Historian, Educator, and Commentator
Ruth Ben-Ghiat is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University. She is an MSNBC Opinion Columnist and commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets about authoritarianism and threats to democracy around the world.
Her latest book, Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present (W.W. Norton & Company) examines how illiberal leaders use corruption, violence, propaganda, and machismo to stay in power, and how resistance to them has unfolded over a century.
Subscribe to Lucid, her Substack newsletter about democracy and autocracy.
Now Available in paperback, with a new epilogue about Jan 6th.
Mussolini To The Present
Ours is the age of the strongman, of heads of state who damage or destroy democracy, use masculinity as a tool of political legitimacy, and promise law and order rule – and then legitimize lawless behavior by financial, sexual, and other predators. Covering a century of tyranny, this book examines how authoritarians use propaganda, virility, corruption, and violence to stay in power, and how they can be opposed.
Interviews & Appearances
CNN Newsroom, 3/13/22
MSNBC – The Choice, 9/2/21
MSNBC – The Sunday Show, 3/13/22
New Day With John Berman, 10/11/21
Velshi, MSNBC, 01/22/22
Medhi Hasan, 5/18/21
The Atlantic, September 23, 2022
MSNBC, February 26, 2022
MSNBC, February 10,2022
- February 18, 2021
Virtual Talk: “Real Strong Men: A Conversation about Fascism, Authoritarianism, and Coups,” with Mark Mazower
Register: Columbia University Institute for Ideas & Imagination, 1PM EST
- February 12, 2021
Virtual Talk: “Reflections on the 2020 Election” Virtual Event
Ruth in conversation with Steve Hahn and Michele Mitchell
Register: NYU Department of History, 12:30-2PM EST
- January 15, 2021
“Defending Democracy: The Global Rise of Autocracy in the U.S., Europe & Elsewhere”
Museum of Jewish Heritage. Moderated by Dr Klaus Larres (Krasno professor, UNC-Chapel Hill)
- October 27, 2020
Strongmen: Mussolini To The Present
Museum of Jewish Heritage. Moderated by Jason Stanley, Yale University