After the Fall - Ben Rhodes

After the Fall

By Ben Rhodes

  • Release Date: 2021-06-01
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 43 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Why is democracy so threatened in America and around the world? And what can we do about it? A former White House aide and close confidant to President Barack Obama—and the author of The World as It Is—travels the globe in a deeply personal, beautifully observed quest for answers.

In 2017, as Ben Rhodes was helping Barack Obama begin his next chapter, the legacy they had worked to build for eight years was being taken apart. To understand what was happening in America, Rhodes decided to look outward. Over the next three years, he traveled to dozens of countries, meeting with politicians, activists, and dissidents confronting the same nationalism and authoritarianism that was tearing America apart. Along the way, a 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 second chance.

Part memoir and part reportage, After the Fall is a hugely ambitious and essential work of discovery. In his travels, Rhodes comes to realize how much America’s fingerprints are on a world we helped to shape, through our post–Cold War embrace of unbridled capitalism and our post-9/11 nationalism and militarism; our mania for technology and social media; and the racism that fueled the backlash to America’s first Black president. At the same time, Rhodes learns from the stories of a diverse set of characters—from Barack Obama himself to Cuban rebels to a rising generation of international leaders—that looking squarely at where America has gone wrong makes clear how essential it is to fight for what America is supposed to be, for our own country and the entire world.


  • Great book

    By Lairei
    I’m another one of those “I-never-write-these-reviews-but-Ben-says-he-reads-them” people, so here goes. Beautiful writing. The dinner in Hong Kong for American hedge fund managers, there to discuss the end of “Pax Americana” (whatever that means), in which most of the attendees admitted that they had voted for Trump, effectively sums up everything that is broken about global politics. As the Hungarian activist put it: “There is this economic drive behind it.” Indeed. Read to the end, though. There is still a lot of hope in this book.
  • Grateful

    By TedTarps
    Great writing and encapsulates so much of my “millennial” view of the world too. Thanks for writing this book, it’s fascinating to better understand the inner workings of higher politics.
  • Brilliant Work Ben

    By Heraton
    On one page, I’ll have this overwhelming sense of dread, and the next, overcome with hope for the future. Wonderful book that everyone should read
  • Excellent

    By Rplight
    A brilliant book about the truth that must guide us.