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Interesting politics related material from the past week or so

Mike McCartney

12th April 2022

Some suggestions beyond the syllabus

This post might seem self-indulgent, but as a teacher of Politics I thought I'd share some of the politics highlights I've come across in that bit of breathing space that the Easter break provides.

I've mentioned the merits of the Economist's weekly podcast on US Politics before. I found this week's edition on Florida particularly fascinating. The massive demographic churn the state has undergone is changing the face of Florida's politics in ways that could not have been anticipated even as recently as when I visited less than twenty years ago. The content of the podcast essentially mirrors the contents of the Special Report, but even with a subscription I just find the podcast much more manageable. There are some humdingers of new editions in the pipeline on issues such as the Oklahoma state abortion law, so be sure to check it out here: What can Florida’s boom teach the rest of America? | The Economist

Another podcast I've given a heads up about previously is The Coming Storm from the BBC. This is a self-described journey into the dark underbelly of contemporary America. I've been listening to it again, and was struck dumb for a second time when it came to programme four on the origins of the QAnon - a conspiracy theory that apparently one fifth of Americans believe in, according to a recent poll.

A decent read in the Guardian on Saturday comes from Gideon Rachman, the chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, and he argues that Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine was entirely predictable based on his past behaviour. And what's more, Rachman doesn't believe the Russian President is about to exit the stage any time soon.

This prompted me to buy Rachman's latest book, 'The Age of the Strongman', which I've just started (and as a consequence abandoned the novel 'Shuggie Bain' for the third time). I haven't got far enough into it to do it justice, but so far it looks like it's going to go on my Oxbridge reading list. For a review, see this by Misha Glenny, who knows a thing or two about Putin, here.

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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