As long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by American political history. I read about politics as eagerly as others consumed sports. I devoured stories about Lincoln, FDR and Reagan, while others followed… and now my metaphor falls down, because I can’t think of any famous sports people.
No office looms as large over the American political landscape as that of the President. For over 200 years, everything the person in the Oval Office has said has been transcribed and meticulously analysed. As well as being the most powerful person in the world, they’re also arguably the most interesting.
You may not know this, but soon America will have a new President. His name is Donald Trump. Excitingly for history fans, he promises to govern as unconventionally as he campaigned. Countless books will surely be written about him, but for for the moment, we’re at the Ground Zero of history, watching as it unfolds live before us. For political geeks like me, that’s like four years of Christmas.
This blog will aim to track the unfolding events while putting them into context. Trump may be radically different to anyone who’s come before, but that doesn’t mean he can’t learn lessons from his predecessors.
As we count down the days to his Inaugeration, I have a few recommendations to make which will hopefully wet your appetite. The first is John Dickerson’s podcast Whistlestop, which is transitioning from focusing on campaign curiosities to the question of Presidential greatness. His velvety voice, narration and insights really make it a must-listen. The other is The Twelve Caesars by Nigel Hamilton, charting the fortunes of the 12 pre-Obama presidents who have been the leaders of the Free World. It’s both detailed and covers a huge scope with wonderful writing.
Donald Trump will be sworn in on 20th January, however I’m sure I will have some posts before then. Thanks for joining me on this momentous and probably rather rocky ride through the next four years of history!