Essays & Op-Eds

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Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

Why Are So Many Fascist Monuments Still Standing in Italy?

In the late nineteen-thirties, as Benito Mussolini was preparing to host the 1942 World’s Fair, in Rome, he oversaw the construction of a new neighborhood, Esposizione Universale Roma, in the southwest …

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Trump’s authoritarian playbook — what’s next?

Just before Donald Trump took office, I argued that our new President would likely follow the “authoritarian playbook,” an approach toward governance that privileges executive power and makes the leader’s …

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Senator Mark Warner

Liberals are reclaiming patriotism from the right

We will remember 2017 as the year patriotism started to acquire a new vitality and force among Democrats — and the year that the GOP lost control of its narrative. …

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Greg Gianforte's jail mugshot

Montana body-slam reveals a GOP problem

Montana’s starting to look more like Moscow, after then-Republican House candidate Greg Gianforte’s assault Wednesday on Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. As the Guardian reported and a Fox News reporter in …

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President Donald Trump delivers his Joint Address to Congress

Trump at his most dangerous

Sometimes political change happens suddenly. You wake up, and a military junta has taken over your country, or some other kind of revolution has happened. But other times, the climate …

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Does Cultural Crisis Breed Artistic Fertility? A Look Through History to Understand Today

Creativity thrives in times of upheaval, and many of us now certainly feel the ground shifting under our feet. For the foreseeable future, we’ll be living with and governed by …

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President Trump and President Erdoğan

Trump’s congratulatory call to Erdogan is revealing

It’s a haunting image. A basement space with blacked-out windows, crowded with camera equipment and journalists who were assigned to cover the Leader during the state visit of a foreign …

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Rep. Steve King speaking

Rep. King, Racism Can’t be Statesmanship

Iowa State Rep. Steve King deserves a big thank you from the American people. His recent tweets and statements have brought the racist beliefs of parts of the GOP and …

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President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Orders to advance the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

Donald Trump and Steve Bannon’s coup in the making

We’re not even two weeks into the Trump presidency. Has your head exploded yet? If so, you’re right where Donald Trump and our shadow ruler, Steve Bannon, want you to …

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President-elect Donald Trump is bringing his post-election tour of gratitude to Hershey tonight, returning to the Giant Center six weeks after he was there for a last-minute push to win over Pennsylvania voters before Election Day.

Donald Trump’s Authoritarian Politics of Memory

In The Captive Mind, Czeslaw Milosz tells a story about a man who ventures out in the immediate aftermath of the fall of a regime. Papers full of state secrets lie …

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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.