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.
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!
David talks to Tara Westover about her incredible new book Educated, which tells the story of how a girl brought up by survivalists in Idaho and who never went to school ended up with a PhD from Cambridge. Along the way we discuss what education means and what Tara's journey has taught her about politics and about life. Really, this is a conversation about the important stuff.
This week, as one of our LRB author specials, we talk to regular LRB contributor Jan-Werner Müller about populism, Trump and the state of democracy. Jan has long argued that populism is not just an election winning strategy, it's also a governing philosophy. We ask whether Trump's first year in office bears that out. Does he have a governing philosophy? How does it compare with other populists, from Berlusconi to Modi? And what difference does it make that he has a nuclear arsenal at his disposal? With Helen Thompson and Chris Bickerton.
In the week Trump tours Asia and with the Paradise Papers shining a light on tax avoidance, we talk about what's really going on: from the Mueller investigation to the latest developments in Saudi Arabia, and from Lithuania to Lebanon, we try to connect the dots. With Jason Sharman, author of The Despot's Guide to Wealth Management, historian Andrew Preston, Helen Thompson and Aaron Rapport.
This week's episode is a recording of a live Talking Politics event as part of the Cambridge Alumni Festival, with questions from the audience. We talk about normalising Trump, neglecting Turkey and kicking Brexit down the road. Plus we ask what counts as a coup and whatever happened to cabinet government. With Gary Gerstle, Ayse Zarakol, Aaron Rapport and Chris Brooke. Recorded on Saturday 23rd September.