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Ben Rhodes

A democracy worth saving: Author Ben Rhodes on the rise of global nationalism

As we trek past the halfway mark of an eventful 2021, many are still trying to make sense of the events of 2020. This unpacking has provided some in the U.S. with moments of clarity regarding American exceptionalism and the authentic state of the nation.

In his new book After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made, author Ben Rhodes grapples with the dissolving notion of American exceptionalism in a post-Covid world. Using a global lens, Rhodes presents a glimpse of a potential democracy-free future, presently modeled by countries like Hungary, Russia, and China.

In this talk, presented by Elliot Bay Book Company, Rhodes (who was a speechwriter for former President Barack Obama) examines the post-Cold War ideological shifts that have inspired surges of nationalism around the world.

From conversations with protesters and government officials, Rhodes maps out a blueprint of the rise of nationalism in the U.S. and just how Americans should prepare.

Rhodes was joined in conversation by fellow author and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar. Together, they discuss the global need for America to get democracy back on track.

Ben Rhodes is a political commentator and former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting under President Barack Obama. He is the author of The World As It Is, and co-host of the foreign policy podcast Pod Save the World.

This virtual talk was present by Elliot Bay Book Company on June 1.

Please note: This recording contains unedited language of an adult nature.