CBH Talk | Could It Happen Here? America's Illiberal History, Fascism, and the Thin Line Between Them

Tue, Apr 9 2024
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Center for Brooklyn History

BPL Presents Center for Brooklyn History conversations


Throughout America’s history an illiberal strain of political thought has existed within our democratic society, argues Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Steven Hahn in his new book Illiberal America. We see it today in White Nationalism, “America First,'' demonization of immigrants and people of color, anti-Semitism, stand your ground laws and more. But when does illiberalism cross the line into fascism, and what are the warning signs? These are the questions that will center a conversation with Hahn and Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a leading expert on authoritarianism and democracy protection whose latest book, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present serves, in a sense, as a wakeup call to America. Moderated by Michael Waldman, president and CEO of the Brennan Center for Justice, these experts will bring perspective to the moment we live in as American citizens debate education, guns, and abortion, and countdown to the November elections.  

Steven Hahn portrait by Kate McCall; Ruth Ben-Ghiat portrait by Beowulf Sheehan


Participants

Steven Hahn is a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian who studies American political and social movements. His acclaimed works include A Nation Under Our Feet and A Nation Without Borders. He teaches at New York University and lives in New York City and Southold, on Long Island.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historian who writes about authoritarianism, democracy protection, and propaganda. She is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University, the recipient of Guggenheim and other fellowships, and Advisor to Protect Democracy. She is an MSNBC opinion columnist, a regular contributor to CNN and The Washington Post, and provides live commentary on CNN, MSNBC, and other networks. She publishes Lucid, a newsletter on threats to democracy. Her latest book, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, looks at how illiberal leaders use propaganda, corruption, violence, and machismo - and how they can be defeated.

Michael Waldman is president and CEO of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to revitalize the nation’s systems of democracy and justice. He was director of speechwriting for President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1999 and is the author of The Second Amendment: A Biography and The Fight to Vote. Waldman was a member of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. A graduate of Columbia College and NYU School of Law, he comments widely in the media on law and policy.

                       

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Add to My Calendar 04/09/2024 10:30 pm 04/10/2024 12:00 am America/New_York CBH Talk | Could It Happen Here? America's Illiberal History, Fascism, and the Thin Line Between Them

Throughout America’s history an illiberal strain of political thought has existed within our democratic society, argues Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Steven Hahn in his new book Illiberal America. We see it today in White Nationalism, “America First,'' demonization of immigrants and people of color, anti-Semitism, stand your ground laws and more. But when does illiberalism cross the line into fascism, and what are the warning signs? These are the questions that will center a conversation with Hahn and Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a leading expert on authoritarianism and democracy protection whose latest book, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present serves, in a sense, as a wakeup call to America. Moderated by Michael Waldman, president and CEO of the Brennan Center for Justice, these experts will bring perspective to the moment we live in as American citizens debate education, guns, and abortion, and countdown to the November elections.  

Steven Hahn portrait by Kate McCall; Ruth Ben-Ghiat portrait by Beowulf Sheehan


Participants

Steven Hahn is a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian who studies American political and social movements. His acclaimed works include A Nation Under Our Feet and A Nation Without Borders. He teaches at New York University and lives in New York City and Southold, on Long Island.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historian who writes about authoritarianism, democracy protection, and propaganda. She is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University, the recipient of Guggenheim and other fellowships, and Advisor to Protect Democracy. She is an MSNBC opinion columnist, a regular contributor to CNN and The Washington Post, and provides live commentary on CNN, MSNBC, and other networks. She publishes Lucid, a newsletter on threats to democracy. Her latest book, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, looks at how illiberal leaders use propaganda, corruption, violence, and machismo - and how they can be defeated.

Michael Waldman is president and CEO of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to revitalize the nation’s systems of democracy and justice. He was director of speechwriting for President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1999 and is the author of The Second Amendment: A Biography and The Fight to Vote. Waldman was a member of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. A graduate of Columbia College and NYU School of Law, he comments widely in the media on law and policy.

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