Surviving Autocracy

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Surviving Autocracy
Title Surviving Autocracy
Author
Publisher Riverhead Books
Release DateJune 2, 2020
Category Nonfiction
Total Pages 287 pages
ISBN 0593188934
Book Rating 4.8 out of 5 from 433 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

“When Gessen speaks about autocracy, you listen.” —The New York Times “The Platonic ideal of the anti-Trump Trump book.” —The Washington Post As seen on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and heard on NPR’s All Things Considered: the bestselling, National Book Award–winning journalist offers an essential guide to understanding, resisting, and recovering from the ravages of our tumultuous times. In the run-up to the 2016 election, Masha Gessen stood out from other journalists for the ability to convey the ominous significance of Donald Trump’s speech and behavior, unprecedented in a national candidate. Within forty-eight hours of his victory, the essay “Autocracy: Rules for Survival” had gone viral, and Gessen’s coverage of Trump’s norm-smashing presidency became essential reading for a citizenry struggling to wrap their heads around the unimaginable. Thanks to the special perspective that is the legacy of a Soviet childhood and two decades covering the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, Gessen has a sixth sense for signs of autocracy—and the unique cross-cultural fluency to delineate its emergence to Americans. This incisive book provides an indispensable overview of the calamitous trajectory of the past few years. Gessen not only highlights the corrosion of the media, the judiciary, and the cultural norms we hoped would save us but also tells us the story of how a short few years have changed us from a people who saw ourselves as a nation of immigrants to a populace haggling over a border wall, heirs to a degraded sense of truth, meaning, and possibility. Surviving Autocracy is an inventory of ravages but also a beacon to recovery—or to enduring, and resisting, an ongoing assault.

Similar books related to " Surviving Autocracy " from our database.

Surviving Autocracy by Masha Gessen

Title Surviving Autocracy
Author Masha Gessen
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2020-06-02
Category Political Science
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9780593188941
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“When Gessen speaks about autocracy, you listen.” —The New York Times “A reckoning with what has been lost in the past few years and a map forward with our beliefs intact.” —Interview As seen on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and heard on NPR’s All Things Considered: the bestselling, National Book Award–winning journalist offers an essential guide to understanding, resisting, and recovering from the ravages of our tumultuous times. This incisive book provides an essential guide to understanding and recovering from the calamitous corrosion of American democracy over the past few years. Thanks to the special perspective that is the legacy of a Soviet childhood and two decades covering the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, Masha Gessen has a sixth sense for the manifestations of autocracy—and the unique cross-cultural fluency to delineate their emergence to Americans. Gessen not only anatomizes the corrosion of the institutions and cultural norms we hoped would save us but also tells us the story of how a short few years changed us from a people who saw ourselves as a nation of immigrants to a populace haggling over a border wall, heirs to a degraded sense of truth, meaning, and possibility. Surviving Autocracy is an inventory of ravages and a call to account but also a beacon to recovery—and to the hope of what comes next.

The Man Without A Face by Masha Gessen

Title The Man Without a Face
Author Masha Gessen
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2013
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 329
ISBN 9781594486517
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Documents the Russian prime minister's rapid ascent from a low-level KGB operative to the presidency, describing his selection by an ailing Boris Yeltsin's oligarchy and the ways in which the author believes that his views and ambitions have renewed Russia's threatening position to its citizens and the world. By the author of Perfect Rigor. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.

The Future Is History by Masha Gessen

Title The Future Is History
Author Masha Gessen
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2017-10-03
Category History
Total Pages 528
ISBN 9780698406209
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS WINNER OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY'S HELEN BERNSTEIN BOOK AWARD NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, LOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, BOSTON GLOBE, SEATTLE TIMES, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, NEWSWEEK, PASTE, and POP SUGAR The essential journalist and bestselling biographer of Vladimir Putin reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy. Award-winning journalist Masha Gessen's understanding of the events and forces that have wracked Russia in recent times is unparalleled. In The Future Is History, Gessen follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each of them came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own--as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers, sexual and social beings. Gessen charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today's terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state. Powerful and urgent, The Future Is History is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time.

Words Will Break Cement by Masha Gessen

Title Words Will Break Cement
Author Masha Gessen
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2014-01-08
Category Political Science
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9780698135949
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From National Book Award winner Masha Gessen, the heroic story of Pussy Riot, who resurrected the power of truth in a society built on lies. On February 21, 2012, five young women entered the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. In neon-colored dresses, tights, and balaclavas, they performed a “punk prayer” beseeching the “Mother of God” to “get rid of Putin.” They were quickly shut down by security, and in the weeks and months that followed, three of the women were arrested and tried, and two were sentenced to a remote prison colony. But the incident captured international headlines, and footage of it went viral. People across the globe recognized not only a fierce act of political confrontation but also an inspired work of art that, in a time and place saturated with lies, found a new way to speak the truth. Masha Gessen’s riveting account tells how such a phenomenon came about. Drawing on her exclusive, extensive access to the members of Pussy Riot and their families and associates, she reconstructs the fascinating personal journeys that transformed a group of young women into artists with a shared vision, gave them the courage and imagination to express it unforgettably, and endowed them with the strength to endure the devastating loneliness and isolation that have been the price of their triumph.

Where The Jews Aren T by Masha Gessen

Title Where the Jews Aren t
Author Masha Gessen
Publisher Jewish Encounters
Release Date 2016
Category HISTORY
Total Pages 170
ISBN 9780805242461
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In 1929, the Soviet Union declared the area of Birobidzhan a homeland for Jews. It was championed by a group of intellectuals who envisioned a place of post-oppression Jewish culture, and by the early 1930s, tens of thousands of Jews had moved there from the shtetls. The state-building ended quickly, in the late 1930s, with arrests and purges of the Communist Party and cultural elite, but after the Second World War, the newly named "Jewish Autonomous Region" received an influx of Jews dispossessed from what had once been the Pale, most of whom had lost families in the Holocaust. In the late 1940s, another wave of arrests swept through Birobidzhan, traumatizing the Jews into silence, and effectively making them invisible. Now Masha Gessen gives us a haunting account of the dream of Birobidzhan-and how it became

Twilight Of Democracy by Anne Applebaum

Title Twilight of Democracy
Author Anne Applebaum
Publisher Signal
Release Date 2020-07-21
Category Political Science
Total Pages 208
ISBN 9780771005862
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize One of Back Obama's Favourite Books of the Year A Pulitzer Prize–winning historian explains, with electrifying clarity, why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism. From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum, an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West, explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else. Despotic leaders do not rule alone; they rely on political allies, bureaucrats, and media figures to pave their way and support their rule. The authoritarian and nationalist parties that have arisen within modern democracies offer new paths to wealth or power for their adherents. Applebaum describes many of the new advocates of illiberalism in countries around the world, showing how they use conspiracy theory, political polarization, social media, and even nostalgia to change their societies. Elegantly written and urgently argued, Twilight of Democracy is a brilliant dissection of a world-shaking shift and a stirring glimpse of the road back to democratic values.

The Brothers by Masha Gessen

Title The Brothers
Author Masha Gessen
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2015-04-07
Category History
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9780698148703
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

National Book Award winner Masha Gessen tells an important story for our era: How the American Dream went wrong for two immigrants, and the nightmare that resulted. On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 264 others. In the ensuing manhunt, Tamerlan Tsarnaev died, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, was captured and ultimately charged on thirty federal counts. Yet long after the bombings and the terror they sowed, after all the testimony and debate, what we still haven’t learned is why. Why did the American Dream go so wrong for two immigrants? How did such a nightmare come to pass? Acclaimed Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen is uniquely endowed with the background, access, and talents to tell the full story. An immigrant herself, who came to the Boston area with her family as a teenager, she returned to the former Soviet Union in her early twenties and covered firsthand the transformations that were wracking her homeland and its neighboring regions. It is there that the history of the Tsarnaev brothers truly begins, as descendants of ethnic Chechens deported to Central Asia in the Stalin era. Gessen follows the family in their futile attempts to make a life for themselves in one war-torn locale after another and then, as new émigrés, in the looking-glass, utterly disorienting world of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Most crucially, she reconstructs the struggle between assimilation and alienation that ensued for each of the brothers, incubating a deadly sense of mission. And she traces how such a split in identity can fuel the metamorphosis into a new breed of homegrown terrorist, with feet on American soil but sense of self elsewhere.

Never Remember by Masha Gessen

Title Never Remember
Author Masha Gessen
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2018
Category
Total Pages 176
ISBN 0997722967
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

,"A book that belongs on the shelf alongside The Gulag Archipelago. -- Kirkus Reviews A haunting literary and visual journey deep into Russia's past -- and present. The Gulag was a monstrous network of labor camps that held and killed millions of prisoners from the 1930s to the 1950s. More than half a century after the end of Stalinist terror, the geography of the Gulag has been barely sketched and the number of its victims remains unknown. Has the Gulag been forgotten?Writer Masha Gessen and photographer Misha Friedman set out across Russia in search of the memory of the Gulag. They journey from Moscow to Sandarmokh, a forested site of mass executions during Stalin's Great Terror; to the only Gulag camp turned into a museum, outside of the city of Perm in the Urals; and to Kolyma, where prisoners worked in deadly mines in the remote reaches of the Far East. They find that in Vladimir Putin's Russia, where Stalin is remembered as a great leader, Soviet terror has not been forgotten: it was never remembered in the first place.

Blood Matters by Masha Gessen

Title Blood Matters
Author Masha Gessen
Publisher HMH
Release Date 2009-11-11
Category Science
Total Pages 336
ISBN 0547427549
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A National Book Award winner’s personal journey through the ethical dilemmas and unsettling choices raised by the new frontier of DNA testing. Several years after Masha Gessen’s mother died of breast cancer, she discovered she too had the BRCA1 gene mutation, which predisposes women to high rates of ovarian and breast cancer. Her doctors gave her narrow options: surgical removal of her breasts and ovaries or living with the likelihood of one day developing cancer. As Gessen wrestled with her own health decisions, she sought more information about the implications of genetic testing from a variety of sources—ranging from others faced with her same dilemma to medical researchers, historians, and religious thinkers. With concerns both practical and philosophical, personal and societal, her inquiry led her across the globe, with stops in Israel, Russia, Austria, and the United States. Weaving her own story into her journalistic research, Gessen offers insight into how knowledge that was once unimaginable now shapes our lives. Blood Matters explores not only the decisions we must make in our physical and emotional health, but also the ethical choices we face when choosing spouses or having children. “Valuable reading to almost anyone facing a huge health decision, not only for the literary commiseration it offers, but also for the inspired example of medical sleuthing on one’s own behalf that it provides. Gessen keeps an inflammatory topic at room temperature, writing elegantly and without self pity.” —The New York Times Book Review

The Right To Have Rights by Stephanie DeGooyer

Title The Right to Have Rights
Author Stephanie DeGooyer
Publisher Verso Books
Release Date 2018-02-13
Category Political Science
Total Pages 160
ISBN 9781784787530
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Five leading thinkers on the concept of ‘rights’ in an era of rightlessness Sixty years ago, the political theorist Hannah Arendt, an exiled Jew deprived of her German citizenship, observed that before people can enjoy any of the “inalienable” Rights of Man—before there can be any specific rights to education, work, voting, and so on—there must first be such a thing as “the right to have rights.” The concept received little attention at the time, but in our age of mass deportations, Muslim bans, refugee crises, and extra-state war, the phrase has become the center of a crucial and lively debate. Here five leading thinkers from varied disciplines—including history, law, politics, and literary studies—discuss the critical basis of rights and the meaning of radical democratic politics today.

Ester And Ruzya by Masha Gessen

Title Ester and Ruzya
Author Masha Gessen
Publisher Dial Press
Release Date 2008-12-30
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9780307484383
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In this “extraordinary family memoir,”* the National Book Award–winning author of The Future Is History reveals the story of her two grandmothers, who defied Fascism and Communism during a time when tyranny reigned. *The New York Times Book Review In the 1930s, as waves of war and persecution were crashing over Europe, two young Jewish women began separate journeys of survival. Ester Goldberg was a rebel from Bialystok, Poland, where virtually the entire Jewish community would be sent to Hitler’s concentration camps. Ruzya Solodovnik was a Russian-born intellectual who would become a high-level censor under Stalin’s regime. At war’s end, both women found themselves in Moscow. Over the years each woman had to find her way in a country that aimed to make every citizen a cog in the wheel of murder and repression. One became a hero in her children’s and grandchildren’s eyes; the other became a collaborator. With grace, candor, and meticulous research, Masha Gessen, one of the most trenchant observers of Russia and its history today, peels back the layers of time to reveal her grandmothers’ lives—and to show that neither story is quite what it seems. Praise for Masha Gessen “One of the most important activists and journalists Russia has known in a generation.”—David Remnick, The New Yorker “Masha Gessen is humbly erudite, deftly unconventional, and courageously honest.”—Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny

Title Foreign Pressure and the Politics of Autocratic Survival
Author Abel Escribà-Folch
Publisher OUP Oxford
Release Date 2015-09-17
Category Political Science
Total Pages 296
ISBN 9780191064036
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Can coercive foreign policy destabilize autocratic regimes? Can democracy be promoted from abroad? This book examines how foreign policy tools such as aid, economic sanctions, human rights shaming and prosecutions, and military intervention influence the survival of autocratic regimes. Foreign pressure destabilizes autocracies through three mechanisms: limiting the regime's capacity to maintain support; undermining its repressive capacity; and altering the expected utility of stepping down for political elites. Foreign Pressure and the Politics of Autocratic Survival distinguishes between three types of autocracies: personalist rule, party-based regimes, and military dictatorships. These distinct institutional settings influence the dictators' strategies for surviving in power as well as the propensity with which their leaders are punished after a regime transition. Consequently, the influence of foreign pressure varies across autocratic regime types. Further, the authors show that when foreign coercion destabilizes an autocracy, this does not always lead to democratic regime change because different regimes breakdown in distinct ways. While democratization is often equated with the demise of autocratic rule, it is just one possible outcome after an autocratic regime collapses. Many times, instead of democratization, externally-induced regime collapse means that a new dictatorship replaces the old one. This theory is tested against an extensive analysis of all dictatorships since 1946, and historical cases which trace the causal process in instances where foreign policy tools helped oust dictatorships. Oxford Studies in Democratization is a series for scholars and students of comparative politics and related disciplines. Volumes concentrate on the comparative study of the democratization process that accompanied the decline and termination of the cold war. The geographical focus of the series is primarily Latin America, the Caribbean, Southern and Eastern Europe, and relevant experiences in Africa and Asia. The series editor is Laurence Whitehead, Senior Research Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

Title Pakistan s Political Parties
Author Mariam Mufti
Publisher Georgetown University Press
Release Date 2020-05-01
Category Political Science
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781626167711
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Pakistan’s 2018 general elections marked the second successful transfer of power from one elected civilian government to another—a remarkable achievement considering the country’s history of dictatorial rule. Pakistan’s Political Parties examines how the civilian side of the state’s current regime has survived the transition to democracy, providing critical insight into the evolution of political parties in Pakistan and their role in developing democracies in general. Pakistan’s numerous political parties span the ideological spectrum, as well as represent diverse regional, ethnic, and religious constituencies. The essays in this volume explore the way in which these parties both contend and work with Pakistan’s military-bureaucratic establishment to assert and expand their power. Researchers use interviews, surveys, data, and ethnography to illuminate the internal dynamics and motivations of these groups and the mechanisms through which they create policy and influence state and society. Pakistan’s Political Parties is a one-of-a-kind resource for diplomats, policymakers, journalists, and scholars searching for a comprehensive overview of Pakistan’s party system and its unlikely survival against an interventionist military, with insights that extend far beyond the region.

Title The Dragons the Giant the Women
Author Wayétu Moore
Publisher Graywolf Press
Release Date 2020-06-02
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9781644451281
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An engrossing memoir of escaping the First Liberian Civil War and building a life in the United States When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big birthday party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia, but all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, who is working and studying in faraway New York. Before she gets the reunion her father promised her, war breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking and hiding for three weeks until they arrive in the village of Lai. Finally, a rebel soldier smuggles them across the border to Sierra Leone, reuniting the family and setting them off on yet another journey, this time to the United States. Spanning this harrowing journey in Moore’s early childhood, her years adjusting to life in Texas as a black woman and an immigrant, and her eventual return to Liberia, The Dragons, the Giant, the Women is a deeply moving story of the search for home in the midst of upheaval. Moore has a novelist’s eye for suspense and emotional depth, and this unforgettable memoir is full of imaginative, lyrical flights and lush prose. In capturing both the hazy magic and the stark realities of what is becoming an increasingly pervasive experience, Moore shines a light on the great political and personal forces that continue to affect many migrants around the world, and calls us all to acknowledge the tenacious power of love and family.

The Baudelaire Fractal by Lisa Robertson

Title The Baudelaire Fractal
Author Lisa Robertson
Publisher Coach House Books
Release Date 2020-02-04
Category Fiction
Total Pages 250
ISBN 9781770566026
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The debut novel by acclaimed poet Lisa Robertson, in which a poet realizes she's written the works of Baudelaire. One morning, Hazel Brown awakes in a badly decorated hotel room to find that she’s written the complete works of Charles Baudelaire. In her bemusement the hotel becomes every cheap room she ever stayed in during her youthful perambulations in 1980s Paris. This is the legend of a she-dandy’s life. Part magical realism, part feminist ars poetica, part history of tailoring, part bibliophilic anthem, part love affair with nineteenth-century painting, The Baudelaire Fractal is poet and art writer Lisa Robertson’s first novel. "Robertson, with feminist wit, a dash of kink, and a generous brain, has written an urtext that tenders there can be, in fact, or in fiction, no such thing. Hers is a boon for readers and writers, now and in the future."—Jennifer Krasinski, Bookforum "It’s brilliant, strange, and unlike anything I’ve read before."—Rebecca Hussey, BOOKRIOT

Shadow State by Luke Harding

Title Shadow State
Author Luke Harding
Publisher HarperCollins
Release Date 2020-06-30
Category Political Science
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9780062966056
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A thrilling account of how Russia is waging a hidden war against America and the West, using espionage, corruption, fake news, and KGB-style murder March 2018. Two Russian assassins arrive in a provincial English city to kill a former officer from Russia’s GRU intelligence agency. His crime? Passing secrets to British spies. The poison? A lethal nerve agent, novichok. The attempted execution was a reminder – as if one were needed - of Russia’s contempt for international norms. The Soviet Union and its doctrine are long gone, but the playbook used by the Kremlin’s spies during that long confrontation with the West is back. And the underlying goal remains the same: to undermine democracy and exploit divisions within American and European society and politics. Moscow’s support for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election has grown into the biggest political scandal of modern times. Its American players are well-known. In Shadow State, award-winning journalist and bestselling author Luke Harding reveals the Russians behind the story: the spies, hackers and internet trolls. Harding charts how the Kremlin has updated Communist-era methods of influence and propaganda for the age of Facebook and Twitter, and considers the compelling question of our age: what exactly does Vladimir Putin have on President Trump? Similar to those of the Cold War, Putin’s ambitions are truly global. His emissaries include oligarchs, bankers, lawyers, mercenaries, and agents of influence. They roam from Salisbury to Helsinki, Ukraine to Central Africa, London to Washington, D.C. Shadow State is the singular account of how the Kremlin seeks to reshape the world, to divide the US from its European friends, and to remake America in its own dark and kleptocratic image. This is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand how our politics came to be so chaotic and divided. Nothing less than the future of Western democracy is at stake.

How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky

Title How Democracies Die
Author Steven Levitsky
Publisher Crown
Release Date 2018-01-16
Category Political Science
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781524762957
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Comprehensive, enlightening, and terrifyingly timely.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice) WINNER OF THE GOLDSMITH BOOK PRIZE • SHORTLISTED FOR THE LIONEL GELBER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Time • Foreign Affairs • WBUR • Paste Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one. Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved. Praise for How Democracies Die “What we desperately need is a sober, dispassionate look at the current state of affairs. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, two of the most respected scholars in the field of democracy studies, offer just that.”—The Washington Post “Where Levitsky and Ziblatt make their mark is in weaving together political science and historical analysis of both domestic and international democratic crises; in doing so, they expand the conversation beyond Trump and before him, to other countries and to the deep structure of American democracy and politics.”—Ezra Klein, Vox “If you only read one book for the rest of the year, read How Democracies Die. . . .This is not a book for just Democrats or Republicans. It is a book for all Americans. It is nonpartisan. It is fact based. It is deeply rooted in history. . . . The best commentary on our politics, no contest.”—Michael Morrell, former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (via Twitter) “A smart and deeply informed book about the ways in which democracy is being undermined in dozens of countries around the world, and in ways that are perfectly legal.”—Fareed Zakaria, CNN

Title Beautiful Country Burn Again
Author Ben Fountain
Publisher HarperCollins
Release Date 2018-09-25
Category Political Science
Total Pages 448
ISBN 9780062688767
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In a sweeping work of reportage set over the course of 2016, New York Times bestselling author Ben Fountain recounts a surreal year of politics and an exploration of the third American existential crisis Twice before in its history, the United States has been faced with a crisis so severe it was forced to reinvent itself in order to survive: first, the struggle over slavery, culminating in the Civil War, and the second, the Great Depression, which led to President Roosevelt’s New Deal and the establishment of America as a social-democratic state. In a sequence of essays that excavate the past while laying bare the political upheaval of 2016, Ben Fountain argues that the United States may be facing a third existential crisis, one that will require a “burning” of the old order as America attempts to remake itself. Beautiful Country Burn Again narrates a shocking year in American politics, moving from the early days of the Iowa Caucus to the crystalizing moments of the Democratic and Republican national conventions, and culminating in the aftershocks of the weeks following election night. Along the way, Fountain probes deeply into history, illuminating the forces and watershed moments of the past that mirror and precipitated the present, from the hollowed-out notion of the American Dream, to Richard Nixon’s southern strategy, to our weaponized new conception of American exceptionalism, to the cult of celebrity that gave rise to Donald Trump. In an urgent and deeply incisive voice, Ben Fountain has fused history and the present day to paint a startling portrait of the state of our nation. Beautiful Country Burn Again is a searing indictment of how we came to this point, and where we may be headed.

Post Communist Mafia State by B lint Magyar

Title Post Communist Mafia State
Author B lint Magyar
Publisher Central European University Press
Release Date 2016-03-01
Category Political Science
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9786155513541
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Having won a two-third majority in Parliament at the 2010 elections, the Hungarian political party Fidesz removed many of the institutional obstacles of exerting power. Just like the party, the state itself was placed under the control of a single individual, who since then has applied the techniques used within his party to enforce submission and obedience onto society as a whole. In a new approach the author characterizes the system as the ?organized over-world?, the ?state employing mafia methods? and the ?adopted political family', applying these categories not as metaphors but elements of a coherent conceptual framework. The actions of the post-communist mafia state model are closely aligned with the interests of power and wealth concentrated in the hands of a small group of insiders. While the traditional mafia channeled wealth and economic players into its spheres of influence by means of direct coercion, the mafia state does the same by means of parliamentary legislation, legal prosecution, tax authority, police forces and secret service. The innovative conceptual framework of the book is important and timely not only for Hungary, but also for other post-communist countries subjected to autocratic rules. ÿ

Between Two Fires by Joshua Yaffa

Title Between Two Fires
Author Joshua Yaffa
Publisher Crown
Release Date 2020-01-14
Category History
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9781524760618
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From a leading journalist in Moscow and correspondent for The New Yorker, a groundbreaking portrait of modern Russia and the inner struggles of the people who sustain Vladimir Putin’s rule In this rich and novelistic tour of contemporary Russia, Joshua Yaffa introduces readers to some of the country’s most remarkable figures—from politicians and entrepreneurs to artists and historians—who have built their careers and constructed their identities in the shadow of the Putin system. Torn between their own ambitions and the omnipresent demands of the state, each walks an individual path of compromise. Some muster cunning and cynicism to extract all manner of benefits and privileges from those in power. Others, finding themselves to be less adept, are left broken and demoralized. What binds them together is the tangled web of dilemmas and contradictions they face. Between Two Fires chronicles the lives of a number of strivers who understand that their dreams are best—or only—realized through varying degrees of cooperation with the Russian government. With sensitivity and depth, Yaffa profiles the director of the country’s main television channel, an Orthodox priest at war with the church hierarchy, a Chechen humanitarian who turns a blind eye to persecutions, and many others. The result is an intimate and probing portrait of a nation that is much discussed yet little understood. By showing how citizens shape their lives around the demands of a capricious and oftentimes repressive state—as often by choice as under threat of force— Yaffa offers urgent lessons about the true nature of modern authoritarianism.

On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

Title On Tyranny
Author Timothy Snyder
Publisher Ten Speed Press
Release Date 2017
Category HISTORY
Total Pages 126
ISBN 9780804190114
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

#1 New York Times Bestseller * A historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America's turn towards authoritarianism. The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. On Tyranny is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come. "Mr. Snyder is a rising public intellectual unafraid to make bold connections between past and present." --The New York Times

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