alain elkann interviews

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Ingrid Betancourt

Ingrid Betancourt works in politics and is a human rights activist. “I want back the life they took from me.” Ingrid Betancourt was held captive in the Colombian jungle for six years. She wrote a book sharing powerful teachings of resilience, resistance, and faith....

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Prince Michael of Greece

"Politics is the Greek passion from antiquity to modernity." Michel de Grèce sounds like a perfect “nom de plume” for a writer, but in your case it is your real name. How come? Because my family ruled Greece for a hundred years, and when we started we did not need a...

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Chris Patten

Lord Patten was the last Governor of Hong Kong and was Chairman of the BBC Trust. He was elected Chancellor of Oxford University in 2003. This interview was made in late 2012. “The future is in China’s hands, but the country needs to work on corruption and economic...

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Zanny Minton Beddoes

Rigorous empirical analysis, informed liberal values, clear reasoned argument. Zanny Minton Beddoes is The Economist's 17th Editor-in-Chief, the first woman ever to hold this job. How has your life changed since you started as Editor? My days have become more...

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Françoise Giroud

For the love of the devil. A kind butler lets me into Françoise Giroud’s large Parisian flat, which is not far from Les Invalides, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Seine. There are large piles of books in the entrance. Françoise Giroud is wearing what...

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Gaia Servadio

Tony Blair was more on the right than Thatcher. “When I think about Italian politics and corruption, I break out in hives.” Gaia Servadio lives in a typically British house in the Belgravia district of London, with a studio perched on a terrace where she writes and...

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Simon Anholt

In June 2016 Simon Anholt is launching Global Vote. Starting with the Icelandic Presidential Elections and the UK’s EU membership referendum at the end of this month, Global Vote will be offering an election every few weeks on www.globalvote.org (and yes, this...

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Cicciolina

Jeff Koons harshly treated by his then wife Ilona Staller (Cicciolina) - June 1994. Ilona: “I am in Trieste, but I don’t feel safe. Minister Biondi needs to help me. My husband is going to kill me. He keeps threatening me.” Staller is on the run with her child....

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Emma Bonino

Europe is my battle. Having returned from Kosovo, Emma Bonino is in her office in Rome in the Radical Party headquarters. It is September, 1998. Did you not go on holiday? I spent the first week of August in a little hole – a very charming little hole that my brother...

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J. Scott Armstrong

"FORECASTS OF DANGEROUS MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING ARE NOT VALID." Professor Armstrong is internationally known for his pioneering work on forecasting methods, which he has worked on for 55 years. Professor Armstrong, can you tell me, what is a forecaster? A forecaster...

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Frédéric Mitterrand

This interview with Frédéric Mitterrand was made in 2009, when for almost a year he had been the director of Villa Medici, the French Academy in Rome. Your predecessors as Director of Villa Medici include the great painters Poussin, Ingres, Balthus, and many great...

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Susanna Agnelli

Susanna Agnelli's political career  culminated in 1995 with her appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs. She is the first woman ever to hold this post in Italy. Click here for her "Life in Pictures". As foreign minister of the technocratic government, Susanna...

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Giorgio Napolitano

This interview took place nine years ago in February 2006, just before Napolitano was elected President of the Italian Republic and carried on an exceptional mandate of nine years instead of seven. Now he has resigned after an outstanding performance as President, and...

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Giulio Andreotti

Giulio Andreotti was a Christian Democratic politician who was several times prime minister of Italy in the period from 1972 to 1992. He was one of Italy’s most skillful and powerful politicians in the era after World War II. This interview was made during August,...

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Maria José of Savoy

"King Umberto and I abstained from voting." This interview with the last Queen of Italy was made in the Summer of 1996, when Maria José had been back from Mexico for a year. She had lived there since 1991 in a house in Cuernavaca surrounded by eucalyptus plants and...

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Jeffrey Sachs

Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs is Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Prof Sachs, how is your battle for sustainable development proceeding? It is long and difficult because sustainable development is a different direction for the world economy. The...

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Bianca Jagger

This is how I fight injustice. Bianca Jagger arrives on time. She was once often late, but it seems as if her habits have changed. She is all dressed in white, in a suit and a low-cut t-shirt. She plays with her hands in the lobby of the Mayfair Regent Hotel in New...

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Patrizio Fondi

Patrizio Fondi is the Italian Ambassador in Amman. Does serving as an ambassador in Amman today mean living with a lot of pressure? Above all, it means being vigilant and not just in the obvious sense of being prudent and taking all reasonable precautions for the...

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Leah Rabin

Leah Rabin: “We have to trust the idea of peace.” “Arafat is a sincere partner, he has become our friend.” “Israel, enough with the arrogance.” Leah Rabin was the widow of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995. She died in November 2000...

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Nicolas Berggruen

Nicolas Berggruen is a citizen of the world in the very sense of the word. For many years he did not have a home and lived in different hotels all over the world. During the last few years he spends more and more of his time in Los Angeles. He says, “I feel at home...

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George Weidenfeld

Intolerance is more dangerous than Nazism or Fascism or Communism. We are having lunch in the bow-windowed living room in Lord Weidenfeld's beautiful apartment on Chelsea Embankment, overlooking the Thames. There are books everywhere, a piano, and Old Master paintings...

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Gore Vidal

Interview with an angry writer. Gore Vidal: “The Attorney General is nothing but a puppet. Let me tell you about this massive conspiracy.” Gore Vidal, you followed President Clinton's speech on TV at your house in Ravello. What do you think about it? In a few words,...

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Kerry Kennedy

Kerry is in her office on Madison Avenue in New York. She is President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. As a child in a very privileged condition she understood how many other people in the world were suffering injustice and...

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Tina Brown

WOMEN IN THE WORLD At 10 a.m. I arrive at Lincoln Center in New York for the fifth Women in the World public meeting.  The Theater is full, as it would be for an opera premiere. This is a two and a half day event at Lincoln Center where extraordinary women from all...

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Eric Hobsbawm

In the middle of the Ukraine Crimea Russia EU crisis after the declarations of President Obama, the world misses intelligent intellectuals like Eric Hobsbawm (1917-2012), capable of understanding the many differences and nuances between the Western and the Eastern...

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Erica Jong

Erica, what is your view of what is happening in the feminine world? I think that more and more people are becoming aware that women’s rights are human rights. The smartest men understand well that when women are educated the economy goes up. Why? Because when women...

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Silvan Shalom

Silvan Shalom is the Israeli Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Minister of Energy and Water. It is November 2013 and the Minister is in the Negev Desert with the Prime Minister and other ministers for a...

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HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal

I go to visit His Royal Highness Prince Hassan bin Talal during October 2013 at his home in the Royal Palace of Amman, where he has lived with his wife for 45 years. The Italian Ambassador to Jordan, Patrizio Fondi, and Jacqueline Beaurang are with me. In the entrance...

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// FEATURED

ANITA PALLENBERG

Anita Pallenberg is an actress, model, and fashion designer. Born in Italy in 1944 she was the partner of the Rolling Stones’ guitarist Brian Jones and then the partner of Keith Richards. Anita, you have worked in the worlds of cinema, music and fashion. Would you define yourself as an eclectic person? I would say... READ MORE

// PUBLICATIONS

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