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The dictator's learning curve - William J Dobson

9781846556906
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Title
The dictator's learning curve - inside the global battle for democracy
Author
William J Dobson
format
Hardback
Publisher
Harvill Secker
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20120906

It's not easy being a dictator these days.
Since the end of the Cold War, dictatorships worldwide have been on the decline and those that survive have changed dramatically.
Not so long ago, blunt weapons were used to keep citizens under control, but in a globalised world connected to new media more subtle methods for preserving power have replaced yesterday's forms of intimidation.

The Dictator's Learning Curve gives a fascinating insight into the way dictators are adapting to the demands of the modern world, and their insidious efforts to disguise their regimes as democracies. Mubarak, Ben Ali and Gaddafi may be gone, but the Arab Spring is only the latest front in a worldwide battle between freedom and oppression. In this page-turning and authoritative book, William J. Dobson illuminates the connections and differences between authoritarian regimes in places as far apart as Russia, China, Venezuela, Egypt and Malaysia. Drawing on first-hand testimony from those close to these governments and those who challenge them - from incarcerated dissidents, student revolutionaries, to Serbian and American 'trainers in nonviolent revolution' -Dobson shows that we are witnessing an incredible moment in the war between dictators and democracy.

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William J. Dobson is politics and foreign affairs editor for Slate. He has been an editor at Foreign Affairs and Newsweek International. Under his direction, Foreign Policy won the coveted National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2007 and 2009. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Washington, DC.

"[The Dictator's Learning Curve] says something really fresh about the world we live in"
Sunday Telegraph Books of the Year - Michael Burleigh

"Intelligent and absorbing"
New York Times

"He writes with exemplary clarity and a sharp eye for colour. Timely, authoritative and as readable as a novel, this is one of Autumn's most resonant books - not least because it ends on a note of guarded hope for the future"
Prospect - Jane Shilling

"Dobson captures empathetically the skill and insight of modern neo-despots. Rare is the book on dictatorship that can end on an uplifting note that its narrative carefully substantiates"
Financial Times

"A thoughtful journey through formidable dictatorships of our time, where smart, authoritarian leaders have learned clever tricks to ensure that they do not become yesterday's men. Instead of offering caricatures of vintage dictators, Dobson observes the more dangerous trend - of dictators adopting the form of democratic governance"
Independent - Salil Tripathi

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Dictatorship.|Democratization.
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
341

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