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What we are reading this week:

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It Can Happen Here: 8 Great Books to Read About the Decline of Democracy

The New York Times reports about the increasing threats to democracy and recommends eight books that consider the sources and effects of an alarming global trend. Proud that four of the authors have been our guest, and one more is on the calendar for next year.

Photo: Todd Heisler/The New York Times

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Joshua Yaffa on What's Next for Ukraine

The New Yorker contributor Joshua Yaffa, who was based in Moscow for years and has been reporting from Ukraine since the start of the war, speaks to David Remnick from Kyiv. There, he says, the latest news from Russia—including threats of nuclear attack and reports of political upheaval—has been treated with near-indifference. “Ukraine has been in the fight for its survival since the end of February, fully aware that Russia is ready to throw any and all resources at the attempted subjugation of the Ukrainian state,” he says. “And after things like the massacre in Bucha and other areas outside of Kyiv, earlier this spring, there’s not much that can surprise or shock or scare the Ukrainian public about what Russia is ready to do.”

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A Crisis Coming: Twin Threats to American Democracy

Democracy challenged.

by David Leonhardt

The U.S. faces a movement by Republicans who refuse to accept defeat in an election and a growing disconnect between political power and public opinion.

Illustration Matt Chase / The New York Times

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Goodbye, Columbus
 

In the United States, state legislatures are torching democracy. Even in moderate places like Ohio, gerrymandering has let unchecked Republicans pass extremist laws that could never make it through Congress.

Jane Mayer writes for The NewYorker

Illustration by Alex Merto

Strongmen
Mussolini to the 
Present

 

by

Ruth Ben-Ghiat

Get ready for our October event with American historian and cultural critic Ruth Ben-Ghiat. In her latest book she examines how authoritarians use propaganda, virility, corruption, and violence to stay in power, and how they can be opposed.

Read Charles Kaiser's review in The Guardian HERE

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Commanding Hope
The Power We Have to Renew a World in Peril

by

Thomas Homer-Dixon

On October 5th we get to spend an evening with Thomas Homer-Dixon. He writes that without radical new approaches, our planet will become unrecognizable as well as poorer, more violent, more authoritarian. This book is his argument for reinvigorating our cognitive strengths and belief systems to affect urgent systemic change, strengthen our economies and cultures, and renew our hope in a positive future for everyone on Earth.

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