• The Demagogue's Playbook

  • The Battle for American Democracy from the Founders to Trump
  • By: Eric A. Posner
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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The Demagogue's Playbook

By: Eric A. Posner
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
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Publisher's Summary

"Narrator Peter Berkrot's vocal tone has a flinty mid-20th century quality that works well with this historical review of how demagogues in the U.S. have repeatedly exploited populism since the founding of the nation. Serious but never overwrought, he has a lovely way with phrasing that enhances the richness of these sentences while deftly moderating the undercurrent of alarm in the writing." (AudioFile magazine, Earphones Award winner)

What happens to democracy when a demagogue comes to power?

"It is hard to imagine understanding the Trump presidency and its significance without reading this book." (Bob Bauer, former chief counsel to President Barack Obama)

What - and who - is a demagogue? How did America's Founders envision the presidency? What should a constitutional democracy look like - and how can it be fixed when it appears to be broken?

Something is definitely wrong with Donald Trump's presidency, but what exactly? The extraordinary negative reaction to Trump's election - by conservative intellectuals, liberals, Democrats, and global leaders alike - goes beyond ordinary partisan and policy disagreements. It reflects genuine fear about the vitality of our constitutional system. The Founders, reaching back to classical precedents, feared that their experiment in mass self-government could produce a demagogue: a charismatic ruler who would gain and hold on to power by manipulating the public rather than by advancing the public good.

President Trump, who has played to the mob and attacked institutions from the judiciary to the press, appears to embody these ideas. How can we move past his rhetoric and maintain faith in our great nation?

In The Demagogue's Playbook, acclaimed legal scholar Eric A. Posner offers a blueprint for how America can prevent the rise of another demagogue and protect the features of a democracy that help it thrive - and restore national greatness, for one and all. 

A Macmillan Audio production from All Points Books 

"Cuts through the hyperbole and hysteria that often distorts assessments of our republic, particularly at this time." (Alan Taylor, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for History)

©2020 Eric A. Posner (P)2020 Macmillan Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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History Everyone Should Be Aware Of

This is a needed book, in that it conveys entertained and successfully the history of people who rise up and take power to suit themselves in our country. A demagogue is not necessarily bad, but the ones we have had have been. There was something to the Founders’ view on actual democracy. Some might think that they have found the way to hack the republic through democracy to better gain their wants. And here are some examples.

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Nice statement of the obvious

Anyone who observes honestly already knows that Trump is a demagogue, and anyone who still supports him doesn't care, so this book is just a nice stroll through familiar history.