After The Fall

The Rise of Authoritarianism in the World We've Made

Available in Paperback May 24th

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February 25, 2022

On the Ground in Ukraine and Russia

As the worst case scenario unfolds in Ukraine, Ben runs through the latest on Russia’s invasion, how this attack marks a new phase of history, and what to expect in the coming weeks and months. Then Ben is joined by Ukrainian investigative reporter Tanya Kozyreva from Kyiv as it is under siege. During the interview, Tanya describes the dire situation in Kyiv, the Ukrainian peoples’ commitment to resist, and has to seek shelter after hearing explosions. Ben is also joined again by Max Seddon, Bureau Chief of the Financial Times in Moscow who shares how Russians feel about the invasion, and if sanctions could actually cause President Putin to stand down.

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The New York Times

March 12, 2022

Ukraine War Ushers In ‘New Era’ for U.S. Abroad

The war in Ukraine has prompted the biggest rethinking of American foreign policy since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, infusing the United States with a new sense of mission and changing its strategic calculus with allies and adversaries alike. The Russian invasion has bonded America to Europe more tightly than at any time since the Cold War and deepened U.S. ties with Asian allies, while forcing a reassessment of rivals like China, Iran and Venezuela. And it has re-energized Washington’s leadership role in the democratic world just months after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan ended 20 years of conflict on a dismal note.

The Atlantic

March 13, 2022

We Have Reached a Hinge of History

Europe’s largest invasion since World War II is a logical outcome of Vladimir Putin’s dominance of Russian politics in the 21st century, a reminder that grievance-based ethno-nationalism and authoritarianism lead inexorably to conflict. Putin’s efforts to reconstitute empire and “protect” Russian speakers beyond national borders tap into currents of history running deep underneath our collective experience. And in many ways, the tolls of the war—cities reduced to rubble, civilians caught amid armies, refugees moving en masse across European borders, threats of nuclear annihilation—recall the circumstances that shocked world powers into creating an international system to prevent another world war. Perhaps it is no coincidence that at precisely the time when living memory of World War II is fading away, humanity has failed to heed the lessons of our worst history.

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Ben Rhodes is a writer, political commentator, and national security analyst. He is currently a contributor for NBC News and MSNBC; co-host of Pod Save the World; a senior advisor to former President Barack Obama; and chair of National Security Action, which he co-founded with Jake Sullivan in 2018. From 2009-2017, Ben served as a Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama. In that capacity, he participated in all of President Obama’s key decisions, and oversaw the President’s national security communications, speechwriting, and public diplomacy. He led the secret negotiations with the Cuban government that resulted in the effort to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, and supported the negotiations to conclude the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made, and The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House. His work has also been published in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Foreign Affairs. Ben serves on numerous boards, including Legacies of War, The Ploughshares Fund, and consults for The Obama Foundation. A native New Yorker, Ben has a B.A. from Rice University and an M.F.A from New York University.