Idler Dinner: Tom Holland and Josh Cohen

Tom Holland and Josh Cohen
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Five times a year, the Idler magazine brings together a collection of writers, speakers and musicians for an evening of fun and feasting held at the Union Club in Soho, and hosted by editor Tom Hodgkinson and Idler Academy director Victoria Hull.

For our first dinner of 2020, we welcome historian, translator and broadcaster Tom Holland, who will be talking about his new book Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind and Josh Cohen, psychoanalyst and author of Not Working: Why We Have To Stop, who will speak about the ill effects of work on our collective mental health.

The Speakers

Tom Holland is a best-selling author and television presenter, whose works range from a history of the Roman Empire, to an account of the origins of Islam. His latest book Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind explores Christianity’s enduring impact upon the West. Ranging in time from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC, to the on-going migration crisis in Europe today, and from Nebuchadnezzar to the Beatles, it explores just what it was that made Christianity so revolutionary and disruptive.

Josh Cohen is a psychoanalyst in private practice, and Professor of Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths University of London. Josh’s most recent book, Not Working: Why We Have To Stop was published by Granta in January 2019 and explores the paradoxical pleasures of inactivity, and considers four faces of inertia – the burnout, the slob, the daydreamer and the slacker. Drawing on his personal experiences and on stories from his consulting room, while punctuating his discussions with portraits of figures associated with the different forms of inactivity – Andy Warhol, Orson Welles, Emily Dickinson and David Foster Wallace – Cohen gets to the heart of the apathy so many of us feel when faced with the demands of contemporary life, and asks how we might live a different and more fulfilled existence.

The Venue

The Union Club is a private members’ club situated in a listed Georgian town house in the heart of Soho. It opened in 1993, and for the last twenty-six years has been providing a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere for its members.


Date: Tuesday 14th January 2020

Time: 7:00pm – 10:30pm

Location: The Union Club, 50 Greek Street, London, W1D 4EQ

Cost: £55

What’s included in the ticket price: A three course meal and a glass of wine or beer

Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road

How to Book: Either click ‘Buy Tickets’ on this page or call our office between 10am  – 6pm, Monday-Friday on 020 3176 7907