Surviving Autocracy – the ‘rule of words’

WBT posts this discussion with Masha Gessen to helpunderstand what is happening in the lead up to the November 2020 US Presidential elections – ed.


In the run-up to the 2016 election, The New Yorker’s Masha Gessen stood out from other journalists for calling out the significance of Donald Trump’s speech and behavior, unprecedented in a national candidate. Within 48 hours of his victory, Gessen’s essay “Autocracy: Rules for Survival” had gone viral, and Gessen’s coverage of Trump’s norm-breaking presidency became important reading for a citizenry struggling to wrap their heads around the unimaginable.

Thanks to the unique perspective from a childhood in the Soviet Union and two decades covering the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, Gessen has a sixth sense for signs of autocracy—and the unique cross-cultural fluency to delineate its emergence to Americans. Now, as the 2020 race takes shape, their new book Surviving Autocracy provides an indispensable overview of what Gessen views as the calamitous trajectory of the past few years. Join us for a conversation with one of our leading journalists as they highlight the dangers of complacency and how America can forge a new path forward.

Speakers: Masha Gessen Staff Writer, The New Yorker; Author, Surviving Autocracy; Twitter @mashagessen

In Conversation with Andrea Bernstein Senior Editor, WNYC; Co-Host, “Trump Inc”; Author, American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power; Twitter @AndreaWNYC