Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present

Event information
Thu Aug 8, 2024
6:00pm - 7:00pm MDT
Paepcke Auditorium
1000 N. Third St.
Aspen, CO
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Featuring Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, and author of “Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present”  in conversation with Carolyne Heldman, producer and host of “Behind the Lens,” a weekly podcast for the non-profit news organization The Lens in New Orleans. Dr. Ben-Ghiat will explore the pathologies of strongman models of leadership and governance, and how we can learn from the appeal authoritarians have to reimagine democracy for the 21st century.
Paepcke Auditorium, doors at 5:30 pm

While attendance at the events is free and open to everyone, registration is required, and capacity is established on a first-come, first-served basis. Register here.

Parking is very limited. Please carpool, walk, bike, or ride RFTA. 

You can purchase her book “Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present” here. Books will also be available for purchase at the event. Book signing to follow.

“Everyone who cares about American democracy should read this book.” – Sarah Kendzior, author of “Hiding in Plain Sight”

“With a steady gaze and an eye for the telling detail, Ruth Ben-Ghiat delivers a timely analysis of how a certain kind of charisma delivers political disaster — and some valuable hints about how it can be resisted, and the virtues we will need to rebuild democracy.” – Timothy Snyder, author of “On Tyranny”

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University. She writes about fascism, authoritarianism, propaganda, and democracy protection. She is the recipient of Guggenheim and other fellowships, an advisor to Protect Democracy, an MSNBC opinion columnist, and a consultant to film and TV productions. She appears frequently on MSNBC and other networks. She publishes Lucid, a Substack newsletter on threats to democracy in the U.S. and abroad. Her latest book, “Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present” (2020; paperback with a new epilogue, 2021), examines how illiberal leaders use corruption, violence, propaganda, and machismo to stay in power, and how resistance to them has unfolded over a century.

Carolyne Heldman Rovira has spent most of her life in the Roaring Fork Valley, having grown up in Aspen. Her career in media has taken her around the country, and she is currently the podcast host and producer for The Lens, a non-profit news organization in New Orleans. Prior to that she served as Executive Director at Aspen Public Radio. She serves on the board of Aspen Journalism and lives in Little Elk Creek with her husband Doug.

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