Journalist Masha Gessen on the Trump Presidency and ‘Surviving Autocracy’

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US President Donald Trump holds a Bible while visiting St. John's Church across from the White House after the area was cleared of people protesting the death of George Floyd on June 1, 2020, in Washington, DC.  (Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)

In their new book, “Surviving Autocracy,” journalist Masha Gessen suggests that President Trump was “the first major party nominee who ran not for president but for autocrat.” It’s this political mindset that Gessen warns can become lethal as Trump is responding to crises like the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests against racism and police brutality. Gessen joins the program to discuss their book, how they think Trump has transformed the presidency and the role of “moral aspiration” in moving forward.


Masha Gessen, author, "Surviving Autocracy"; staff writer, The New Yorker