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Ruth Ben-Ghiat

MSNBC Columnist

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historian and commentator on authoritarianism and propaganda. She is a professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, the recipient of Guggenheim, Fulbright and other fellowships and an adviser to Protect Democracy. She is a regular contributor to MSNBC, CNN and other media outlets. She publishes Lucid, a newsletter about threats to democracy. Her latest book, "Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present" (2020), looks at how illiberal leaders use propaganda, corruption, violence and machismo and how they can be defeated.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historian and commentator on authoritarianism and propaganda. She is a professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, the recipient of Guggenheim, Fulbright and other fellowships and an adviser to Protect Democracy. She is a regular contributor to MSNBC, CNN and other media outlets. She publishes Lucid, a newsletter about threats to democracy. Her latest book, "Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present" (2020), looks at how illiberal leaders use propaganda, corruption, violence and machismo and how they can be defeated.

Latest from Ruth Ben-Ghiat

19d ago

Trumpism is no longer just America’s problem

Jair Bolsonaro's most fervent supporters echo their American propagandist counterparts.
79d ago

DeSantis follows in Trump's authoritarian footsteps

The Florida governor has made the former president's lines and lies his own.
93d ago

The attack on Paul Pelosi was shocking — and yet also predictable

Rising political violence is not surprising when people are told they face existential threats.

How the strong woman took on the wannabe strongman — and won

OP/ED: If Democrats keep the majority in the midterms, the entire party should beg Nancy Pelosi to continue as House speaker.
124d ago

The GOP might have a new neo-fascist fave

Italy is ending an era of male monopoly of authoritarian governance.
177d ago

CPAC 2022 features Viktor Orban, Donald Trump — a celebration of autocracy

Orban now enjoys cult status among some Republicans. And he's all too happy to assist the GOP in wrecking American democracy.
234d ago

How Trump's desperately unoriginal plan to steal the election led to the Capitol attack

Whether or not Trump runs for office in 2024, the time-tested methods of autocracy are now part of the way the GOP conducts its business.
249d ago

A new brand of authoritarianism has trickled into the Republican Party

Trump might be out of office, but an international network of far-right parties and institutions is assembling to finish what he started.
279d ago

GOP texts about overturning election show lawmakers caught up in the cult of Trump

The casual tone used by GOP leaders when discussing how to interrupt the peaceful and democratic transfer of power testifies to their immersion in a cult-like world in which loyalty to Trump, regardless of what he asked them to do, was all that matters.
296d ago

The GOP has found a Putin-lite to fawn over. That's bad news for democracy.

Russia’s Ukraine war made Republicans think twice before praising Putin. But no such roadblock exists when it comes to Viktor Orbán.
337d ago

Putin thinks he's the hero of Russia's story. He couldn't be more wrong.

If the history of strongmen is any indication, it may be downhill for the Russian leader from here.