180 | Jill Lepore on the American Nation

We talk to historian Jill Lepore about the idea of nationalism in America, from the birth of the Republic through to Trump. What defines the nation? Why does the illiberal version keep getting the upper hand? Are there any politicians in America who can rescue the idea of liberal nationalism? Plus we ask Jill what she thinks of Johnson, Brexit and nationalism in the UK.

179 | Talking Politics Guide to ... Being a Civil Servant

We talk to public policy expert Dennis Grube about the changing character of the civil service, from Victorian mandarins and Yes, Minister to the current battles over Brexit in the age of Twitter. Senior civil servants increasingly find themselves in the public eye, expected to communicate their views. Has this politicised the advice they give?

176 | Talking Politics Guide to ... The Chinese Communist Party

We talk to historian of China Hans van de Ven about the origins of the CCP and its extraordinary rise to power. How has it managed to adapt to the changes of the last forty years and what lessons will be drawn as it approaches its one hundredth birthday?

175 | Talking Politics Guide to ... The Gilded Age

We talk to historian Sarah Churchwell about the Gilded Age in late nineteenth century America and the comparisons with today. Rampant inequality, racial conflict, fights over immigration, technological revolution: is Trump's America repeating the pattern or is it something new?

174 | Autumn of Chaos

Boris Johnson is off to see the Queen to become her 14th (!) British Prime Minister, but where might he be taking the country this autumn? We try to work through the various Brexit scenarios, from a renegotiated Withdrawal Agreement to a crash no-deal exit. Can the backstop be issue? Plus we explore whether an early election or a second referendum can really provide a way out of the mess. Something's got to give - what will it be? With Helen Thompson, Catherine Barnard and Chris Bickerton.

173 | Waiting for Boris

Barring an act of God, Boris Johnson is going to be the next leader of the Conservative Party. We're exploring what that means in two parts. Today, Helen and David talk about the domestic implications. Can Johnson avoid an election? Can he hold on to the seats he needs while winning others he doesn't have? Will he unite or divide his party? Will Labour be able to stop him either way? Plus we talk about what's at stake for the Tories in Johnson's relationship with Trump. Next week: Europe and Brexit.