Jason Stanley

presents

How Fascism Works:
The Politics of Us and Them

in conversation with ELIZABETH HINTON

This event includes a book signing

Date

Oct
12
Friday
October 12, 2018
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes JASON STANLEY—the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale—for a discussion of his latest book, How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them. He will be joined in conversation by ELIZABETH HINTON, Associate Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard.

About How Fascism Works

As the child of refugees of World War II Europe and a renowned philosopher and scholar of propaganda, Jason Stanley has a deep understanding of how democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism: Nations don’t have to be fascist to suffer from fascist politics. In fact, fascism’s roots have been present in the United States for more than a century. Alarmed by the pervasive rise of fascist tactics both at home and around the globe, Stanley focuses here on the structures that unite them, laying out and analyzing the ten pillars of fascist politics—the language and beliefs that separate people into an “us” and a “them.” He knits together reflections on history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory with stories from contemporary Hungary, Poland, India, Myanmar, and the United States, among other nations. He makes clear the immense danger of underestimating the cumulative power of these tactics, which include exploiting a mythic version of a nation’s past; propaganda that twists the language of democratic ideals against themselves; anti-intellectualism directed against universities and experts; law and order politics predicated on the assumption that members of minority groups are criminals; and fierce attacks on labor groups and welfare. These mechanisms all build on one another, creating and reinforcing divisions and shaping a society vulnerable to the appeals of authoritarian leadership.

By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, Stanley reveals that the stuff of politics—charged by rhetoric and myth—can quickly become policy and reality. Only by recognizing fascists politics, he argues, may we resist its most harmful effects and return to democratic ideals.

Praise

“There are moments in which the fate of humanity itself hangs in the balance, and such times always bring with them the resurrection of ugly myths. And yet, as Jason Stanley, one of this nation’s most important philosophers, makes clear, when such myths are deconstructed and their history is laid bare, we remember the extraordinary ties that in fact bind us together. And in the fire of that powerful recollection, modern-day fascism—the current myth-dependent moment of intolerance, xenophobia, and fearmongering in which we find ourselves—can be rendered to ash.” —Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Blood in the Water

“Jason Stanley’s book comes at a most propitious time, when we must come to grips with the political consequences that may follow the rise of xenophobic populism. History teaches what those consequences are, and in his book Stanley, with great analytical and conceptual clarity, not only tells the story but more crucially provides a critical framework through which to see the insidious mechanisms at play that are threatening today’s democracies around the globe. How Fascism Works is a must-read for all of us who take seriously our responsibility as citizens.” —Jan T. Gross, author of Neighbors

“Jason Stanley reveals how the liberties of the people wither when voters embrace politicians who promote the divisive politics of us versus them while denigrating cooperation, compromise, and respect for others. How Fascism Works builds on philosopher Stanley’s insightful How Propaganda Works to explain in concise and easily understood terms how people get tricked into reversing the expanding rights that made America great.” —David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of It’s Even Worse Than You Think and The Making of Donald Trump

Elizabeth Hinton
Elizabeth Hinton

Elizabeth Hinton

Elizabeth Hinton is Assistant Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

Jason Stanley
Jason Stanley

Jason Stanley

Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Stanley is the author of Know How; Languages in Context; Knowledge and Practical Interests, which won the American Philosophical Association book prize; and How Propaganda Works, which won the PROSE Award for Philosophy from the Association of American Publishers. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, Boston Review, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications. He lives in New Haven with his family.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

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