Road To Now

Road to Now

Chris Bath presents six-part ABC series Road to Now, unpacking key events that shaped the modern world and led us into the 21st Century

In the past 30 years, the world has undergone profound change at a dramatic pace – the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rise of China, seemingly endless wars in the Middle East, the eventual revival of Russia and the decline of the United States as the world’s sole superpower. What started in 1989 with a wall coming down, has now led to new walls going up in Europe and the U.S. In this series we connect the dots to tell the story of how we went from hope to hubris to our uncertain present. Join host and esteemed journalist Chris Bath, plus some of the world’s most acclaimed historians, politicians, writers and reporters as they look back at the fascinating events that have shaped the modern world. Road to Now starts on Tuesdays at 9.30pm on the ABC and iview from 26 May.

Drawing on footage from ABC News plus award-winning international current affairs series Foreign Correspondent , Road to Now unpacks modern history in six one-hour episodes: Age of Conflict , Global Shapers , The Fight for Freedom , Return of the Wall , Globalisation and In Harm’s Way.* Each episode features commentary from those who either occupied positions of power or reported on the events at the time, including British historian and author Professor Niall Ferguson, CNN’s Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and senior UN Official, The Right Honourable Helen Clark, The New York Times Foreign Affairs Columnist and author Tom Friedman, Australia’s former Foreign Minister and International Crisis Group President Gareth Evans, and Former Prime Minister of Australia and author The Honourable John Howard.**

The series commences at the end of the Cold War – represented by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union – a time that for many sparked optimism that the democratic values and free markets of the West would be universally accepted. In scrutinising the events that followed, through to present day, Road to Now explores how the celebration of freedom that remarkable night in Berlin lead to the crisis of international confidence that is evident now?

As wars rage, and tens of millions of people are on the move, global challenges require global solutions, yet nationalism and populism are driving nations to retreat behind borders, while climate change presents an existential crisis for mankind. Road to Now is a roadmap to the 21st Century.

Road to Now episode synopses:

Age of Conflict – Tuesday 26 May, 9.30pm

How the “peace dividend” from the end of the Cold War vanished in waves of terrorism and war, leaving the Middle East mired in conflict.

Global Shapers – Tuesday 2 June, 9.30pm

Profiles the national leaders who changed the world during the past 30 years.

and shaped international opinion.

The Fight for Freedom – Tuesday 9 June, 9.30pm

The quest for personal and political freedoms has shaped much of the past 30 years, so why is ‘democracy in retreat’?

Return of the Wall – Tuesday, 16 June, 9.30pm

Why are walls of steel and razor wire going up along European and the US borders? And what happened to the international commitment to give refugees asylum?

Globalisation – Tuesday 23 June, 9.30pm

Globalisation, technology and the spread of economic power from West to East have profoundly changed the world of money and transformed the lives of billions.

In Harm’s Way – Tuesday 30 June, 9.30pm

Natural disasters causing death and destruction are intensifying as the Earth’s climate changes, leaving billions of people in harm’s way.

Road to Now was produced by WildBear Entertainment in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC Commercial holds worldwide distribution rights.

Full list of contributors featured:

  • Adele Bear-Crozier
  • Associate Professor Yascha Mounk
  • Christiane Amanpour
  • Dr David Ranson
  • Dr Kori Schake
  • Dr Richard Based
  • Dr. Christopher A. Davis
  • Emerita Professor Kathleen Tierney
  • Emeritus Professor Hugh White
  • Fergus Hanson
  • Honorary Professor James Goff
  • J.C. Faulk
  • James Fallows
  • Jason Ballmann
  • Lydia Khalil
  • Mark Edwards
  • Nicholas Dawes
  • Peter Cave
  • Professor Andy Pitman
  • Professor David Bowman
  • Professor David Eisenman
  • Professor Graham Allison
  • Professor Lori Peak
  • Professor Melina Abdullah
  • Professor Niall Ferguson
  • Professor Phil Cummins
  • Robyn Williams
  • Stan Grant
  • The Honourable Gareth Evans
  • The Honourable John Howard
  • The Right Honourable Helen Clark
  • Tom Friedman
  • Zoe Daniel