Munich Dialogues on Democracy and The Yale Club of Germany present

 An evening with best-selling author and historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat






Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Theater in Amerikahaus Munich

Karolinenplatz 3, 80333 Munich

7:00 pm CEST


Ours is the age of the strongman, of heads of state who damage or destroy democracy, use masculinity as a tool of political legitimacy, and promise law and order rule – and then legitimize lawless behavior by financial, sexual, and other predators.

Covering a century of tyranny, in her latest book Ruth Ben-Ghiat examines how authoritarians use propaganda, virility, corruption, and violence to stay in power, and how they can be defeated. She looks at larger autocratic patterns, like the toll of corruption on militaries and how late-stage autocrats behave, to help us contextualize current world events. The story of the strongman, rife with tragedy, also offers lessons in hope and resiliency.  It urges us to invest in democracy and protect it rather than take our freedoms for granted.

With a steady gaze and an eye for the telling detail, Ruth Ben-Ghiat delivers a timely analysis of how a certain kind of charisma delivers political disaster – and some valuable hints about how it can be resisted, and the virtues we will need to rebuild democracy.Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny

Ben-Ghiat’s portrayal of fascist-era tyrants, murderous Cold War dictators, and would-be tyrants in our own day fives us a gripping and illuminating picture of how strongmen have deployed violence, seduction, and corruption. History, she shows, offers clear lessons not only about how these regimes are built, but also how they must be opposed, and how they end. – Daniel Ziblatt, coauthor of How Democracies Die

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historian who writes about authoritarianism, democracy protection, and propaganda. She is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University, the recipient of Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other fellowships, and Advisor to Protect Democracy. She is an MSNBC opinion columnist, a regular contributor to CNN and The Washington Post, and provides live commentary on CNN, MSNBC, and other networks. She publishes Lucid, a newsletter on threats to democracy. Her latest book is Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present (2020, paperback with new epilogue on Jan. 6, 2021).

Moderator Professor Kiran Patel holds the chair of European history at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (LMU) and is Director of Project House Europe. Before joining LMU, he held chairs at Maastricht University in the Netherlands (2011-2019) and the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2007-2011), and an assistant professorship at Humboldt University in Berlin (2002-2007). He has been (inter alia) a visiting fellow/professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales in Paris, the Free University of Berlin, Freiburg University, Harvard University, the London School of Economics, Sciences Po in Paris and the University of Oxford. His teaching and research focuses on issues of European and US American history. Comparative, transnational, and global approaches feature prominently in his work.

Registration is not necessary. Join us after the event for a wine reception and the opportunity to have your book signed by the author. If you are not in Munich and would like to watch:

YouTube livestream link: HERE


The Yale Club of Germany e.V.


• For up-to-date event information, join our Facebook group.

If you have event ideas, would like to get involved in club activites, let us know!


The Yale Club is always looking for alumni to interview local high-school students who are applying to Yale College. If you would like to help out or learn more, please contact our ASC director, Rebecca Haltzel-Haas.

Yale Book Award

If you interested in presenting the Yale Book Award at a high school in your area, please contact the club board.


The Club does not assess dues, but asks its members to make an modest annual contribution (€20 suggested, but any amount is welcome) to help fund Club activities.

To contribute, please arrange a bank transfer (Überweisung) to the following account and be sure to include your email address so we can send you your tax-deductible donation receipt:

Payee: Yale Club e.V.
IBAN: DE36830654080005217610
Bank: VR-Bank Altenburger Land eG

For any question regarding contributions, please contact our Treasurer, Hans Christian Siller.

Club Officers


Bartley Grosserichter (Yale College ’88)


Hans Christian Siller (GSAS ’12)


Alexander Schmitt Glaeser (LLM ’89)


Rebecca Haltzel-Haas (Yale College ’90)


Jana Striezel (LLM ’02)