Fiona Hill is director of the Center on the United States and Europe, and senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. Growing up in England’s coal-mining country, Fiona Hill knew that she was in a forgotten place. The last of the local mines had closed, businesses were shuttering, and despair was etched in the faces around her. Her father told her to get out—to go to London, or Europe, or America. “There is nothing for you here, pet,” he said.
Hill managed to go further than her father ever could have dreamed. She studied in Moscow and at Harvard, became an American citizen, and served on the National Security Council. But in the heartlands of both Russia and the US, she saw grim reflections of her hometown and similar populist impulses. By the time she offered her brave testimony in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, Hill knew that the desperation of forgotten people was driving American politics over the brink—and that we were running out of time to save ourselves from systemic collapse. In this powerful, deeply personal account, she shares what she has learned, and explains that only by expanding opportunity can we save our democracy.
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Audio production by Graham Stephenson
Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions
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