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From the publisher: "This is the most urgent political story of our time: authoritarian leaders have become a central feature of global politics. Since 2000, self-styled strongmen have risen to power in capitals as diverse as Moscow, Beijing, Delhi, Brasilia, Budapest, Ankara, Riyadh, and Washington. These leaders are nationalists and social conservatives, with little tolerance for minorities, dissent, or the interests of foreigners. At home, they claim to be standing up for ordinary people against globalist elites; abroad, they posture as the embodiments of their nations. And everywhere they go, they encourage a cult of personality. What’s more, these leaders are not just operating in authoritarian political systems but have begun to emerge in the heartlands of liberal democracy.
Gideon Rachman has been in the same room with most of these strongmen and reported from their countries over a long journalistic career. While others have tried to understand their rise individually, Rachman pays full attention to the widespread phenomenon and uncovers the complex and often surprising interaction among these leaders. In the process, he identifies the common themes in our local nightmares, finding global coherence in the chaos and offering a bold new paradigm for navigating our world."
Gideon Rachman is chief foreign affairs commentator for the Financial Times. He joined the FT in 2006, after fifteen years at The Economist, where he served as a correspondent in Washington DC, Brussels and Bangkok. In 2010 Rachman published his first book, "Zero-Sum World," which predicted the rise in international political tensions and turmoil that followed the global financial crisis. In 2016 Rachman won the Orwell Prize, Britain’s leading award for political writing. He was also named Commentator of the Year at the European Press Prize, known as the “European Pulitzers.” Rachman’s previous book, "Easternization: Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline from Obama to Trump and Beyond," was published by Other Press in 2018.
Stanley N. Katz is a four-time loser at Harvard: BA, MA, PhD and law school (but no degree). Originally trained as an early American historian, his interests have turned to legal-constitutional history and, most recently, to the history of philanthropy. He has taught history, law and public policy at Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton University. Katz retired from what is now known as the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in July 2019, but he continues to teach and write, mainly on current events, philanthropy and cultural policy. Katz has been awarded several honorary doctorates and, in 2011, received the National Medal for the Humanities from President Barack Obama. He and his wife have been living in Princeton since 1978.
Presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.