Facebook Pixel
Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford

The Coup, the Poet and the Secret to Winning Wimbledon

“If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss..."

Those words - from Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" - were based on charismatic nineteenth century doctor, Leander Starr Jameson. In Britain, Jameson was worshipped as a plucky hero: a bastion of courage and mental fortitude. Ironically, he was also responsible for the Jameson Raid, a South African coup that was an unmitigated disaster.

Kipling's champion might have spearheaded a fiasco - but could the poem "If" hold clues for triumph in another arena?

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford
Not playing