James Naughtie

James Naughtie

On The Road: American Adventures from Nixon to Trump

Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival Online 2020
Broadcast Date
Sunday 19 July

One of the stalwarts of the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival, appearing each year to offer his own unique insights into the political scene, Jim reflects on a key aspect of a glittering journalistic career.

In On the Road: American Adventures from Nixon to Trump, James Naughtie explores the country he has known for fifty years – its allure and its contradictions, its strengths and some painful legacies that weigh so heavily on its people.

With a perceptive eye and an elegant pen, one of Britain’s leading broadcasters tells a spellbinding story that encompasses the Watergate scandal, the end of the Cold War, the cultural conflicts that swirled around the Clintons, the trauma of 9/11, and the transformational elections of Obama and Trump. This is a tale of high drama and hidden encounters – from Washington corridors to diners in dusty small towns, from the streets of New York down to country roads in the old South – infused with the insight of a master observer, whose voice is a beguiling guide to the mysteries of modern America.

Characters spring from every page: the poker fiend who played cards with Lyndon B. Johnson; the Kennedy matriarch in her nineties at home; the presidential candidates at moments of victory and defeat; the powerless and the bemused, like the lonely travellers on a night train from Chicago to New Orleans. This is the journey of a roving reporter, full of laughter, adventure and surprise.

On the Road is America revealed.

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