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The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century

The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century

by Moisés Naím
The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century

The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century

by Moisés Naím


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“An authoritative and intelligent portrait of the global spread of authoritarianism and its dangers...what sets [this] work apart from books like Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny and Michiko Kakutani’s The Death of Truth is its unusually comprehensive armada of facts about the international drift over the past two decades toward authoritarian leaders, whether old-style dictators like Kim Jong Un or nominally elected presidents like Vladimir Putin.” —Kirkus

An urgent, thrilling, and original look at the future of democracy that illuminates one of the most important battles of our time: the future of freedom and how to contain and defeat the autocrats mushrooming around the world.

In his bestselling book The End of Power, Moisés Naím examined power-diluting forces. In The Revenge of Power, Naím turns to the trends, conditions, technologies and behaviors that are contributing to the concentration of power, and to the clash between those forces that weaken power and those that strengthen it. He concentrates on the three “P”s—populism, polarization, and post-truths. All of which are as old as time, but are combined by today’s autocrats to undermine democratic life in new and frightening ways. Power has not changed. But the way people go about gaining it and using it has been transformed.

The Revenge of Power is packed with alluring characters, riveting stories about power grabs and losses, and vivid examples of the tricks and tactics used by autocrats to counter the forces that are weakening their power. It connects the dots between global events and political tactics that, when taken together, show a profound and often stealthy transformation in power and politics worldwide. Using the best available data and insights taken from recent research in the social sciences, Naím reveals how, on close examination, the same set of strategies to consolidate power pop up again and again in places with vastly different political, economic, and social circumstances, and offers insights about what can be done to ensure that freedom and democracy prevail.

The outcomes of these battles for power will determine if our future will be more autocratic or more democratic. Naím addresses the questions at the heart of the matter: Why is power concentrating in some places while in others it is fragmenting and degrading? And the big question: What is the future of freedom?

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250279200
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/22/2022
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 155,742
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Moisés Naím is a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an internationally syndicated columnist. He served as editor in chief of Foreign Policy, as Venezuela's trade minister, and as executive director of the World Bank.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Peril xi

Part I The Era of Populism, Polarization, and Post-Truth

1 The Global War on Checks and Balances 3

2 The Politics of Fandom 30

3 Power Tools 60

4 The Hunt for Culprits 89

Part II A World Made Safe for Autocracy

5 Corporate Power: Permanent or Ephemeral? 109

6 Anti-Politics: The Highway to Populism 131

7 Power After Truth 158

8 Mafia States, Criminal Governments 186

9 The 3P Autocrats Go Global 205

10 Power and Pandemic 229

11 Five Battles We Need to Win 245

Afterword 262

Acknowledgments 267

Notes 271

Index 287

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