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Publisher Description

“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 Awardwinning 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.

Politics & Current Events
June 2
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Fogey Mike ,

Prescience or fear-mongering?

It was interesting to read this very cogent book after the November election. It was clear to almost everyone that Trump would not, or more accurately, could not, change his political personality, or his strategies. This book predicted that result. But the value of the book is not that it is a very inclusive anti-Trump polemic, but rather that Trump’s authoritarian world view has a historical perspective that many of us have missed. The author’s views on the place and function of the media have both truth and special pleading combined. The function of journalism as an objective report of events has been an issue throughout Trump’s tenure, and the discussion of that tenet of First Amendment thought was most interesting. I recommend this book, although the immediacy originally there is now somewhat lessened.

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