Get Your Free Audiobook

  • The Demagogue's Playbook

  • The Battle for American Democracy from the Founders to Trump
  • By: Eric A. Posner
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas

Listen with a free trial

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $26.32

Buy Now for $26.32

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

"Narrator Peter Berkrot's vocal tone has a flinty mid-20th century quality that works well with this historical review of how demagogues in the U.S. have repeatedly exploited populism since the founding of the nation. Serious but never overwrought, he has a lovely way with phrasing that enhances the richness of these sentences while deftly moderating the undercurrent of alarm in the writing." (AudioFile magazine, Earphones Award winner)

What happens to democracy when a demagogue comes to power?

"It is hard to imagine understanding the Trump presidency and its significance without reading this book." (Bob Bauer, former chief counsel to President Barack Obama)

What - and who - is a demagogue? How did America's Founders envision the presidency? What should a constitutional democracy look like - and how can it be fixed when it appears to be broken?

Something is definitely wrong with Donald Trump's presidency, but what exactly? The extraordinary negative reaction to Trump's election - by conservative intellectuals, liberals, Democrats, and global leaders alike - goes beyond ordinary partisan and policy disagreements. It reflects genuine fear about the vitality of our constitutional system. The Founders, reaching back to classical precedents, feared that their experiment in mass self-government could produce a demagogue: a charismatic ruler who would gain and hold on to power by manipulating the public rather than by advancing the public good.

President Trump, who has played to the mob and attacked institutions from the judiciary to the press, appears to embody these ideas. How can we move past his rhetoric and maintain faith in our great nation?

In The Demagogue's Playbook, acclaimed legal scholar Eric A. Posner offers a blueprint for how America can prevent the rise of another demagogue and protect the features of a democracy that help it thrive - and restore national greatness, for one and all. 

A Macmillan Audio production from All Points Books 

"Cuts through the hyperbole and hysteria that often distorts assessments of our republic, particularly at this time." (Alan Taylor, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for History)

©2020 Eric A. Posner (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Demagogue's Playbook

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ronald E. Glenn
  • Ronald E. Glenn
  • 18-08-2020

History Everyone Should Be Aware Of

This is a needed book, in that it conveys entertained and successfully the history of people who rise up and take power to suit themselves in our country. A demagogue is not necessarily bad, but the ones we have had have been. There was something to the Founders’ view on actual democracy. Some might think that they have found the way to hack the republic through democracy to better gain their wants. And here are some examples.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-08-2020

Nice statement of the obvious

Anyone who observes honestly already knows that Trump is a demagogue, and anyone who still supports him doesn't care, so this book is just a nice stroll through familiar history.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.