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Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present 
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Time Zone: America/Chicago
Local Time: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Ruth Ben-Ghiat

Mussolini, Pinochet, Qaddafi, Putin – these are leaders commonly viewed as authoritarians who use “propaganda, corruption, and violence” to maintain their fierce grip over their respective countries. These men rose to power by exemplifying the strongman persona as a “symbol of strength and a political weapon,” says Ruth Ben-Ghiat. In “Strongmen,” Ben-Ghiat closely analyzes how these autocrats gained and maintained their power.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a professor of history and Italian studies at New York University. She is widely considered an expert on authoritarian leaders, fascism, and propaganda. She is a frequent contributor to CNN. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative History from Brandeis and a B.A. in History from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Richard Shaffer is a journalist and consultant who for many years was an editor and columnst at the 
Wall Street Journal. He is a member of the Council's Global Forum.

In conversation with Richard Shaffer


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