Hay Player

Gary Gerstle talks to Bronwen Maddox

Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government

Hay Festival 2016, 

On the one hand, Americans don’t want ‘big government’ meddling in their lives; on the other, they have repeatedly enlisted governmental help to impose their views regarding marriage, abortion, religion and schooling on their neighbours. These contradictory stances on the role of public power have paralysed policymaking and generated rancorous disputes about government’s legitimate scope. How did America reach this political impasse? And what happens now? Gerstle is Paul Mellon Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge.

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Gary Gerstle talks to Bronwen Maddox