Writers Block presents...
Tuesday, July 28 at 12:00pm
TWILIGHT OF DEMOCRACY
by ANNE APPLEBAUM
IN CONVERSATION WITH DAVID FRUM
FREE OF CHARGE LIVESTREAM EVENT
A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian explains, with electrifying clarity, why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism.
From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum, an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West, explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else.
Despotic leaders do not rule alone; they rely on political allies, bureaucrats, and media figures to pave their way and support their rule. The authoritarian and nationalist parties that have arisen within modern democracies offer new paths to wealth or power for their adherents. Applebaum describes many of the new advocates of illiberalism in countries around the world, showing how they use conspiracy theory, political polarization, social media, and even nostalgia to change their societies.
Elegantly written and urgently argued, Twilight of Democracy is a brilliant dissection of a world-shaking shift and a stirring glimpse of the road back to democratic values.
Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, has written piercing and penetrating articles about our government for The Atlantic. In her recent piece in The Atlantic, called “History Will Judge the Complicit: Why Have Republican Leaders Abandoned Their Principles In Support of an Immoral and Dangerous President,” she explores that urgent question that we have asked ourselves over and over again. The answers are more complex than Twitter fear.
David Frum, writer for The Atlantic and national commentator, has argued from day one of the Trump presidency that Trump poses a grave danger to democracy — and it’s no wonder, since Trump never liked democracy to begin with. Frum’s new book, Trumpocalypse raises the question of how moderate Republicans can retool their party and policy from that which has been created by a radicalized right minority that has held sway over a more level headed majority.