Item #577084 America Last: The Right's Century-Long Romance with Foreign Dictators. Jacob Heilbrunn.

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America Last: The Right's Century-Long Romance with Foreign Dictators

Book Condition: NEW
Publisher: Liveright, February 2024.
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 1324094664

Why do Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson, and much of the far Right so explicitly admire the murderous and incompetent Russian dictator Vladimir Putin? Why is Ron DeSantis drawing from Victor Orbán's illiberal politics for his own policies as governor of Florida--a single American state that has more than twice the population of Orbán's entire nation, Hungary?

In America Last, Jacob Heilbrunn, a highly respected observer of the American Right, demonstrates that the infatuation of American conservatives with foreign dictators--though a striking and seemingly inexplicable fact of our current moment--is not a new phenomenon. It dates to the First World War, when some conservatives, enthralled with Kaiser Wilhelm II, openly rooted for him to defeat the forces of democracy. In the 1920s and 1930s, this affinity became even more pronounced as Hitler and Mussolini attracted a variety of American admirers. Throughout the Cold War, the Right evinced a fondness for autocrats such as Francisco Franco and Augusto Pinochet, while some conservatives wrote apologias for the Third Reich and for apartheid South Africa. The habit of mind is not really about foreign policy, however. As Heilbrunn argues, the Right is drawn to what it perceives as the impressive strength of foreign dictators, precisely because it sees them as models of how to fight against liberalism and progressivism domestically.

America Last is a guide for the perplexed, identifying and tracing a persuasion--or what one might call the "illiberal imagination"--that has animated conservative politics for a century now. Since the 1940s, the Right has railed against communist fellow travelers in America. Heilbrunn finally corrects the record, showing that dictator worship is an unignorable tradition within modern American conservatism--and what it means for us today.

Price: $26.09

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