Ruth Ben-Ghiat is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University and a political commentator and cultural critic who has received Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other fellowships. An expert on fascism and its memory, authoritarian rulers, Donald Trump, and propaganda, she's written for or appeared on BBC World News, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Sky News, New Yorker and other media outlets.
With a steady gaze and an eye for the telling detail, Ruth Ben-Ghiat delivers a timely analysis of how a certain kind of charisma delivers political disaster - and some valuable hints about how it can be resisted, and the virtues we will need to rebuild democracy -- Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny Ruth Ben-Ghiat is an indispensable resource on authoritarianism, past and present. Everyone who cares about American democracy should read this book -- Sarah Kendzior, author of Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America Ben-Ghiat's portrayal of fascist era tyrants, murderous Cold War dictators, and would-be tyrants in our own day gives us a gripping and illuminating picture of how strongmen have deployed violence, seduction, and corruption. History, Ben-Ghiat shows, offers clear lessons not only about how these regimes are built, but also how they must be opposed, and how they inevitably end -- Daniel Ziblatt, co-author How Democracies Die Strongmen is a vital book and a warning. * Guardian * Simultaneously intimate and sweeping in scope, STRONGMEN brings us in close to dictators and would-be dictators across decades and continents. We are left with a disturbing look in the mirror. Throughout, Ben-Ghiat's clear prose rings with a rhythm and cadence that today's nonfiction too often lacks -- Sarah Chayes, author of On Corruption in America: And What Is at Stake and Thieves of State Deep insight and a vigorous style ... a brilliant contribution to the political psychology of democracy -- Joy Connolly, President of the American Council of Learned Societies Praise for Ruth Ben-Ghiat: [A] surpassingly brilliant public intellectual... -- Virginia Heffernan on Slate's Trumpcast