This evening, back in Denver, we had dinner with Martin Rhodes who, to give him his full title, is Professor of Comparative Political Economy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Martin and I were contemporaries at the European University Institute in Florence back in the early 1980s. It is, I realise, a fact of life that the more you study the more diasporas you belong to and hence the more likely it is that you will know an academic at the university of whatever city it is you happen to be in. We had not seen each other for over ten years and it was great to catch up on things. Originally from New Zealand, having studied and taught in the UK, and having previously been based in Italy for some time, Martin has perhaps more reason that most to bring a comparative perspective to his analyses, and I learned a lot about underlying trends in American politics and society.