Bloomsbury Continuum has acquired When America Stopped Being Great by BBC New York correspondent Nick Bryant.
Commissioning editor Jamie Birkett acquired world English rights, excluding Australia and New Zealand, from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown, working on behalf of Pippa Masson at Curtis Brown Australia. Translation rights are handled by Kate Cooper at Curtis Brown.
In When America Stopped Being Great, Bryant will reveal how America’s decline paved the way for Donald Trump’s rise, sowing division and leaving the country vulnerable to its greatest challenge of the modern era, says the publisher.
The synopsis reads: "Deftly sifting through almost four decades of American history, Bryant unpacks the mistakes of past administrations. Unafraid to criticise actors on both sides of the political divide, When America Stopped Being Great takes the long view, combining engaging storytelling with recent history to show how the country moved from the optimism of Reagan’s ‘Morning in America’ to the darkness of Trump’s ‘American Carnage’. It concludes with some of the most dramatic events in recent memory, in an America torn apart by a bitterly polarised election, racial division, the national catastrophe of the coronavirus and the threat to US democracy evidenced by the storming of Capitol Hill."
Birkett commented: "When America Stopped Being Great is that very rare thing: a deeply researched and illuminating account of these extraordinary times, written in prose so compelling it keeps you turning the pages. Nick is one of the BBC’s most talented and experienced writers. I am delighted that Bloomsbury will publish his modern-day ‘Letter from America’."
Bryant said: "As the 2020 election showed, Donald Trump was not a historical accident. His victory four years ago was almost historically inescapable. So many American trend lines—political, economic, racial, social, technological and cultural—converged and culminated in his presidency. When America Stopped Being Great charts that history of the present. It's a story not just of US decline, but of national disintegration. Throughout the 21st century, we've spoken of a post-American world. My fear now is of a post-American America."
When America Stopped Being Great will be published on 4th March 2021.
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