The podcast to understand the United States

An international perspective on American politics, foreign policy and culture

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Why listen?

Understand the developments shaping American politics, foreign policy and culture – presented especially for an international audience.

Listen to the voices and perspectives which are shaping debates inside and outside the United States about America and its place in the world.

Get the story behind the story – we’re topical but always focused on the big picture.

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Latest Episodes

  • Who lost Afghanistan?
    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** It’s been about a month since Kabul fell to theContinue reading “Who lost Afghanistan?”
  • The Taliban rout America
    The Taliban are back in Kabul. The U.S.-backed Afghan government and military have collapsed much faster than almost anyone predicted. What does this mean for U.S. politics and foreign policy? And was there another way? Host Andy Gawthorpe breaks downContinue reading “The Taliban rout America”
  • #StopAsianHate
    Over the past year, more and more attention has been focused on an issue which has long been submerged in mainstream discussions of American politics – racism and discrimination against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. A wave of scapegoating and hateContinue reading “#StopAsianHate”

Meet your host

America Explained is hosted by Andy Gawthorpe, a historian and political commentator. British by birth, Dutch by residence, and American-in-waiting by marriage, Andy teaches and researches the United States at Leiden University. He also writes frequently about American politics, foreign policy & culture for U.S. and international media, particularly Guardian U.S. In the past, he’s been a research fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a civil servant in the Cabinet Office, and an instructor at a British military academy.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Great content”

Great for non-Americans who want to understand the United States.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Fantastic if you are studying the United States at school or college.

Listener from USA

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Really nice snapshot!”

A really nice snapshot of politics in the United States.


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