A far-ranging critique of the rise of authoritarianism and white nationalism in the US and the consequences for democracy.
In this searing critique of the Trump presidency and the rise of authoritarianism in the U.S., Henry Giroux asks, How have we arrived here, and what can be done? In a discussion of events that ranges from the Administration's ongoing attempts to repeal Obamacare and its anti-immigration policies and travel bans, to the normalization of a culture of cruelty and the "weaponization of ignorance," Giroux details the urgency of our current crisis.
Giroux explores the political dystopias—those of recent history and those depicted in some of the classics of Western literature—that result when authoritarian forces outmaneuver accountability. He argues that only through increased civic investment in multicultural democracy, education, and resistance can we hope to push back the ominous convergence of white nationalism and elite economic interests.
Praise for American Nightmare:
"In this current era of corporate media misdirection and misinformation . . . Henry Giroux is one of the few great political voices of today, with powerful insight into the truth. Dr. Giroux is defiantly explaining, against the grain, what's REALLY going on right now, and doing so quite undeniably. Simply put, the ideas he brings forth are a beacon that need to be seen and heard and understood in order for the world to progress."—Julian Casablancas, lead vocalist for The Strokes
"In frightening times like these, what is desperately needed is an informed and wise voice that speaks clearly and with conviction about the situation we are in, and what can be done. Henry Giroux is one of the great public intellectuals of our times, and American Nightmare is exactly the book for people grappling with how to understand the Trump era and how to proceed. This is precisely the book that needs to be shared with friends and acquaintances. It will provoke hard thinking, bring clarity, and stimulate much needed conversation and action."—Robert W. McChesney, co-author of People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy
"We have no greater chronicler of these dystopian times. Giroux's critique cuts to the crux of today’s authoritarian crisis, yet his voice remains of one hope that the people may collectively regain control. Even while living though systemic efforts to privatize hope, Giroux’s critique enacts the sort of shared resistance that can effectively challenge authoritarianism. American Nightmare demonstrates how we can resist the normalization of hate, authoritarianism and alienation in Trump’s America. He shows us that not only are we not alone, but we are among a majority who oppose the cruelties of American social policies."—David H. Price, author of Cold War Anthropology: The CIA and the Growth of Dual Use Anthropology
"At a moment when the news cycle presents the dangers of Trumpian authoritarianism through disjointed and discrete hottakes, Giroux's wide-reaching analysis accounts for our current American nightmare with necessary historical context, and in so doing creates an aperture for resistance more meaningful than a hashtag."—Natasha Lennard, contributing writer for The Intercept, co-editor of Violence: Humans in Dark Times
"In this passionately argued volume, Henry Giroux, long known for his critical commentaries on the de-democratization of the U.S.A., on its rising inequ(al)ity and neoliberal excesses, reflects very thoughtfully on the specter of Trump’s America: on its violence, cruelty, and incivility, its burgeoning authoritarianism, its inexorable edging toward a Grave Neo World: in short, a rising specter that demands to be countered at all cost if the U.S. is to be rescued from itself.”—John Comaroff, Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology, Harvard University