About our next speaker, Michael Goldfarb Posted September 16, 2017 by Lawrence Joffe


Meretz UK is really privileged to have the acclaimed journalist, author, analyst and broadcaster Michael Goldfarb speak to us about The America that made Trump on Monday, 25 September.

Goldfarb Twitter pic

Born in New York City, Goldfarb has worked in London since 1985. He has been London correspondent and then bureau chief for the USA’s esteemed National Public Radio; and is also the host of the FRDH podcast. Research from one of his documentaries resulted in his book, Ahmad’s War, Ahmad’s Peace: Surviving Under Saddam, Dying in the New Iraq.

He has also contributed regularly to The Guardian, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

In Britain he is probably best known for his thought-provoking documentaries on BBC Radio 4, and his appearances on Dateline London, the BBC News 24 programme featuring foreign correspondents (see Goldfarb on left in cover photo).

For Boston’s NPR station, WBUR, he produced the outstanding Inside Outside documentary, Southern State of Mind, which revealed the ails and aspirations of the US South. American coastal decision-makers apparently knew little about hidden corners of their nation’s interior, as the November 2016 seemed to prove!

President Donald J. Trump speaks with Secretary of Defense James Mattis and other senior leaders of the armed forces at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Jan. 27, 2017. (DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr)

President Donald Trump

Since then, Goldfarb has become something of a “reluctant expert” on the Trump phenomenon. He often finds himself asking: Is the American republic built to withstand a malevolent president? Possibly not, as he wrote for the Guardian’s Comment is Free columns. Instead, ‘Donald Trump is gleefully shredding the principle of common good that underpins the constitution’. Michael also appraised the first hundred days of the Trump presidency in this BBC Radio 4 documentary, mischievously titled The Honeymoon.

Besides current affairs, books and programmes on the Middle East, and searing social analyses, Goldfarb maintains a keen interest in Jewish culture and history.

Two instances illustrate this well: his marvellous radio documentaries on the dissident 17th century Sephardi-born Dutch philosopher, Benedict (Baruch) Spinoza, God Intoxicated Man and Heart and Soul; and his 2009 book Emancipation: How Liberating Europe’s Jews from the Ghetto led to Revolution and Renaissance (available in the UK since 2014).Emancipation

Learn more about Michael Goldfarb from FRDH and this Wikipedia entry.