The Hubert Butler Lecture Series: Global Conversations


in conversation with Fintan O’Toole

In 2016, Masha Gessen wrote an article in The New York Review of Books predicting that Trump would attempt to turn America into a Putin-style autocracy. Four years later the president has come closer than many people imagined he could. Launching a furious assault on everything from the justice system to truth, Trump has rocked American society to its core, sowing chaos and disinformation and undermining the US response to the COVID crisis, with catastrophic results.

For many years Gessen has been one of the most respected and incisive analysts of autocratic regimes – both in Russia and the US – and Gessen’s new book, Surviving Autocracy, offers an unflinching account of Trumpism and its impact on American society. For this special 'in conversation' event, taking place in lieu of this year’s Hubert Butler Lecture, Gessen joins Fintan O’Toole to take the nation’s pulse as the US considers whether to give its president a second term. 

Masha Gessen is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of 11 books of non-fiction, including The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the US National Book Award for Nonfiction and the Leipzig Book Fair Prize for European Understanding, among many other honours. Gessen lives in New York City and is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College.

This event will be available to view online from 8pm on Thursday 13 August.

Watch event HERE

when Gessen speaks about autocracy, you listen The New York Times