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Twilight of Democracy

The Failure of Politics and the Parting of Friends

Anne Applebaum

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Allen Lane
10 September 2020
History; 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000; Political science & theory; Political structures: totalitarianism & dictatorship
In the years just before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, conservative politicians and intellectuals across Europe and America celebrated a great achievement, felt a common purpose and, very often, forged personal friendships. The euphoria quickly evaporated, the common purpose and centre ground gradually disappeared and eventually - as this book compellingly relates - the relationships soured too.

Anne Applebaum traces a familiar history in an unfamiliar way, looking at the trajectories of individuals caught up in the public events of the last three decades. When politics become polarized, which side do you back? If you are a journalist, an intellectual, a civic leader, how do you deal with the re-emergence of authoritarian or nationalist ideas in your country? When your leaders appropriate history, or pedal conspiracies, or eviscerate the media and the judiciary, do you go along with it?

Twilight of Democracy is a new kind of political writing, an essay that mixes the personal and the political and brings a fresh understanding to the dynamics of public life in Europe and America, both now and in the past.
By:   Anne Applebaum
Imprint:   Allen Lane
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 222mm,  Width: 144mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   346g
ISBN:   9780241419717
ISBN 10:   0241419719
Pages:   208
Publication Date:   10 September 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Anne Applebaum is the author of several books, including Gulag- A History, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize, and Iron Curtain, which in 2013 won the Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military Literature and the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature. She is Professor of Practice at the Institute for Global Affairs, London School of Economics, and a columnist for the Washington Post. She divides her time between Britain and Poland.

Reviews for Twilight of Democracy: The Failure of Politics and the Parting of Friends

Equal parts memoir, reportage, and history, this sobering account of the roots and forms of today's authoritarianism, by one of its most accomplished observers, is meant as a warning to everyone. ... critically important for its muscular, oppositionist attack on the new right from within conservative ranks-and for the well-documented warning it embodies. The author's views are especially welcome because she is a deliberate thinker and astute observer rather than just the latest pundit or politico. In the spirit of Julien Benda, Hannah Arendt, and Theodor Adorno, Applebaum seeks to understand what makes the new right more Bolshevik than Burkean. ... A knowledgeable, rational, necessarily dark take on dark realities. * Kirkus Reviews * This is an illuminating political memoir about the break-up of the political tribe that won the Cold War. -- David Goodhart * Literary Review * Applebaum, long an authority on the abuses of Communist and post-Communist Eastern Europe, in her new book Twilight of Democracy is unsparing in exposing the moral bankruptcy of Trumpian Republicanism. Her sharp pen is as persuasive as any in presenting the idea of the west as a morally serious project-and one whose loss we may come to mourn. -- The world's top 50 thinkers 2020 * Prospect * this engrossing account ... is a political book; it is also intensely personal, and the more powerful for it. -- John Kampfner * Guardian * Advancing her arguments with eloquence and personal testimony, Applebaum passionately decries the corrosion of liberal, open-society values in the last three decades. -- Chris Patten * Project Syndicate * Applebaum's progress ...has yielded an enviable supply of raw material for her narrative. She mines her sources doggedly....Twilight of Democracy is a rather penetrating work of ethnography -- Trevor Phillips * The Times * Heretics make the best writers. ... Applebaum can bring a candle into the darkness of the populist right ... her writing is an arsenal that stores the sharpest weapons to hand. -- Nick Cohen * Observer * Applebaum's reflections on the anti-democratic pandemic sweeping our world offer an extraordinary mix of personal witness and dispassionate historical analysis.... It's unlikely that anyone will ever give us more sensitive or revealing insights on this question -- John Connelly * New Statesman *


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