We’re delighted to launch a new series of The Last Best Hope?, the RAI’s podcast which explains the America of today through the lens of the past. Each story-filled episode looks at the US from the outside in – delving into the political events, conflicts, speeches and songs that have shaped how America has seen itself, and how it has been seen.
The first episode investigates whether there are lessons for Joe Biden from the troubled, truncated presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. It features Kevin Kruse, the eminent Princeton historian, author of many books on postwar US political history, including most recently Myth America and Mark Lawrence, the Director of the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas, and author of The End of Ambition: The US and the Third World. Listen here [add link] or wherever you get your podcasts.
Later episodes investigate the cultural impact of Northumbrians on the Appalachian South, the history of the phrase “a city on a hill”. And we ask whether there are parallels between the “culture wars” of contemporary politics and the political crisis that led to the Civil War of the 1860s.
If you’re new to The Last Best Hope, check out the 44 past episodes which range from the bloody battlefields of Gettysburg to fake news and gun control, and feature interviews with dozens of historians, public intellectuals and others, including Eric Foner, Annette Gordon Reed, Heather Cox Richardson, Rachel Shelden, Ty Seidule, Erik Rauchway, Richard Blackett, Devin Fergus and many others.
The Last Best Hope? is available on all podcasting platforms (including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify). Follow the podcast on Twitter for regular updates on new episodes: @TLBHpodcast