‘A gripping and illuminating picture of how strongmen have deployed violence, seduction, and corruption’ Daniel Ziblatt, co-author of How Democracies Die
‘A timely analysis of how a certain kind of charisma delivers political disaster’ Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny
Ours is the age of the strongman. Countries from Russia to India, Turkey to America are ruled by men who combine populist appeal with authoritarian policy. They have reshaped their countries around them, creating cults of personality which earn the loyalty of millions. And they do so by drawing on a playbook of behaviour established by figures such as Benito Mussolini, Muammar Gaddafi and Adolf Hitler. So why – despite the evidence of history – do strongmen still hold such appeal for us?
Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat draws on analysis of everything from gender to corruption and propaganda to explain who these political figures are – and how they manipulate our own history, fears and desires in search of power at any cost. Strongmen is a fierce and perceptive history, and a vital step in understanding how to combat the forces which seek to derail democracy and seize our rights.