The Age of The Strongman

The Age of The Strongman

How the Cult of the Leader Threatens Democracy around the World

Summary

'Essential and definitive' - CATHERINE BELTON, author of PUTIN'S PEOPLE

We are in a new era.


Since the beginning of the millennium, when Vladimir Putin took power in Russia, authoritarian leaders have come to dominate global politics. Self-styled strongmen have risen to power in Moscow, Beijing, Delhi, Brasilia, Budapest, Ankara, Riyadh and Washington.

How and why did this new style of strongman leadership arrive? How likely is it to lead to war or economic collapse? And what forces are in place not only to keep these strongmen in check but to reverse the trend?

Everywhere they go, these leaders encourage a cult of personality. They are nationalists and social conservatives, with little tolerance for minorities, dissent or the interests of foreigners. At home, they claim to stand up for ordinary people against globalist elites; abroad, they posture as the embodiments of their nations. And they are not just operating in authoritarian political systems but have begun to emerge in the heartlands of liberal democracy.

From Putin, Trump and Bolsonaro to Erdogan, Xi and Modi, The Age of the Strongman provides the first truly global treatment of the new nationalism and offers a bold new paradigm for understanding our world.

'When it comes to making sense of today's world, Gideon Rachman is in a league of his own' - Ivan Krastev, co-author of The Light that Failed

Reviews

  • Essential and definitive... To understand the chilling stakes of the global Great Game defining this century - the battle between autocracies and democracies - you need only turn to Rachman's magisterial and deftly written book
    Catherine Belton, author of Putin’s People

About the author

Gideon Rachman

Gideon Rachman is the Chief Foreign Affairs columnist for the Financial Times. In 2016 he won the Orwell Prize for Journalism and was named Commentator of the Year at the European Press Prize awards. Previously he worked for The Economist for fifteen years, and has served as a foreign correspondent in Washington, Bangkok and Brussels.
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