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Historian Anne Applebaum on the ‘Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism’

Democratic institutions have begun to deteriorate in the U.S. and around the globe, while authoritarian movements continue to gain traction. In her new book, Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum focuses on the cultural and media elite who enable autocracy.

Past: Monday, August 24, 2020 12:00 pm
This is a virtual event
  • Anne Applebaum
  • Max Boot
Anne Applebaum


In the United States as well as around the globe, democratic institutions have begun to deteriorate, while authoritarian movements continue to gain traction. Anne Applebaum, journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, argues that this trend should come as no surprise given the “seductive lure of authoritarianism.” In her new book, Twilight of Democracy, Applebaum focuses on the surrogates who enable autocracy.

What role do writers, academics, journalists, and other members of the cultural elite play in the ascent of nationalist rule? To what extent are these figures propelled by ideology versus their own financial or political gain? And what patterns emerge when we observe weakening democracies across the world from the U.S. to Poland? This conversation will be moderated by Washington Post columnist and military historian Max Boot.

This event is produced in partnership with New York University’s John Brademas Center and NYU Votes.


Anne Applebaum, Staff Writer at The Atlantic; Senior Fellow of International Affairs and Agora Fellow in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; author, Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism

Moderator: Max Boot, Columnist at the Washington Post; Global Affairs Analyst for CNN; Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations

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