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The shock election of Donald Trump has forced a period of reeling and reckoning in the United States. How have the failures of previous administrations led to the election of such an unorthodox candidate? And how will Trump’s exploitation of scapegoats – both inside America and outside – play out now he’s actually in office?

Photo of Sally Warhaft, Cynthia P. Schneider and Thomas Frank

Sally Warhaft, Cynthia P. Schneider and Thomas Frank — Photo: Jon Tjhia

In the first Fifth Estate discussion of 2017, Sally Warhaft hosts two heavy-hitting American experts. Thomas Frank is the author of Listen, Liberala blistering appraisal of recent Democratic administrations and a liberal professional class seemingly indifferent to widening income inequality. Cynthia P. Schneider is a foreign policy expert at the highly respected Brookings Institution in Washington and an active, eloquent advocate of ‘soft power’ and cultural diplomacy, especially with the Muslim world.

The pair explore a wide range of questions around America’s recent past, present and future, and provide a unique perspective from the inside. How might Trump work to serve the interests of those who voted for him in protest against the establishment? And how are his efforts likely to affect those well beyond American borders?

Photo of Sally Warhaft, Cynthia P. Schneider and Thomas Frank

Sally Warhaft, Cynthia P. Schneider and Thomas Frank — Photo: Jon Tjhia


Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

Portrait of Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank is the author of Listen Liberal, Pity the Billionaire, The Wrecking Crew and What's the Matter with Kansas? A former columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Harper's, Frank is the founding editor of the Baffler. He lives outside Washington, DC.

Portrait of Cynthia P. Schneider

Cynthia P. Schneider

Cynthia P. Schneider, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, teaches, publishes, and organises initiatives in the field of cultural diplomacy – with a focus on relations with the Muslim world.

She co-directs the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown, as well as the Los Angeles-based MOST Resource (Muslims on Screen and Television). Additionally, she co-directs the Timbuktu Renaissance, an innovative strategy and platform for countering extremism and promoting peace and development through a focus on culture, which grew out of her work leading the Arts and Culture Dialogue Initiative within Brookings’ Center for Middle East Policy.

The Fifth Estate

The important stories of the day – off the front pages.

Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.