Review of Fascism

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Rating

9 Overall

10 Importance

8 Innovation

8 Style


Review

Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright is alarmed about current fascist trends. She shares compelling reasons why she thinks you should be, too. Her bold book and her reasons for being worried are not reactionary or overtly partisan, but rely on her experiences as secretary of state, as ambassador to the United Nations, as a scholar, as a native of Czechoslovakia and as a refugee. She blends her personal reflections with sharp, solid, effective summaries of manifestations of fascism during the past century. She calls out the actions of President Donald Trump as a source of concern. Albright’s historical analyses and comparisons are succinct, significant and compelling. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends her evaluation to American voters regardless of party and to everyone vested in protecting democracy.

About the Author

Madeleine Albright was the 64th secretary of state of the United States (1997–2001) and ambassador to the United Nations. She is now a Georgetown University professor. Writer Bill Woodward is based on Capitol Hill.

 

The former secretary of state’s direct claims about the dangers she finds that Trump poses may be off-putting to some readers. But those of all parties should read her commentary with an open mind. The risks she describes are worth thoughtful consideration. Describing herself as “an optimist who worries a lot,” she brings valuable experience and perspective to the material along with a sharp wit and an admittedly sharp tongue. Be warned that she doesn’t mince words. For example, she declares, “The course I teach at Georgetown is about the tools of foreign policy and how to use them. From what I’ve seen, the president would have a hard time passing it.”

Albright’s reputation as secretary of state was that of a hard-nosed pragmatist who wasted little time on rhetoric. Those characteristics are on ample display. She is not a gifted prose stylist, but she does avoid the dreaded post-governmental droning of so many former civil servants. Her personal story of being a refugee – and how it marked her emotionally and politically – resonates strongly in today’s volatile climate. Her experience while coming to the United States fueled her great love and respect for democracy. That love carries through in every sentence. Some may misinterpret her attacks on Trump as fundamentally partisan. In fact, Albright argues for a wholly inclusive democracy, one in which everyone’s views find a respectful and receptive audience, regardless of ideological disagreements.


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