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Publisher Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Why is democracy so threatened in America and around the world? And what can we do about it? A former White House aide and close confidant to President Barack Obama—and the author of The World as It Is—travels the globe in a deeply personal, beautifully observed quest for answers.

In 2017, as Ben Rhodes was helping Barack Obama begin his next chapter, the legacy they had worked to build for eight years was being taken apart. To understand what was happening in America, Rhodes decided to look outward. Over the next three years, he traveled to dozens of countries, meeting with politicians, activists, and dissidents confronting the same nationalism and authoritarianism that was tearing America apart. Along the way, a Russian opposition leader he spoke with was poisoned, the Hong Kong protesters he came to know saw their movement snuffed out, and America itself reached the precipice of losing democracy before giving itself a second chance.

Part memoir and part reportage, After the Fall is a hugely ambitious and essential work of discovery. In his travels, Rhodes comes to realize how much America’s fingerprints are on a world we helped to shape, through our post–Cold War embrace of unbridled capitalism and our post-9/11 nationalism and militarism; our mania for technology and social media; and the racism that fueled the backlash to America’s first Black president. At the same time, Rhodes learns from the stories of a diverse set of characters—from Barack Obama himself to Cuban rebels to a rising generation of international leaders—that looking squarely at where America has gone wrong makes clear how essential it is to fight for what America is supposed to be, for our own country and the entire world.

Biographies & Memoirs
June 1
Random House Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

Lairei ,

Great book

I’m another one of those “I-never-write-these-reviews-but-Ben-says-he-reads-them” people, so here goes. Beautiful writing. The dinner in Hong Kong for American hedge fund managers, there to discuss the end of “Pax Americana” (whatever that means), in which most of the attendees admitted that they had voted for Trump, effectively sums up everything that is broken about global politics. As the Hungarian activist put it: “There is this economic drive behind it.” Indeed. Read to the end, though. There is still a lot of hope in this book.

mr skrambl ,


Now I haven’t read the entire book yet but honestly I don’t feel like I have too I mean just at the start I with the statement about barely scraping by the 2020 election just reeks of biased leftism. Now I’m not one to hate on someone for where they are at on the political compass but what I’ve gathered from the small bit I’ve read is blatantly anti trump and anti republican. People that think like this with it being left vs right are what’s wrong with the country and why we are rapidly descending towards another civil war or straight up the fall of the country. If you want something unbiased I would not recommend this book. Have a blessed day

TedTarps ,


Great writing and encapsulates so much of my “millennial” view of the world too. Thanks for writing this book, it’s fascinating to better understand the inner workings of higher politics.

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