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  • After the Fall

  • Being American in the World We've Made
  • By: Ben Rhodes
  • Narrated by: Ben Rhodes
  • Length: 12 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents After the Fall by Ben Rhodes, read by Ben Rhodes.

In 2017, as Ben Rhodes was helping Barack Obama begin his next chapter, the legacy they worked to build for eight years was being taken apart. To understand what was happening in America, Rhodes decided to look outwards. Over the next three years, he travelled to dozens of countries, meeting with politicians, activists and dissidents confronting the same nationalism and authoritarianism that was tearing America apart. Along the way, a Russian opposition leader he spends time with is poisoned, the Hong Kong protesters he comes to know see their movement snuffed out, and America itself reaches the precipice of losing democracy before giving itself a second chance.

After the Fall is a hugely ambitious and essential work of discovery. Throughout, Rhodes comes to realise how much America’s fingerprints are on a world it helped to shape: through the excesses of the post-Cold War embrace of unbridled capitalism, post-9/11 nationalism and militarism, mania for technology and social media, and the racism that shaped the backlash to the Obama presidency. At the same time, he learns from a diverse set of characters - from Obama to rebels to a rising generation of leaders - how looking squarely at where America has gone wrong only makes it more essential to fight for what America is supposed to be - for itself and for the entire world.

©2021 Ben Rhodes (P)2021 Penguin Random House Audio

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Serious but ultimately uplifting

The whole book was illuminating. Insider stories, personal encounters examining how the world (I'm not an American and do not live there) is leaning authoritarian. This is a topic that we must consider. But also one with which we misty gird our loins for the struggles ahead.
the final part of the book was my favourite, as it shone a light forward.
A good mind, a well written examination, and read by Ben himself, so I felt as though I was listening around a dinner table.
Recommend!!

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  • Megan
  • 17-07-2021

Brilliant

A big fan of the Pod and absolutely loved it. Really insightful with a blend of human experience to make it more accessible.

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  • MP
  • 29-06-2021

Power Corrupts

I will be honest and say I never understood how a creative writer major gets to be called a national security adviser. The sense one gets is a speech writer in the room when others are making strategic decisions. I wish he could have clarified what he added to the national security beyond nice words for Obama to say. That aside, this is a good read/listen. It is however bleak but naggingly pertinent. A warning to take our democracy seriously and not fall for fools like Trump and Boris. this is a time for serious politicians and maybe one for realising we made a huge mistake outsourcing everything to China. We are going to have to pay more for things, manufacture them in democratic nations and raise barriers to trade based on the rule of law and human rights. Only then can we tackle the thugocracies. There remains the distinct possibility it may all be too late.

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  • Dohm64
  • 27-06-2021

Superb Analysis

A talented writer and insightful approach to complex ideas. I definitely learnt a lot from him

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-06-2021

Really well written and interesting

This is interesting for a non-American as well. I love and hate (global) politics in equal measure. I too am worried about the rise of populism in Europe and elsewhere. It's very well written and well read by Ben Rhodes himself. He adds personality to the text and has a good reading voice.

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