Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
How Democracies Die
This event includes a book signing
This event will now take place at the Cambridge Public Library
January 31, 2018
7:00 PM ET
Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome Harvard University Professors of Government STEVEN LEVITSKY and DANIEL ZIBLATT for a discussion of their new book, How Democracies Die.
Please note the updated venue—this event will now take place at the Cambridge Public Library.
About How Democracies Die
Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one.
Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.
"Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have offered a brilliant diagnosis of the most important issue facing our world: Can democracy survive? With clinical precision and an extraordinary grasp of history, they point to the warning signs of decay and define the obligations of those who would preserve free government. If there is an urgent book for you to read at this moment, it is How Democracies Die." —E.J. Dionne Jr., co-author of One Nation After Trump
"Levitsky and Ziblatt are leading scholars of democracy in other parts of the world, who with great energy and integrity now apply their expertise to the current problems of the United States. The reader feels the intellectual excitement, and also the political warning, as the authors draw the connections from their own vast knowledge to the chaos that we experience each day." —Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny
“We live in perilous times. Anyone who is concerned about the future of American democracy should read this brisk, accessible book. Anyone who is not concerned should definitely read it.” —Daron Acemoglu, co-author of Why Nations Fail
"All Americans who care about the future of their country should read this magisterial, compelling book, which sweeps across the globe and through history to analyze how democracies die. The result is an unforgettable framework for diagnosing the state of affairs here at home and our prospects for recovery." —Danielle Allen, author of Our Declaration and Cuz
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Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Learn more at masshumanities.org.
The Cambridge Public Library serves as a doorway to opportunity, self-development, and recreation for all its residents, and as a forum where they may share ideas, cultures, and resources among themselves and with people around the globe. Learn more at cambridgema.gov/cpl.
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