Many scholars of authoritarianism noticed striking similarities between dictatorships of the past and President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, policies, and style of rule. Ben-Ghiat’s study of authoritarians from Benito Mussolini to Trump approaches the problem through the lens of a strongman “playbook,” providing a detailed and often intimate history of how these men win, exercise, and lose power. Although heavily focused on European figures—including Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco, Vladimir Putin, Silvio Berlusconi, Recep Erdoğan, and Victor Orbán—Strongmen also examines, to varying degrees, dictators from Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including Idi Amin (Uganda), Mohamed Barre (Somalia), Muammar Gaddafi (Libya), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Augusto Pinochet (Chile), Mobutu Sese Seko (Zaire), Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines), and Nahrendra Modi (India). The book’s strength lies in the connections drawn across cases, providing “a long view of the authoritarian style of governance, which highlights baseline features that recur in different circumstances” with the goal of...
Skip Nav Destination
December 15 2021
Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present by Ruth Ben-Ghiat
Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present. By
W. W. Norton and Company,
Michael R. Ebner
Online Issn: 1530-9169
Print Issn: 0022-1953
© 2021 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2021) 52 (3): 437–438.
- Share Icon Share
- Views Icon Views
- Search Site
Michael R. Ebner; Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present by Ruth Ben-Ghiat. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2021; 52 (3): 437–438. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/jinh_r_01740
Download citation file: