We will meet at Panera Bread in Mission Valley Mall, 1640 Camino del Rio N (map), on Sunday, February 10th at 3:30 pm to discuss the book How Democracies Die by Steve Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. The authors spent more than 20 years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe that our democracy is in serious danger. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms.
On Sunday, March 24th at 3:30 pm at Panera Bread in Mission Valley Mall, 1640 Camino Del Rio N (map), we will meet to discuss the book The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by award-winning journalist and Vladimir Putin biographer, Masha Gessen. This journey through Russia’s failure to establish democracy after the fall of the Soviet Union is built around the lives of a half-dozen people whose fortunes wax and wane as the country opens up, then closes down once more. Gessen charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today’s terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state.