Alain De Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1969 and now lives in London. His writings – including How Proust Can Change your Life, Status Anxiety and The Architecture of Happiness – refer both to his own experiences and ideas and those of particular artists, philosophers and thinkers. His style of writing has been termed a ‘philosophy of everyday life’, and several of his books have been serialised as documentaries for broadcast television.
George Soros is best known as a successful stock investor and financial speculator. Born in Budapest in 1930, he survived the Nazi occupation and fled communist Hungary in 1947 for England, where he graduated from the London School of Economics. In the USA, he is known for having donated large sums of money in a failed effort to defeat President George W. Bush’s bid for re-election in 2004, and for establishing major philanthropic endeavours promoting the values of democracy and an open society. He famously ‘broke the Bank of England’ on Black Wednesday in 1992 when he sold short more than $10 billion worth of pounds, profiting from the Bank of England’s reluctance to either raise its interest rates to levels comparable to those of other European Exchange Rate Mechanism countries or to float its currency.
There is a short film on The Guardian’s website.
Download an audio excerpt: [ artangelconversation2008.mp3 ]
Or listen to it here: