Noreen and Paul examine the rhetoric of the first presidential debates, in 1960, compared with 2016 Trump v Clinton. We consider whether ‘civility’ was or is an important trait in US presidential candidates. (On air I mention an article I wrote on civility in global leaders.)

Paul Letters is a historian, journalist, educator and novelist. See for more history, including a daily ‘On-This-Day-75-Years-Ago’ Twitter feed and photographs. Plus the novel that combines: the real history of the Allies’ first strike against Nazi Germany; Paul’s granny’s escape (as a teenager) from 1939 Poland to 1940 Paris to wartime London; the ‘Double-Cross System’, the Special Operations Executive and assassination in Prague (

This episode was first broadcast on 11 October 2016 on Noreen Mir’s 1-2-3 Show, RTHK Radio 3. Click ‘Subscribe’ to receive future podcasts automatically (or see the This Month in History website). Recorded at Radio Television Hong Kong Studios, Broadcast Drive, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Podcast cover work by Gill Bertram.