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INSIGHTS Revisited: America in Transition: Barack Obama's legacy and Donald Trump's Prospects by Professor Iwan Morgan

Professor Iwan Morgan, University College London

Date/Time: Tuesday 12 May 2020, 17:30 - 18:30

Introduction by Dr Martin Farr, Co-Chair, Public Lectures Committee, Newcastle University

2016 saw two events of seismic importance in the UK and the US: the referendum on UK membership of the EU in June, and the US Presidential election in November. The events were related, sharing some of the same impulses and some of the same people. Neither was expected, and though some predicted the former, few did the latter.

When we decided to schedule an INSIGHTS lecture to coincide with the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States we knew one thing: that there was going to be a President. But we did not expect it to be who it turned out to be. In fact, even on the very night of the election, it was almost certain that it would produce be the first female President.

What we in fact had was, if not the first populist President, certainly the first who had held no public office beforehand, yet was already a global celebrity. It is a value judgement that confidently can be made that his was the most controversial candidature in history.

It mattered here even more than usual because at the same time as Britain was decoupling from its principal trading partner it also found the special relationship in the hands of one who so vociferously advocated America First. It followed that amongst notable firsts Trump humiliated a British Prime Minister and was a presence in a British general election.

President Clinton would have been an event enough. As it was, whatever else he does, President Trump – which it was then still quite hard even to say – helped produce one of our largest audiences: 600. As with Brexit, there was an almost palpable sense of people wanting to understand what had happened, and what may happen. Our speaker, Iwan Morgan, managed to explain, and to predict, with aplomb.

Join us on Tuesday 12 May to watch the lecture with fellow audience members and take part in the conversation online.