James Naughtie: The USA, from Reagan to Trump (2020 Event)

Over the years that James Naughtie has been reporting on world politics, the USA has undergone seismic changes. Naughtie first visited the States in 1970 as a student, when the Vietnam War was raging and Richard Nixon was in the Oval Office. Since then, Naughtie has grown into one of the BBC’s best-respected reporters and has covered every election since the triumph of Ronald Reagan.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, it appeared that the US would reign as the world’s only superpower – leading to Francis Fukuyama’s suggestion that this may be ‘the end of history.’ But a rapid rise of Chinese economic and political power, combined with the election of a president whose slogan is ‘America First’ has led to a period of US nativism, and a country where (according to Naughtie), self-doubt has crept in.

On the Road is Naughtie’s compelling memoir of his American experiences during this period of change. In this event recorded live at the 2020 Book Festival, he discusses his adventures – and a rollercoaster half-century of USA life - with fellow BBC journalist Allan Little.

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