At the end of the 1980s, when the Cold War ended, many, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, believed that democracy had triumphed politically once and for all. Yet nearly thirty years later, the direction of history no longer seems certain. A repressive and destructive force has begun to re-emerge on the global stage – sweeping across Europe, parts of Asia, and the United States – that to Albright, looks very much like fascism.
Based on her personal experience growing up in Hungary under Hitler and the Communist regime that followed World War II, as well as knowledge gleaned from her distinguished diplomatic career and insights from colleagues around the globe, Albright paints a clear picture of how fascism flourishes and explains why it is once again taking hold worldwide, identifying the factors contributing to its rise. Most importantly, she makes clear what could happen if we fail to act against rising fascist forces today and in the near future, including the potential for economic catastrophe, a lasting spike in terrorist activity, increased sectarian violence, a rash of large-scale humanitarian emergencies, massive human rights violations, a breakdown in multilateral cooperation, and nearly irreparable self-inflicted damage to America’s reputation and capacity to lead.
Fascism offers clear solutions to a historic and potentially future problem. This includes adjusting to the ubiquity of social media and the changing nature of the workplace, and understanding ordinary citizens’ universal desire for sources of constancy and morality in their lives. She contends that we must stimulate economic growth and narrow the gap between the rich and poor, urban and rural, women and men, and skilled and unskilled; work across borders to respond to transnational challenges; and ultimately recognize that democracy’s unique virtue is its ability – through reason and open debate – to find remedies for its own shortcomings.
About the author
Madeleine K. Albright was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States and the first woman to serve in that position. She is Chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management. She is a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Chair of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and President of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. In 2012, Dr. Albright was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in recognition of her contributions to international peace and democracy.
‘A wise book … such satisfaction that it brings comes from spending time in the company of a sage and admirable person’ The Times
‘If Mrs Albright’s learning is to be expected, her way with words is a happy surprise, as is her wisdom about human nature. Free of geopolitical jargon, her deceptively simple prose is sprinkled with shrewd observations about the emotions that underpin bad or wicked political decisions … Bookshops are full of expert guides to spotting a country’s slide into autocracy … This book is broader … She has professorial fun describing despotic tactics with modern-day echoes … Dismissive of hyperbole, the former secretary of state is still nervy about Donald Trump’ Economist
‘Having fled both Hitler’s Germany and Czechoslovakia’s Communist uprising as a child, Albright’s acquaintance with fascism is practically a part of her DNA. With America’s global standing now downgraded from “full democracy” to “flawed democracy” by the Economist Intelligence Unit, this is no time for complacency. Albright outlines the warning signs of fascism and offers concrete actions for restoring America’s values and reputation. There is priceless wisdom on every page’ Kirkus Starred review