Essays & Op-Eds

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  • Cultural Criticism
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Donald Trump

In impeachment hearings, lessons on the erosion of American democracy

“Trump is creating an alternate reality in which facts are what he needs them to be.”

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Racism Balance Scale

GOP can’t shake off the awful taint of Steve King’s racism and misogyny

“Are black and yellow people at our doors?” Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini asked this question in 1927, two years into his dictatorship — and his answer was yes. He falsely …

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Donald Trump

“Send Her Back” and the Advancement of Trump’s Authoritarian Playbook

To many, it felt like a threshold had been passed on Wednesday night at Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina. When the president brought up Minnesota Democratic …

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Donald Trump

There’s an irony in Trump making this July 4th all about the military

It was a July 4th in Washington DC unlike any other, just as President Donald Trump promised. Tanks sat in front of the Lincoln Memorial, F-35 fighter planes streaked the …

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Donald Trump speaking in Washington, D.C.

Trump keeps threatening the freedom of speech

Since President Trump’s election in November 2016, optimists have gone on trying to reassure each other. “Our institutions will hold,” they say. Our institutions will only hold, however, if they …

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Donald Trump

Trump in the Old World: Pictures tell the story

Anyone who needs confirmation that our world is in transition need only look at the images generated by the visit of President Donald Trump and his family and entourage to …

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Jair Bolsonaro Is Not the New Trump. He’s Worse.

Scarcely a week into Jair Bolsonaro’s tenure as president of Brazil, protections for the environment and indigenous and LGBTQ populations have been removed, and both the neoliberal economic policies closely associated in Latin America …

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What We Learned from World War One

One hundred years ago, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, World War I ended. Life would never be the same for the more than …

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Anti George Soros sentiment graffiti in Resen Macedonia 2018

Mail bombs: Hate speech can have consequences

Anyone who wonders about the link between hateful threats and actual violence was given something serious and grave to think about this week. Authorities found several pipe bombs delivered to …

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Kellyanne Conway addressing the March for Life

How to push back against Trump’s propaganda machine

Earlier this week, President Trump gave an interview to two correspondents at the Hill. The interviewers served him softball questions and plenty of adulation. His claim that his attacks on the FBI could one …

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Ruth Ben-Ghiat Portrait

Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s essays and op-eds translate her vast knowledge of the logic of power and the authoritarian playbook into analyses of the operation and endgame of the global right today, including in Donald Trump’s America. Her writings on hate speech, leader body politics, and the power of symbols reveal how propaganda works and remind us of power of images to shape opinion and feeling. Her op-ed on photographs of the Trump-Putin summit was one of CNN’s “Top 10” for 2018, and her 2017 New Yorker essay on the persistence of Fascist monuments in Italy sparked an ongoing international debate on the legacy and memory of Mussolini’s regime.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat Portrait

Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s essays and op-eds translate her vast knowledge of the logic of power and the authoritarian playbook into analyses of the operation and endgame of the global right today, including in Donald Trump’s America. Her writings on hate speech, leader body politics, and the power of symbols reveal how propaganda works and remind us of power of images to shape opinion and feeling. Her op-ed on photographs of the Trump-Putin summit was one of CNN’s “Top 10” for 2018, and her 2017 New Yorker essay on the persistence of Fascist monuments in Italy sparked an ongoing international debate on the legacy and memory of Mussolini’s regime.

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