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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

How far are Americans willing to go to force each other to fall in line?

According to the establishment media, the intelligentsia, and our political chattering class, the greatest threat to American freedom lies in right-wing authoritarianism. We’ve heard that some 75 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump represent the rise of American fascism; that conservatives have allowed authoritarianism to bloom in their midst, creating a grave danger for the republic.

But what if the true authoritarian threat to America doesn’t come from the political right, but from the supposedly anti-fascist left?

There are certainly totalitarians on the political right. But statistically, they represent a fringe movement with little institutional clout. The authoritarian left, meanwhile, is ascendant in nearly every area of American life. A small number of leftists — college-educated, coastal, and uncompromising — have not just taken over the Democratic Party but our corporations, our universities, our scientific establishment, our cultural institutions. And they have used their newfound power to silence their opposition.

The authoritarian Left is aggressively insistent that everyone must conform to its values, demanding submission and conformity. The dogmatic Left is obsessed with putting people in categories and changing human nature. Everyone who opposes it must be destroyed.

Ben Shapiro looks at everything from pop culture to the Frankfurt school, social media to the Founding Fathers, to explain the origins of our turn to tyranny, and why so many seem blind to it.

More than a catalog of bad actors and intemperate acts, The Authoritarian Moment lays bare the intolerance and rigidity creeping into all American ideology – and prescribes the solution to ending the authoritarianism that threatens our future.

©2021 Ben Shapiro (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Authoritarian Moment

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Sweet Baby Gang is here for Ben

I love all of Ben’s books but aside from Primetime Propaganda, this is probably my new favorite. It’s timely and relevant and keeps my attention. Some of his books aren’t “put in some headphones and listen while cleaning” material but this is. I also think it’s one to hold onto because it will continue to be relevant and important as this culture war continues to divide us. Hopefully we all grow a pair and stand against it.

26 people found this helpful

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The Daily Weasel

In this audiobook, Ben Shapiro manages to undermine what could have been a clear, cogent summarization of his partisan ideology by embellishing his reading of the text with embarrassing impersonations. He does not impersonate Barack Obama well, but perhaps he does manage to remind one of Joradan Peele’s 2018 deep fake of Obama, which was created to make an important statement about the reality of fake news. Shapiro’s arguments against ultracrepidarianism should be highlighted, as his performance of these intentionally derogatory caricatures is ill considered. This kind of comedy is clearly not his area of expertise, and every syllable of his attempts erode his otherwise intelligible points. While his summaries of so called woke-ism do reflect some of the current distortions in our media landscape, this book plays like the cash grab that it is. Many of the cases and examples he cites, such as the behavior of the student body at Evergreen college in 2017, have been written about and discussed over and over and over again. It seems that his proposed solution to the cancel culture of the left, is to enact the same kind of tactics in retaliation from the right. Shapiro does elucidate the incredible biases, manipulations and hypocrisies that are taking place in American media, leading by example. At least in his reading of this audiobook he doesn’t interject an advertisement for erectile dysfunction medication or a waffle maker just before making his next point.

24 people found this helpful

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The Libertarian Moment

This book isn’t just for the right. It focuses on authoritarianism, not economic policy. I think the libertarian left (If that still exists) would agree with much in this book. The more authoritarian right (like Trump…) would disagree with a good bit of this book. The fight is against the government intruding in our lives. We can argue about economics later. Ben is consistent and precise, not just calling the other side names (as done by both parties).

23 people found this helpful

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Rife with false equivalency and contradiction.

-To list them chronologically, but not completely, my issues with this book are as follows:
-Many republican lawmakers and I suspect readers of this book will disagree with his accurate summary of the January 6th insurrection.
-Why is the morality of the left unearned? Does the left also not give charity and do good in general?
-You already simplify millions of people into the "left" when just as the "right" has much diversity in ideas, morals, beliefs, and cultures, the left does too.
-You use arguments from religion and the Bible which are not accurate representations of human histroy, culture, or society.
-Our country, and every other democracy, is an example of men seeking safety, security, and authority through the equal distribution of power.
-Claiming humans can't be moral without God, and without God humans look to a king?
No leftists I know claim moral absolutionism, that is a quality taught by religion ( not to say all leftists are without religion)
-SOME members of the right checked the right wing authoritarianism of January 6th, others did and still are trying to rewrite the history of that event and smooth the whole thing over. The ENTIRETY of the left however checked that show of authoritarianism
-Cheering on the right for abandoning their contribution to the insurrection only after the consequences of there actions came to fruition is not praise, its reckoning and admission
It's referred to as an insurrection not a coup, you're deflecting here intentionally
-Trump at the rally literally said "Were going to march on the capitol and ill be there with you."
-Claiming that because those on the right who instigated an insurrection on our capitol finally relented to do their job AFTER the consequences of their actions and threats on their life that this somehow absolved them of responsibility
-Removing the members of congress who invited the insurrection is not unprecedented and I 100% agree with the idea
-Comparing right wing authoritarianism towards our government to the left wing authoritarianism of private institutions. One is we the peoples which we can use to reign in the other unless it is damaged by, we the people. Also, facebook, twitter, and godaddy are all companies which can deny service without cause or reason.
-Huge contradictions related to the first amendment and how it relates to the three parts of it. Mocking journalists who you say thought they were some form of protected entity because they're specifically mentioned in the amendment thinking "media is protected, I'm the media, I'm special," then explaining how that relationship is not direct but a byproduct of the language "government shall make no law restricting freedom of the press," but then turning around to claim we simply have free speech, when it is not only the exact same amendment but the exact same relationship. We "have" free speech because of the negative space created by the wording "government cannot make a law restricting it." This is also vastly different from a company or social media platform denying you service based on harmful or dangerous or discriminatory language on its platform; which has always been cause for removal on many places on the internet since its inception.
-Constantly conflates issues of morality and science while also claiming to hold the correct opinion that science inherently cannot make moral decisions. The application of science is what defines its morality, therefore humans define the morality of science.
-"When did social media become a flaming dumpster fire of visceral hatred?" - Ben shaprio. is he kidding? Has he never existed online? The internet has always had that side to it where people interact. Before facebook it was youtube, before youtube it was MySpace, before MySpace it was AOL IM, and so on. What changed was the lack of privacy and anonymity not the attitudes.
-Intellectual inconsistency with the effect news (journalism) can have on people. If liberals saw the hunter biden story it would've changed the election, but not holding that misinformation in the same form that people were convinced was real didn't effect people.
-He treats the inception of social media like it wasn't born of the idea to collect, steal, and sell every single users personal data.

12 people found this helpful

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Treatise of the Unwoke

Shapiro has penned a significant treatise of conservative objection to the illiberal shift of today’s left. It doesn’t just offer ample, concrete, and timely examples of why alert observers oppose the progressive authoritarian crush, it convinces us that a broader resistance to this misguided impulse is imperative and offers a roadmap to the exits of the bad dream that is woke culture.

11 people found this helpful

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Thank you Audible! It is a nice book. Nice book. G

Thank you Audible! It is a nice book. Nice book. Great book. Good book. Fun to read it.

11 people found this helpful

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Just listen

If you value freedom, if you reject hate, if you want our country and our world to be a better place, just listen. Even if you don’t agree with Shapiro’s politics, just listen with an open mind. This book will show you the dangers we face and how to stop them in their tracks.

10 people found this helpful

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Important Read! Great Awareness and Insight

Read this to understand how the political left has institutionalized itself in the major areas of everyday life. Help shed light on the blinders that have been installed into the minds of many Americans.

9 people found this helpful

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Excellent and unfortunately too true

Been Schapiro does an awesome job explaining how the left has taken over the culture and all its institutions

8 people found this helpful

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One Simple Tip

Put your speed on 80😂. Sorry Ben, but I think you know what I'm saying!😉

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. B. Shepherd
  • 07-28-21

Worth your time to read it

A very good book highlighting the issues on modern day life. Ben is a well known public figure who owns and runs the news agency, the Daily Wire. He often explains that the left is getting more authoritarian but is often challenged to prove this, which he does in his book.

The main thesis of the book is as follows:

1. Most people are not virtue signalling, pronoun using woke lefties. However, the majority of people are being silenced through a vocal minority who uses twitter and other mediums to either get you fired, your business reputation destroyed and person’s life ruined. The bar of what is okay today is ever shifting and so Ben argues, keeping quiet will not spare you from this but only shift the time scales of when it will occur to you. Ben says, its not an if, but a when, because the bar moves so often it will eventually land on you and the outrage mob will come calling for your blood – eventually.

2. The left have over taken public life. Ben explains, this started in the universities which are now dominated by lefties who are indoctrinating others. He says, there are so few conversative teachers in education, according to poll data, that this fact is undeniable. Corporate companies have also been captured with many manager’s shifting attention from shareholder obligations and focusing instead on equity (equal outcomes), diversity pledges, and other woke badges of nothingness rather than focusing on building good core products, that people want to buy.

3. Ben simply argues that, Conversative people are being denied any voice in public life. They are being de-platformed and as such this is leaving the left as the only voices. People then naturally think they are the voice of the people, which they aren’t.

4. Ben argues that science is great because it is based on reasonable fact. However, the appeal to science these days has become a form of political narrative shaping in itself, being less about science rather than about trying to serve the political aims of ideology. Given the current state of the world, I think few of us dispute this. Science Ben argues is no longer Science, but is now ‘S.C.I.E.N.C.E’. An example Ben gives is, its okay to march in a protest for BLM and COVID wont get you, but if you march against lockdowns it will. This is not science – its politics.

5. Ben argues that left wing ideology has taken hold of large corporates. These companies now employ the large majority of people and don’t favour freedom nor market choice, being rather favour dominance instead. Ben argues that as these companies deploy a large number of individuals in large HR departments to push a narrative internally and force compliance with the narrative. Anyone who has worked in a large corporate has had this experience already. Ben argues that these large corporates are trying to kill small business who favour freedom and market choice and traditional conversative values.

6. Ben argues that Hollywood is obsessed with politics and is not focusing on telling a good story. All Conversative values have been taken out of Hollywood and entertainment is now being used as a propaganda machine, rather than an entertainment machine. Ben gives examples of trashy politically focused films, which virtue score rather than entertain, which the audience thoroughly dislikes. However, because you dislike them you are labelled racist and other words just because didn’t enjoy the film and because the film doesn’t share your values. Ben says, entertainment used to cater for both sides of the political divide but these days it doesn’t. The left have captured it completely and now it only focuses on their message.

7. A chapter on fake news.

8. Ben talks about how conversative people are being banned from public life, such as the bans seen on Twitter, Facebook, Parlor etc. this year. Ben argues that the reason for this is so that Conversative individuals can be driven completely from corporates and public life, leaving nothing more than the left in its wake to dictate to the rest of us how to live our lives.

9. Ben concludes, the left don’t need a justification to cancel you – they need nothing more than an excuse. Ben therefore argues, they can’t cancel you if you don’t consent to it. Ben says, leave the system and create alternatives. Ben suggests to start with education and then move onto practical elements. Ben argues, many of these leftie policies are flat out illegal. He says, most people don’t want to take their employers to court for breaches of law, but he argues that is exactly what people are going to have to do in future. He argues, the other means of redress are to withhold your money from companies you disagree with and ultimately create our own alternative institutions.

A good way to end this review is to highlight the final words of Ben’s book. He says, he worries that his kids will grow up thinking that its normal to be silenced, to be cancelled and to be hounded by the mob. He worries about them growing up and taking it for granted this their lack of freedom and their need to follow the party line is just the norm. There is no need to review the book but rather simply stop and think about these final thoughts of Ben’s. Ben explains, if you’re silent on all this then you consent to it. I can’t say I disagree with him.

3 people found this helpful

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  • joseph osborne
  • 10-05-21

Captures the Main Issues with the Modern Left

Deals with most of the more detailed parts of the culture war. Not usually a Shapiro fan, but at least he does actually argue his pints clearly with sources and highlights a lot of the hypocrisy of the modern left.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anna Thomas
  • 09-16-21

fantastic!

I do like Ben, and the work his does is so important. I have critism and disagreements with some of his stances but he's a clever, intelligent and respectful gentleman with a lot to say. Well worth a download not matter how you lean politically.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Will
  • 08-16-21

Read it while it's still legal to do so

Terrific work, very concise. Terrifying what's happening in the world. We all need to speak up.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-06-21

insightful

Great examples, insightful and a must-read in 2021. Thank you. God bless you, Ben Shapiro!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jedircool2
  • 08-04-21

great insight

this book perfectly illustrate what exactly what's going on on the democratic party right now..we are all seeing it but not doing anything about it and Ben just says it how it is out loud..at least someone Has balls.👍😁

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-27-21

Contributed nothing to the discussion

The authors writing style smacks of a fragile ego and someone scared of challange and personal growth. He seemed (at least to my ears) to lack reason, and contributed only anger to the debate. If you support the views of this author the work will undoubtedly appeal, and present an interesting listen. However if you are seeking to understand the opinions of those with a divergent political view point to your own, you will struggle with this book. The author presents little except an abject disdain for change or challenge to his entrenched viewpoint (often addressing areas he dislikes without presenting a reason why, which I felt hindered the book). The narration of the book is well done, but again hindered by the content.

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  • Pablo Dee
  • 08-20-21

Good tips on fighting the insane leftist ideology

Some good tips on fighting the insane leftist ideology ... as long as you can handle Shapiros voice for that long

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hank
  • 11-20-21

good incisive opinion from Ben Shapiro again

Intersectionality ... the new "Emperors New Cloths".

The only problem I have with Ben Shapiro's books is when he narrates them himself. He always sounds squeaky and fast.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-09-21

best book ever

Ben Shapiro done it again, very good book thank you Ben keep them coming g

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-21

Great Read

Ben Shapiro is a sharp mind that puts together compelling arguments. A must read as this book is definitely one for these times.

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  • benito
  • 09-04-21

good Ole Ben

Ben always k nows how to get his Pont across and backs them up with facts.

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  • Martin Fortmann
  • 08-25-21

A must read

Ben is always speaking the truth in a corrupt generation. This is far all nations not just America