164 | Death of the Republic

We talk to historian Tom Holland about the fall of the Roman Republic and the parallels with today.  Why does Roman history still exert such a strong pull over our imaginations?  Are politicians like Trump and Berlusconi recognisable types from the ancient past?  And is contemporary democracy vulnerable to the same forces that brought down the Roman Republic?  Plus, we discuss Putin's claim that Russia is now the Third Rome.  What is he getting at?  With Helen Thompson.

163 | Adam Tooze on US vs China

An extra episode with Adam Tooze to catch up on the latest in the US/China trade wars.  What's really at stake and what does Trump want?  Is this about economics or security?  What does it say about the future of capitalism?  And where does Joe Biden fit in?  With Helen Thompson.

162 | President Bernie?

We talk about socialism in America: where it comes from, what it means, why it's so associated with Bernie Sanders and whether it can actually reach the White House.  What's the difference between democratic socialism and social democracy?  How would the workers gain control of businesses like Facebook and Amazon?  Who are the workers these days anyway?  Plus, we ask what a Sanders vs Trump contest would actually be like.  With Adom Getachew, from the University of Chicago, and Gary Gerstle.

155 | Trump After Mueller

We catch up with Gary Gerstle in the US to assess where the Trump presidency stands after the Mueller report appeared to give him a pass.  Are there more revelations to come once the full report is available?  Can Trump take advantage of his good fortune? And who in the crowded Democratic field currently looks best placed to beat him in 2020? With Helen Thompson.

146 | Best Political Novels

A break from Brexit this week: we talk to the novelist Richard T. Kelly, author of Crusaders and The Knives, about what makes great political fiction.  We discuss the research needed to make a political novel authentic, how to get inside the head of a politician and we ask whether May or Trump would make good fictional heroes.  Plus we pick some of our favourite political novels, with literary critic Kasia Boddy. 

Don't worry: more Brexit soon!

145 | Green New Deal?

This week we talk about another side of capitalism: the innovation economy.  Can capitalism deal with climate change?  How much depends on the role of the state?  And who will pay?  We compare the Green New Deal to FDR's original version: does history show us how to get this done?  With Bill Janeway, author of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy, Diane Coyle and Helen Thompson.  Plus: David and Helen catch up with the latest comings and goings in British politics: are the two main parties starting to break apart?  More - much more - next week.