provide insight.

04The Kaiser1998071819990128

Four programmes analysing the performances of leading political figures of the 20th century by looking at their health.

`The Kaiser'.

Professor Roy Porter wonders whether the Kaiser would have been quite as hated if the disability he suffered at birth and the appalling treatment that followed had been common knowledge.

198B01Reagan/brezhnev19980627

The first of four programmes in which professor Roy Porter reconsiders the performances of leading political figures by looking at their health.

1: `Reagan/Brezhnev'.

In the 1980s, the superpowers were led, on one hand, by someone who could not always remember the names of his cabinet and, on the other, by a man who called Margaret Thatcher `Mrs Ghandi', because he had been given the wrong cue card.

198B0219980704

The second of four programmes analysing the performances of leading political figures of the 20th century by looking at their health.

2: During the Suez crisis of 1956, the British prime minister, Sir Anthony Eden, is thought to have been taking a cocktail of drugs to help him through.

Professor Roy Porter canvasses the views of historians, doctors and Eden's widow, Lady Avon.

198B03Hindenberg And Macdonald19980711

The third of four programmes analysing the performances of leading political figures of the 20th century by looking at their health.

3: `Hindenberg and MacDonald'.

Professor Roy Porter examines whether, in the early 1930s, British prime minister Ramsay MacDonald and German president Hindenberg were fit enough to confront the rise of Hitler.

200A01The Shah Of Iran20000108

Professor Roy Porter examines four episodes in the 20th century when the state of a leader affected the state of a nation.

1: `The Shah of Iran'.

The Shah was diagnosed with leukaemia five years before he was deposed.

Did the knowledge of his disease spur him to speed up the reforms which led to revolution?

200A0220000115

Professor Roy Porter examines four episodes in the 20th century when the state of a leader affected the state of a nation.

2: As East Germany faced turmoil at the end of the 80s, Erich Honecker lay in a hospital bed and the politburo was paralysed.

What role did his failing health play in the fall of the BERLIN Wall?

200A0320000122

Professor Roy Porter examines four episodes in the 20th century when the state of a leader affected the state of a nation.

3: Ferdinand Marcos was one of the most notorious dictators of the last century.

But for how long was the president of the Philippines battling against the kidney disease that eventually killed him? And what effect did that complaint have on his personality and policies?

200A0420000129

Professor Roy Porter ends his series exploring episodes in the 20th century when the state of a leader affected the state of a nation.

P W Botha suffered a stroke in 1989, which caused him to lose first the leadership of his party and then the presidency of South Africa.

Porter explains how a common medical condition succeeded - where international and internal pressure had failed - in bringing about political change in South Africa.