Essays & Op-Eds

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Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

An American Authoritarian

Fascism has been back in the news with Donald Trump’s candidacy for the American presidency. His populist claim to speak for the white everyman, along with his menacing leadership style, …

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Woody Allen

Can we separate the life and work of artists?

What happens when we learn that a person whose creative work we admire supports causes we find offensive, or has engaged in acts contrary to our values? Does this change …

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Donald Trump

Trump’s fatal mistake on women

It’s no secret that Donald Trump has a problem with women. So it’s no surprise that he has started to attack his main rival for the American presidency, Hillary Clinton, …

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Putin and Berlusconi

Is Trump the new Silvio Berlusconi?

Donald Trump this week retweeted, and then defended, an Italian popular saying made famous by Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini: “It is better to live one day as a lion than …

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Female US Soldier

Women should have to register for the draft

**This article is assigned for debate by the U.S. Army and at West Point. Should United States women be required to register for Selective Service when they turn 18, as …

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Donald Trump makes a campaign stop at Muscatine Iowa on 1/24/2016

Donald Trump’s Cult of Personality

Cults of personality: the term might evoke dictators like Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and Kim Jong-un today. Yet cults of personality can flourish in a variety …

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Twitter activity of Donald Trump from his first tweet in May 2009 to May 2018.

What repulsive swastika retweet tells us about Trump

On Tuesday, Donald Trump, who would like to be our President, retweeted a message about Jeb Bush. It featured a swastika among its gallery of Bush-bashing images. And with this …

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Jeb Bush speaking at the Iowa

Why it’s good to speak Spanish in America

Should people living in America speak English? Should they be derided, viewed with suspicion, or even asked to leave, if they primarily speak a different language? Judging by the CNN …

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Alan Kurdi Graffiti

How We See the Migrant Crisis: Toddler’s image stops us in our tracks

Images of migrants’ suffering, and of humanitarian rescue, have filled our news feeds for more than a year now. Men, women, children — more than 300,000 on the move so …

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How a century-old war affects you

World War I began a hundred years ago this summer, but for many of us it might as well be a thousand. We know it, if we know it at …

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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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