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Book Launch

Book Talk | Strongmen, Entitled Men: A Conversation Between Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Kate Manne

11/09 Monday | 5pm

This event is a virtual discussion that will be live-streamed via Youtube & Twitter. Guests can pose questions via Twitter

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge, Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network, and Public Books invites you for a book talk for Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present and Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women featuring the authors Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Kate Manne.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historian and expert political commentator on fascism, authoritarian leaders, and propaganda — and the threats they present to democracies around the world. As author or editor of seven books with over 100 columns and op-eds in media outlets including CNNThe Washington Post, and The Atlantic, she draws on historical perspective to provide a sharp analysis of current events. As an expert source and frequent commentator on television, radio, podcasts, and online events across the globe, she provides critical insight into the authoritarian playbook. Ben-Ghiat is a Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University and her work has been supported by a Fulbright, Guggenheim, and other fellowships. Her ground-breaking interdisciplinary scholarship is continuously informed by newly uncovered materials from forgotten Fascist-era films to documents from the Vatican Secret Archives. Her books Fascist Modernities and Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema detail what happens to societies when authoritarian governments take hold, and explore the uniquely dangerous appeal of strongmen to collaborators and followers. Growing up in Pacific Palisades, California, where many intellectuals who fled Nazism resettled, sparked her interest in the subject.  Her op-eds frequently connect history to current political movements in a way that catalyzes action. The United States Army’s curriculum includes her 2016 op-ed for CNN on women and the draft, and her 2018 CNN column defining gender harassment in and out of the academy has become one of the essential readings of the #MeToo movement. In 2017, she sparked an ongoing debate on the legacy and memory of Mussolini’s regime with a prescient New Yorker essay on the persistence of Fascist monuments in Italy. As an advisor to Protect Democracy, she was part of a 2019 Amicus Curiae brief in the context of PEN America’s lawsuit against the Trump administration’s attempts to stifle press freedoms. In 2018, “Trump and Putin: the pictures tell the story” was one of the top ten most read pieces on CNN and laid bare the posturing and competitiveness of strongmen through documentation of the Trump-Putin summit. With Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present (Norton, November 10th, 2020), she offers a critical blueprint for understanding and resisting authoritarianism in the face of a historic 2020 American Presidential election.

Kate Manne is an associate professor of the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University, where she’s been teaching since 2013. Before that, she was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows from 2011 to 2013. Manne did her graduate work in philosophy at MIT from 2006 to 2011, with the generous support of a General Sir John Monash scholarship. Manne was an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne , where she studied philosophy, logic, and computer science. Now, Manne does moral philosophy (especially metaethics and moral psychology). feminist philosophy, and social philosophy. Manne also enjoy writing opinion pieces, essays, and reviews for a wider audience. If you want to get a quick sense of my background and interests, Manne was interviewed by Clifford Sosis for his website, “What is it Like to be a Philosopher?” in January 2018. And here’s an extended conversation I had with Ezra Klein on his podcast early in 2019. Late in 2017, she published an academic/trade “crossover” book called Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny (Oxford University Press: New York, 2018; Penguin UK, 2019) about the nature, function, and persistence of misogyny. You can read more about it hereHer next book, Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women will be out August 11 2020, with Crown (US) and Penguin (UK).  For a preview, see here.

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