Sunday, August 9, 2020

Reviewing Eric Posner's "The Demagogue's Playbook" in the Washington Post

In today's Sunday Washington Post, I review University of Chicago Law School professor Eric Posner's new book on demagogues and the American presidency. For someone who studied international relations -- and, thus, demagogues, at Chicago in the mid-1990s, it's sobering to stop and realize that the same forces we once analyzed in the "backward East" of Europe and now being analyzed again because they are at work undermining democracy and rule of law in our own country, with horrific stakes.

The Demagogue's Playbook: The Battle for American Democracy from The Founders to Trump argues that only two true demagogues have reached the White House in the history of the United States: Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump. What's that mean and why should you care? Read on.

The last book I reviewed for the Post was Donald Kettl's new book on federalism, The Divided States of America.

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