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Surviving Autocracy (2020)

de Masha Gessen

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3431077,162 (4.1)23
"An analysis of the destruction the Trump administration has waged on our institutions, the cultural norms we hoped would save us, and our very sense of identity"-- In the run-up to the 2016 election, Masha Gessen stood out from other journalists for the ability to convey the ominous significance of Donald Trump's speech and behavior, unprecedented in a national candidate. Within forty-eight hours of his victory, the essay "Autocracy: Rules for Survival" had gone viral, and Gessen's coverage of his norm-smashing presidency became essential reading for a citizenry struggling to wrap their heads around the unimaginable. Thanks to the special perspective that is the legacy of a Soviet childhood and two decades covering the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, Gessen has a sixth sense for signs of autocracy--and the unique cross-cultural fluency to delineate its emergence to Americans. This incisive book provides an indispensable overview of the calamitous trajectory of the past few years. Gessen not only highlights the corrosion of the media, the judiciary, and the cultural norms we hoped would save us but also tells us the story of how a short few years have changed us, from a people who saw ourselves as a nation of immigrants to a populace haggling over a border wall, heirs to a degraded sense of truth, meaning, and possibility. Surviving Autocracy is an inventory of ravages but also a beacon to recovery--or to enduring, and resisting, an ongoing assault.… (mais)
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» Veja também 23 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
A sort of recap of the Trump years. Bad enough the first time. I was wanting a little more insight or guidance rather than a straight review. But it’s good to have it all down in real time. We can’t forget how bad it was and how bad it yet might be.
  BookyMaven | Dec 6, 2023 |
This is an excellent non-fiction explanation of how autocratic movements occur and sometimes lead to autocracies, with an examination of specific acts and events in the current Administration. The writer is a brilliant, vastly experienced and very knowledgeable scholar of Russia and the U.S. The book is clear, direct and compelling about where we are, how we got here and where we are headed unless major action is taken. ( )
  RickGeissal | Aug 16, 2023 |
While the administration is officially over, though many of his supporters still deny it and he says he will run again in 2024, Masha Gessem’s words are an important tool in trying to understand what happened and how to avoid it in the future.
Gessen’s childhood was spent in the Soviet Union. Afterwards, “she spent two decades covering the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia.” What she observed there she saw happening in the US under the Trump administration: Packing the courts, becoming an authoritarian who bypassed our democratic laws. The Constitution was unimportant to him.
His disinterest in learning anything in his job or developing his own ideas were evident from the beginning. At one of his Inaugural balls, the cake was a copy of Obama’s 2013 cake except that Obama’s was real; most of Trump’s was Styrofoam.
In SURVIVING AUTOCRACY, Green analyzes his actions, often bringing a unique perspective, very helpful for historians and future voters and politicians. Even with him out of office, there are still too many people, including elected officials, who still buy his line, believe the election was stolen, send him millions of dollars, and are trying to severely break our voting system.
The book was written in 2020 and was reissued in paperback in June 2021. It is definitely worthwhile reading. ( )
  Judiex | Aug 5, 2021 |
Masha Gessen's Surviving Autocracy is at once an unsettling and reassuring read. Gessen draws on their childhood in the Soviet Union and their experience with the Putin regime to point to ways to survive and even overcome autocracy, while also reminding the reader of just how egregious the Trump administration.

Where I think Gessen's writing is particularly valuable is in the succinct, clear way they point out how the generation of cognitive dissonance was such a valuable tool in the Trumpian toolkit (everyone knows that an American president would never do X, so what is happening in front of my eyes must not really be X, so everything is fine). They show how thanks to internalised ideas of American exceptionalism, U.S. institutions, from opposition politicians to the media, really are to are really ill-equipped to defend against incipient authoritarianism. Even though Trump is now out of power, he's written a clear playbook for others to follow. Admittedly as an outsider looking in, I'm not overly sanguine about what the next decade or so will bring for American politics.

All that said, Surviving Autocracy is a slim book which felt a little uneven and lacking in truly deep analysis. Gessen resists the worst impulses of the #Resist genre, but it feels like she's preaching to the choir here and I wanted more substance. ( )
  siriaeve | Apr 24, 2021 |
Would have been 5 stars if she had been able to wait and tell us how to survive this election... ( )
  evano | Apr 24, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The National Book Award winner delivers a handbook for an age in which egomania is morphing into autocracy at warp speed.
adicionado por aspirit | editarKirkus Reviews (Mar 15, 2020)
 
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"An analysis of the destruction the Trump administration has waged on our institutions, the cultural norms we hoped would save us, and our very sense of identity"-- In the run-up to the 2016 election, Masha Gessen stood out from other journalists for the ability to convey the ominous significance of Donald Trump's speech and behavior, unprecedented in a national candidate. Within forty-eight hours of his victory, the essay "Autocracy: Rules for Survival" had gone viral, and Gessen's coverage of his norm-smashing presidency became essential reading for a citizenry struggling to wrap their heads around the unimaginable. Thanks to the special perspective that is the legacy of a Soviet childhood and two decades covering the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, Gessen has a sixth sense for signs of autocracy--and the unique cross-cultural fluency to delineate its emergence to Americans. This incisive book provides an indispensable overview of the calamitous trajectory of the past few years. Gessen not only highlights the corrosion of the media, the judiciary, and the cultural norms we hoped would save us but also tells us the story of how a short few years have changed us, from a people who saw ourselves as a nation of immigrants to a populace haggling over a border wall, heirs to a degraded sense of truth, meaning, and possibility. Surviving Autocracy is an inventory of ravages but also a beacon to recovery--or to enduring, and resisting, an ongoing assault.

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