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Trump, Mussolini and the Rising Authoritarianism

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August 27, 2020 1:11 p.m.

Today we are publishing in its entirety my recent Inside Briefing with Professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat of New York University. Prior to the Trump Era, her main subject area was Benito Mussolini and Italian fascism, particularly the cultural dimensions of the fascist era. Since 2015 she has become a public commentator on the rising authoritarianism we see across the globe and with particular force right here in the United States. In our culture, discussions of right-wing authoritarianism and fascism almost always spur mentions of Adolf Hitler, if only as a canonical point of reference. But as you’ll see in our conversation, with Donald Trump, Benito Mussolini is a much better analogue. The parallels are more pregnant with potential insights into both men and their movements. Ben-Ghiat also explores this question in a new book coming out in November, Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present.

I was really looking forward to this discussion with Ben-Ghiat who I’d come to know mainly through her Twitter presence. I was not disappointed. I hope you enjoy the discussion, which you can watch after the jump …

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