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?

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?

170 | Outlasting Trump

We talk with Gary Gerstle about the big issues roiling US politics with likely aftereffects that will long outlast Trump's presidency. First up: the fight over the census. What's a stake in the citizenship question? How has American politics been shaped by people-counting in the past? And what is the Supreme Court likely to
decide? Plus we look at constitutional reform, the environment and impeachment. These are the battles that could have consequences for decades to come. With Helen Thompson.

163 | 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.

162 | 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.