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“On January 20, 2021, standing where two weeks earlier police officers battled right-wing paramilitaries, Joe Biden took his oath of office. Faced with unprecedented crises, he decided not to play defense. Instead, he set out to transform the nation”.
From author and The Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer comes a gripping biography of Joe Biden, following his first term in office: The Last Politician. With unequaled access to inner circle advisors who have surrounded Biden for decades, Foer crafts a high-definition portrait of a presidency 50 years in the making at a critical moment in America’s history.
From the January 6th Capitol attack to Covid-19, Biden had his work cut out for him from the get-go. With a keen eye for the challenges ahead, he proposed the most ambitious domestic spending bills since the 1960s and reoriented the United States on the world stage toward the looming conflict with China.
But American democracy itself remains imperiled. The forces that whisked former president Trump to the Oval Office are not, despite Biden’s best efforts, in the rearview mirror. Facing real threats at home and abroad, pundits and polls suggest that the odds are stacked against him in 2024. But is that really the case?
Foer analyzes the triumphs and failures of Biden’s leadership from the 2022 “midterm miracle” to the power of the Inflation Reduction Act. He also examines the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan as well as the American response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, all with an eye for what this will mean for the upcoming presidential elections in 2024, the outcome of which is far from being decided.
Moderator Dr. Johannes Thimm is senior fellow and deputy head of the Americas research division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. He works on issues at the intersection of U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy, including transatlantic relations. In his current role at SWP, he is a frequent contributor to German and international media. He is the author of The United States and Multilateral Treaties: A Policy Puzzle (FirstForumPress), an analysis of the U.S. reluctance to join many international agreements. Before joining SWP, Thimm briefly worked at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. Thimm has studied political science and international relations at Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Washington (Seattle), and Yale University, and received his PhD from Freie Universität in Berlin.