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Can It Happen Here?

Authoritarianism in America

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About the Book

With the election of Donald J. Trump, many people on both the left and right feared that America’s 240-year-old grand experiment in democracy was coming to an end, and that Sinclair Lewis’ satirical novel, It Can’t Happen Here, written during the dark days of the 1930s, could finally be coming true. Is the democratic freedom that the United States symbolizes really secure? Can authoritarianism happen in America?

Acclaimed legal scholar, Harvard Professor, and New York Times bestselling author Cass R. Sunstein queried a number of the nation’s leading thinkers. In this thought-provoking collection of essays, these distinguished thinkers and theorists explore the lessons of history, how democracies crumble, how propaganda works, and the role of the media, courts, elections, and "fake news" in the modern political landscape—and what the future of the United States may hold.

Contributors include:

  • Martha Minow, dean of Harvard Law School
  • Eric Posner, law professor at the University of Chicago Law School
  • Tyler Cowen, economics professor at George Mason University
  • Timur Kuran, economics and political science professor at Duke University
  • Noah Feldman, professor of law at Harvard Law School
  • Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business
  • Jack Goldsmith, Professor at Harvard Law School, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and co-founder of Lawfare
  • Stephen Holmes, Professor of Law at New York University
  • Jon Elster, Professor of the Social Sciences at Columbia University
  • Thomas Ginsburg, Professor of International Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University
  • Duncan Watts, sociologist and principal researcher at Microsoft Research

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“A renowned legal scholar assembles a dream team of other legal authorities and cultural and political analysists to ponder the title, substance, and current relevance of It Can’t Happen Here...Cautionary pieces well-informed by history, legal theory, and patriotism, all bubbling in a cauldron of anxiety.” —Kirkus

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062696199
  • ISBN 10: 006269619X
  • Imprint: Dey Street Books
  • On Sale: 03/06/2018
  • Pages: 496
  • List Price: 21.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Essays
  • BISAC2: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Commentary & Opinion
  • BISAC3: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Fascism & Totalitarianism

Can It Happen Here? by Cass R. Sunstein

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