Historian, Educator, and Commentator
Ruth Ben-Ghiat is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University. She writes frequently for CNN and other news and analysis sites on fascism, authoritarian leaders, propaganda, and threats to democracy around the world and how to counter them.
Her new book, Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present (W.W. Norton & Company) is the first study to place President Donald Trump in the context of a century of authoritarian leaders that use a playbook of corruption, violence, propaganda, and machismo to stay in power.
Available NOV 10, 2020 FROM W.W. NORTON & CO.
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.
The New York Times has selected STRONGMEN as one of its “books to watch for in November.”
Interviews & Appearances
Al Jazeera Up Front
PBS, The Dictator’s Playbook
CNN.com, February 13, 2021
Expert who warned of Trump’s fascist behavior: America is entering a new era of political instability
Business Insider, January 13, 2021
January 7, 2021, CNN.com
- 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