Jon Sopel: If Only They Didn't Speak English book tour

Jon Sopel is the BBC’s political editor for North America whose extensive coverage of the United States means there are very few British journalists working today who understand the American political and cultural landscape as he does. He has had rare access and insight to those shaping the world’s most powerful nation, having interviewed President Barack Obama and reporting on the last three presidential campaigns.

Then in February 2017 Jon went head-to-head with President Donald J. Trump at a notoriously combative press conference where the Commander-in-Chief hissed menacingly, “I know who YOU are…” after being challenged on his Executive Order for an immigration ban. The 2016 election shone a light on the divisions between black and white, young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural, educated and uneducated. And in this new political era Jon’s book, If Only They Didn’t Speak English: Notes from Trump’s America, is our essential guide to this New America.

Join Britain’s best-known political journalist as he tours the country sharing his first-hand experiences from a country whose ‘special relationship’ with Britain has never felt so uncertain. Jon explores American life through British eyes and questions how ‘the Greatest Country on Earth’ has become mired in a storm of political extremism, radical division and increasingly perverse beliefs.

Event details

Author: Jon Sopel

Event name: Jon Sopel in Conversation: Notes From Trump's America

Tuesday 5th September – 7.30pm
The Tabernacle, London

Jon Sopel in conversation with David Aaronovitch (Penguin Live and Primrose Hill Books)

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Thursday 7th September – 6.30pm
LSE Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Bulding, London

Jon Sopel gives a talk at the LSE



Saturday 9th September – 2pm
The Junction, Christchurch, Chorleywood 

An afternoon with Jon Sopel at Chorleywood Bookshop 



Saturday 9th September – 7.30pm
Winchester Cathedral

Jon Sopel’s evening lecture at the Friends of Winchester Cathedral’s Annual Lecture



Friday 6th October – 7pm
Stratford Literary Festival, Stratford Artshouse 

Jon Sopel speaks at Stratford Literary Festival



Saturday 7th October
Cheltenham Literary Festival 

Jon will be featuring at Cheltenham Literary Festival in both a solo and panel event



Sunday 8th October – 3.30pm
David’s Bookshop, Letchworth

Jon Sopel speaks at the Spirella Ballroom



Monday 9th October – 7pm
Wimbledon Literary Festival 

Jon Sopel speaks at the Wimbledon Literary Festival


More about the author

If Only They Didn't Speak English

Jon Sopel

'You see, if only they didn’t speak English in America, then we’d treat it as a foreign country – and probably understand it a lot better’

‘the sanest man in America’ – Bill Bryson
‘Jon Sopel nails it’ – Emily Maitlis

**With a brand new chapter, charting Trump's first year in power**

As the BBC’s North America Editor, Jon Sopel has had a pretty busy time of it lately. In the time it’s taken for a reality star to go from laughing stock to leader of the free world, Jon has travelled the length and breadth of the United States, experiencing it from a perspective that most of us could only dream of: he has flown aboard Air Force One, interviewed President Obama and has even been described as ‘a beauty’ by none other than Donald Trump.

Through music, film, literature, TV and even through the food we eat and the clothes that we wear we all have a highly developed sense of what America is and through our shared, tangled history we claim a special relationship. But America today feels about as alien a country as you could imagine. It is fearful, angry and impatient for change.

In this fascinating, insightful portrait of American life and politics, Jon Sopel sets out to answer our questions about a country that once stood for the grandest of dreams, but which is now mired in a storm of political extremism, racial division and increasingly perverse beliefs.