October 20, 2020
Hitler. Mussolini. Hirohito. Totalitarian dictators whose names and ideologies are trapped in the pages of 20th century history lessons – or are they? Is it possible their ideas and policies are taking root in America right now, at a frighteningly rapid pace?
Authoritarianism, illiberalism, nationalism, fascism: these words appear with alarming frequency in editorials, analyses, and popular articles in 2020. What are the shades of meaning among them? How do they play out in the politics of our time? What can we learn from recent history to help us understand and combat a darker future than many would wish to see?
Moderator A'Lelia Bundles ’74, award-winning journalist, writer and historian, lead our outstanding panelists William Kristol ’73, political analyst; Nadine Strossen ’72, J.D. ’75, the first female President of the ACLU; and Dr. Chad Williams, RI ’17, Chair of African and African American Studies, Brandeis University, in a wide-ranging and provocative conversation.
VIDEOS FROM FASCISM: ARE WE THERE YET?
We have created 7 videos from this forum--one of the whole event, and 6 others, divided by topic. They are all available by clicking on the image of the YouTube video screen below. Then, you can either click "play all" on the left side of your screen and the videos will play in succession, or pick and choose which videos you want to watch, all of which are listed on the right.
RESOURCES FROM THE ZOOM FORUM CHAT
OUR MODERATOR AND PANELISTS
MODERATOR A'LELIA BUNDLES '74
A’Lelia Bundles is the author of On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker, the 2001 New York Times Notable Book about her entrepreneurial great-great-grandmother and the inspiration for Self Made, the 2020 Netflix series starring Octavia Spencer.
A’Lelia is at work on her fifth book, The Joy Goddess of Harlem: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance, about her great-grandmother whose parties, arts patronage and international travels helped define the era.
A former network television news executive and producer at ABC News and NBC News, she is a vice chairman of Columbia University’s Board of Trustees and chair emerita of the board of the National Archives Foundation.
A’Lelia graduated from Harvard and Radcliffe in 1974. She was a Radcliffe College trustee and one of the last presidents of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association. She serves on the advisory board of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute.
WILLIAM KRISTOL '73
NADINE STROSSEN '72
photo by Anthony AlvarezNew York Law School Professor Emerita Nadine Strossen, the immediate past President of the American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008), is a leading expert and frequent speaker/media commentator on constitutional law and civil liberties, who has testified before Congress on multiple occasions. She serves on the advisory boards of the ACLU, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Heterodox Academy, and National Coalition Against Censorship. The National Law Journal has named Strossen one of America’s "100 Most Influential Lawyers.” Her 2018 book HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship was selected by Washington University as its 2019 “Common Read.”
DR. CHAD WILLIAMS, RI '17
Chad Williams is the Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Brandeis University. Chad earned a BA with honors in History and African American Studies from UCLA, and received both his MA and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. He specializes in African American and modern United States History, African American military history, the World War I era and African American intellectual history. His first book, Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era, was published in 2010 by the University of North Carolina Press. Widely praised as a landmark study, Torchbearers of Democracy won the 2011 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award from the Organization of American Historians, the 2011 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for Military History and designation as a 2011 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. He is co-editor of Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016) and Major Problems in African American History, Second Edition (Cengage Learning, 2016). Chad has published articles and book reviews in numerous leading academic journals and collections, as well as op-eds and essays in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Time, and The Conversation. He has earned fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Ford Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. His next book, The Wounded World: W. E. B. Du Bois and World War I, is under contract with Farrar, Straus and Giroux.