Meet the author - Nick Bryant

Nick Bryant will be in conversation with Mark Kenny on his new book The Forever War, which tells the story of how America’s political polarisation is 250 years in the making, and argues that the roots of its modern-day malaise are to be found in its troubled past.

As we approach the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the American experiment is failing. Division, mistrust and misinformation are now its defining characteristics. The storming of the Capitol, the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the increasing spotlight on Second Amendment rights raise the spectre of further political violence, and even the possibility of a second civil war.

Nick Bryant argues that the hate, divisiveness and paranoia we see today are in fact a core part of America’s story. Combining brilliant storytelling with historical research, Bryant argues that insurrections, assassinations and massacres – from the American Civil War through to JFK and the inner-city race riots of the late ’60s, up to the more recent school shootings and the murder of George Floyd – should sadly not be seen as abnormalities. Today, a country that looked confidently to the future has become captive to its contentious past.

'Bryant writes as both a keen political reporter and a first-class historian, interweaving past and present to supremely powerful effect. It’s a superb achievement.' Dominic Sandbrook host of The Rest is History

During a career spanning almost thirty years, Nick Bryant came to be regarded as one of the BBC’s finest foreign correspondents. He has been posted in Washington, South Asia, Australia and New York, where he covered the Trump years. His writing has appeared in The Economist, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Monthly and The New Statesman. He broadcasts regularly on the BBC and ABC. Nick studied history at Cambridge and has a doctorate in American politics from Oxford. He now lives in Sydney with his wife and children. His book, When America Stopped Being Great: A History of the Present, currently resides on Joe Biden’s bookshelf in the Oval Office.

Professor Mark Kenny is Director at the Australian Studies Institute at ANU, where he hosts the popular podcast series 'Democracy Sausage' .Mark is the Canberra Times political analyst and a regular on the ABC's Insiders program, Sky News Agenda, and radio programs across the country.

The vote of thanks will be given by Allan Behm, Director, International & Security Affairs Program at the Australia Institute, Canberra.

This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening in the RSSS foyer. Pre-event book signings will be available from 5.30pm and again after the event.

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podcast will be made available after the event.

Symposium by University House Wine bar (Shop 13, 152 University Avenue, Acton, which is just next to the Kambri cultural centre) will now be open for dining after meet the author events. Food and wine details at https://unihouse.anu.edu.au/eat/symposium/. No bookings necessary.

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Research School of Social Sciences 146 Ellery Cres
The Australian National University
ACT
Acton
2601

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