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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

“Vital reading for Americans and people anywhere who seek to understand what is happening ‘after the fall’ of the global system created by the United States” (New York Journal of Books), from the former White House aide, close confidant to President Barack Obama, and author of The World as It Is 

At a time when democracy in the United States is endangered as never before, Ben Rhodes spent years traveling the world to understand why. He visited dozens of countries, meeting with politicians and activists confronting the same nationalism and authoritarianism that are tearing America apart. Along the way, the Russian opposition leader he spoke with was poisoned, the Hong Kong protesters he came to know saw their movement snuffed out, and America itself reached the precipice of losing democracy before giving itself a fragile second chance. 

The characters and issues that Rhodes illuminates paint a picture that shows us where we are today - from Barack Obama to a rising generation of international leaders; from the authoritarian playbook endangering democracy to the flood of disinformation enabling authoritarianism. Ultimately, Rhodes writes personally and powerfully about finding hope in the belief that looking squarely at where America has gone wrong can make clear how essential it is to fight for what America is supposed to be, for our own country and the entire world.

©2021 Ben Rhodes (P)2021 Random House Audio

What listeners say about After the Fall

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A must read, won’t regret it!!

Former Deputy NSA and senior staffer to Obama gives an honest account of some of the most important trends facing our world today. He gives a voice to important oppositionist, and Subjugated voices, and tells us their stories. If you care about the next century, read this book.

Also Ben Rhodes has an amazing podcast, Pod Save the World, and this book gives off the same essence.

19 people found this helpful

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  • 06-02-21

Incredibly intelligent and insightful book!

After following Ben Rhodes for years, I was delighted to see this book come out. His insight and years of experience shine through his wonderfully intelligent and fascinating writing.

14 people found this helpful

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Insightful and far-ranging

Mr. Rhodes provides insights on the most current political questions of the moment from an insider’s well-reasoned viewpoint. I especially appreciated that the author narrated. I’ve seen/heard Mr. Rhodes often so having someone else narrate his first book on audible was disappointing. Not one presents a book like the author! I recommend this engrossing story of interviews with people trying to do the “right thing” for their countries by shining a light on corruption.

12 people found this helpful

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A must read

This is a must for anyone trying to make sense of the increasing threats to democracy in America. Put in a global context, Rhodes speaks to activists in Hungary, Russia, and Hong Kong about how authoritarianism rose in their own countries and the tools they have been using to fight it. He explores how decisions in the United States since the fall of the Berlin Wall, including unchecked capitalism, our response to 9/11 and unregulated social media platforms, paved the way for a rise in authoritarian rule around the world. Woven throughout with his own experiences, including the eight years he served as Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor, Rhodes tells an engaging story. I found the context and insights he shares enlightening. I especially recommend the audio version to people used to listening to him on Pod Save the World, or really to anyone who enjoys listening to nonfiction/memoir on audio.

11 people found this helpful

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Beautifully Written. Touching and Important

While the theme of the novel is often dark, it is written beautifully and Rhodes has really hit his stride. For those who are fighting for democracy, it is an important read. Enjoy

9 people found this helpful

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A book for to the Pod people

I don't usually write reviews, but since the author confessed he reads them to understand whether people enjoy his book, here I am.
Listening to Ben reading his book is a pleasure and a treat for geopolitics fanatics such as myself. I've always loved him and Tommy in Pod Save the World, and this book really shows how passionate Ben is about progressive ideas all over the world.
Greetings from Italy Ben, you did a great job!

8 people found this helpful

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After the Fall

Thank you for writing a book that covers the years of Iraqi war and into the fall of electing trump. It makes more sense after listening to your book.

7 people found this helpful

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fantastic book!!

This is a book that anchors reality for a ship lost in the fog. I highly recommend it!!

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent in every way.

Do yourself a favor and get this book.
Beautifully written and painfully accurate.
We can get on the road and travel to great places once we look in the rear view mirror and properly examine where we’ve been.
A wonderfully told story that every American can learn from.

5 people found this helpful

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Ben's insights give cause for serious reflection

It's always a hard thing to be self-reflective. There are always things that, with the benefit of hindsight, we would have done differently in life. This is no different for the U.S. as a country. Ben's book comes at this hard reality directly. While one may or may not agree with Ben's politics, I think it is hard to contradict some of his conclusions about how some actions of America have not had the positive results that were intended. Ultimately, his story ends with an promising eye to the future, with the promise of what America should be still being the world's greatest hope for global prosperity. This is a worthwhile read or listen.

3 people found this helpful