Ben Rhodes: After the Fall
After the Cold War, America sought to protect as many democracies as possible and stamp out any threat of authoritarianism around the world. Now, 30 years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, political scientists have observed a global rise in authoritarian governments—even in America itself. After the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, Ben Rhodes, a former White House aide and close confidant to President Barack Obama, sought to discover why nations have been opting for populism and tyranny over democracy.
In his new book After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made, Rhodes documents his three years of world travel, speaking with politicians, activists, and dissidents confronting the same nationalism that has been tearing America apart. He says the acceptance of unrestricted capitalism after the Cold War, post-9/11 nationalism, mania for technology and media, and modern racism that Americans refuse to confront have all contributed to our nation’s faltering under authoritarian leadership.
With experience managing international conflict, Rhodes is an exemplary scholar in considering the global condition of humanity and how we can once again turn to democracy and equity. Join us for a look at where America has gone wrong and how essential it is to fight for what America is supposed to be.
This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.
Rhodes photo by Natalie Moser.