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About the book
  • Published: 7 March 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448182558
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

The Dictator's Learning Curve

Tyranny and Democracy in The Modern World

In this riveting anatomy of the new face of authoritarianism, acclaimed journalist William Dobson takes us inside the battle between modern dictators and those who challenge their rule.

It’s not easy being a dictator these days.

From Tahrir Square to the Kremlin, downtown Caracas to the Forbidden City, we have witnessed an incredible moment in the war between dictators and democracy. The problem is that today’s authoritarians are not like the frozen-in-time, ready-to-crack regime of North Korea. They are ever-morphing, technologically savvy, and have replaced more brutal forms of intimidation with subtle coercion. But as dictators have become more nimble, so have the inspiring people who oppose their rule. The Dictator’s Learning Curve explains this historic moment and offers hope for the future of freedom.

  • Pub date: 7 March 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448182558
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

About the Author

William J Dobson

William J. Dobson is politics and foreign affairs editor for Slate. He has been an editor at Foreign Affairs and Newsweek International. Under his direction, Foreign Policy won the coveted National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2007 and 2009. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Washington, DC.

Praise for The Dictator's Learning Curve

“Timely, authoritative and as readable as a novel”


“Intelligent and absorbing...Mr Dobson's book, with luck, will find its ways into the hands of people who aspire to be free”

New York Times

“Says something really fresh about the world we live in”

Sunday Telegraph, Books of the Year

“William Dobson is that rare thinker who combines a gift for storytelling with a farsighted understanding of how the world works. He is one of the best new voices writing about global politics today”

Fareed Zakaria

“A brilliant and original analysis of the nature of modern authoritarianism”

Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag

“It is hard to imagine a timelier book than this one... Anyone seeking to make sense of the extraordinary tide of revolutions and protests sweeping around the world will find [this] an indispensable read”

Anne-Marie Slaughter, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University, and former Director of Policy Planning, U.S. State Department

“An astute analysis”

Sunday Business Post


Big Issue in the North


Good Book Guide

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