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Publisher's Summary

From one of the most admired international leaders, comes a timely, considered, and personal look at the history and current resurgence of fascism today and the virulent threat it poses to international freedom, prosperity, and peace. 

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 30 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. 

Albright also offers clear solutions, including 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. 

©2018 Madeleine Albright (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Known for her frank manner and direct approach, Albright brings these traits to her performance. Both qualities make her a strong narrator for this serious work.... Her experiences as a diplomat serve her well as a narrator - she is confident, steady, and engaging." (AudioFile)

What members say

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Warning!

Great history lesson, I felt like I was sitting in one of Madame Secretary’s classes. It is a book to listen to more than once and one that will provoke thought and conversation. No one else could have narrated it as well as she did.
Loved the book, love Madame Secretary, appreciate the lesson and warning.

75 of 80 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 07-04-18

Excellent

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Listening to Albright narrate her book was like visiting with her over a cup of tea. She described her families fleeing the Nazis and later the Soviets. Her personal story of her encounter with fascism made the book more relevant than just an academic textbook would have been.

The book is well written and researched. I learned a lot from the book. To me it seemed Albright had trouble fitting in some of the current leaders as true fascists and was attempting to modernize the definition of a fascist. She did say that Kim of North Korea was the only true fascist regime currently in power today. Albright did show a step by step method on how a dictator seized power after being elected in a democracy. Albright stated that “Trump is the first anti-democratic president in modern U.S. history”. The book is worth reading and she stated that democracy depends on an educated, involved and voting public as well as both parties working together. She stated without these two things our country’s democracy will not survive.

The book is almost ten hours. Madeline Albright does a good job narrating the book.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Amazing Analysis

It was amazing to see the similarities of the despots throughout history. It's scary to realize how easily lead unthinking people are. The desire to fulfill selfish interests causes people to sell themselves into bondage, over and over.

32 of 35 people found this review helpful

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A must read for everyone

If you have only time to read/listen one book this year, make sure it’s this one. Madeline Albright has outdone herself with this comprehensive overview of how democracies can digress to a state of peril. It is never with a Big Bang, but very subtle. This book helps you get some perspective on how fascism rises and a glimpse of what we can do about it. I personally love the quote by dr. Albright: ‘I’m an optimist, but I worry a lot’.
Very, very well recommended.

54 of 60 people found this review helpful

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A Book filled with information

Madeline Albright is 80 years old and brilliant. There are not many in this universe who are as knowledgeable as she regarding many countries. She conveys more knowledge in a few sentences than our so called leaders even pretend to know about. I fear that because there is no ad nauseam discussion of the pee pee tapes, many people will sadly let this book slip by.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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A fascinating opinion

This was a fascinating opinion on what fascism was, is, and can be. It is a warning to all, of what it it looks like, but more importantly what we as people should be aware of in our daily lives. I have studied fascism and nationalism a lot, and I found it to be on-the-nose for the topic. I would highly recommend this to all political persuasions.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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voice of reason

I wish every person who voted for trump had the patience and open minded curiosity to listen to this audiobook. I think they would find very little to argue with.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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if you're into history

If you're into history, or wanting an understanding of what is going on in politics today, this book is great.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Required reading!!

This book should be required reading for history, civics, political science classes in high school or college. Excellent explanations on the rise of fascist states past, present, future! A wake up call to those that bury their heads in the sand!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Yip K Chan
  • Morristown, NJ United States
  • 04-19-18

A Great Book

Albright used her complicated childhood during a very trouble time, extensive international exposure during her professional life and all the wisdom gathered duing her existence, told a story with painful details about fascism. Mostly importantly, being an optimist, gave out to the entire world a serious warning. A great book. you want

9 of 10 people found this review helpful