Who's drawn to fascism? Postwar study of authoritarianism makes a comeback - 2022-04-04
By most accounts, 2021 was a terrible year for democracy, from the attack on the U.S. Capitol to the rolling back of civil liberties in India. Liberal democracies are being challenged — from within and without — and many expect authoritarian rule to continue to metastasize in 2022.
Some scholars believe that a book published over 70 years ago — The Authoritarian Personality — could help researchers, and many of us today, grapple with troubling political trends in our own era.
"We see so many variations of right-wing populism, of authoritarianism, of neo-fascism around the globe that a book like this has gained, unfortunately, new relevance," said Peter E. Gordon, professor of history at Harvard University, who wrote the introduction to a new edition of The Authoritarian Personality published on its 70th anniversary.