Essays & Op-Eds

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  • Cultural Criticism
  • Donald Trump and American Democracy
  • Fascism and the Global Right
  • Gender Politics and #MeToo
  • Propaganda
  • The Authoritarian Playbook
  • War

War and Cinema: It’s Complicated

We are living through another dramatic moment in the complex relationship of war and cinema. This time, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper is the movie at issue. It has been nominated …

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First flag set atop Mt. Suribachi.

Why 70-Year Old Iwo Jima Photo became Iconic

Seventy years ago, on February 23, two American flags were planted on the peak of Mount Suribachi, located on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. Coming five days into one …

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American Sniper, the perfect hero for our time

Every age has the heroes it deserves, as the saying goes. To judge from the success of the movie “American Sniper,” the hero of the current moment would be the …

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The Captive: A Measure of Our Humanity

What is it like to live in captivity? How does one survive, physically and psychologically, the experience of the deprivation of freedom? Which captives are remembered, and which forgotten? Events …

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After war’s trauma, words don’t work

We celebrate Veterans Day this week, but we have been riding a crest of war remembrance for months now. World War I’s centenary alone has brought forth new books — …

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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.