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Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of the Authoritarian State

Category: Book
By (author): Applebaum, Anne
Subject:  HISTORY / Modern / 21st Century
  NON-FICTION / General
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Published: July 2020
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 208
Size: 7.25in x 4.50in
Our Price:
$ 27.00
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*The Pulitzer Prize-winning author, professor, and historian offers an expert guide to understanding the appeal of the strongman as a leader and an explanation for why authoritarianism is back with a menacing twenty-first century twist.

Across the world today, from the Americas to Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege while populism and nationalism are on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, prize-winning historian Anne Applebaum offers an unexpected explanation: that there is a deep and inherent appeal to authoritarianism, to strongmen, and, especially, to one-party rule--that is, to political systems that benefit true believers, or loyal soldiers, or simply the friends and distant cousins of the Leader, to the exclusion of everyone else.
People, she argues, are not just ideological; they are also practical, pragmatic, opportunistic. They worry about their families, their houses, their careers. Some political systems offer them possibilities, and others don't. In particular, the modern authoritarian parties that have arisen within democracies today offer the possibility of success to people who do not thrive in the meritocratic, democratic, or free-market competition that determines access to wealth and power.
Drawing on reporting in Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, and Brazil; using historical examples including Stalinist central Europe and Nazi Germany; and investigating related phenomena: the modern conspiracy theory, nostalgia for a golden past, political polarization, and meritocracy and its discontents, Anne Applebaum brilliantly illuminates the seduction of totalitarian thinking and the eternal appeal of the one-party state.
Biographical NoteAs a columnist for the Washington Post and a frequent on-air presence on CNN, ANNE APPLEBAUM has been raising the alarm about Russian interference in democratic elections and anti-democratic trends in Europe since before the 2016 U.S. election. A Professor of Practice at the London School of Economics and a contributor to the New York Review of Books, she is the author of three critically acclaimed and award-winning histories of the Soviet Union: Red Famine, Iron Curtain, and Gulag.