Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum – journalist, academic teacher, Pulitzer prize winner; Applebaum is a staff writer at the Atlantic and a Senior Fellow at the Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, where she co-directs Arena, a project that examines 21st-century propaganda and disinformation. She has written internationally lauded books on Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and authoritarianism. Applebaum's books include Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism (Doubleday, 2020), Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine (Doubleday, 2017), Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 (Anchor, 2013), and Gulag: A History (Anchor, 2004). 

"Even before the coronavirus began to test our social order, the world was experiencing another plague, a pandemic of authoritarianism," writes New York Times columnist Bill Keller in a July 2020 review for Anne Applebaum's most recent book Twilight of Democracy (Doubleday, 2020). Addressing recent political developments, this panoramic work investigates the rise of authoritarianism and nationalism in places including the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Hungary, Russia, and especially Poland, where Applebaum is based. Arguing that "political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else," she identifies several issues related to the dissatisfaction with democratic values, including Cold War nostalgia, conspiracy theories, and the internet; and engages in descriptive analyses of various individuals around the world who have identified in some way with this disillusionment.

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