Donald Trump may be the most unusual President of modern times but he built his successful campaign in a way that has a long tradition in American politics: stoking unreasonable fears about foreigners and the future … unreasonable fear is called paranoia by psychiatrists.

This FRDH podcast was reported and recorded in the weeks just before the 2016 presidential primaries got underway. Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4, it was the first major piece in mainstream media to take the Trump candidacy seriously and to try and put it in historical context.

Playing on the electorates unreasonable fears about their society has long been a tactic for gaining political office.  In this podcast we learn about that long history. From the Salem Witch Trials through the Know-Nothing anti-Irish immigrant party to the founding of the John Birch Society and finally, Trump himself.

Leading historians including Columbia University’s Eric Foner and Harvard’s Richard Parker and Lisa McGirr as well as early Trump supporters from South Carolina are among the interviewees.

This 28 minute long podcast is a very accurate First Rough Draft of History. Donald Trump used some of the oldest tools in the political tool box to win the White House.


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