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Strongmen

PUTIN • ERDOĞAN • MODI • DUTERTE • TRUMP


Edited by VIJAY PRASHAD

Five noted writers and thinkers profile five of the world’s leaders. For some of us, these leaders are heroes; for others, villains: for all of us—strongmen.


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About the Book

We’re edging towards a new kind of global fascism driven by aggression and strident nationalism. In this energetic, focused book, a group of five accomplished writers confronts five would-be dictators.

• American playwright Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues) gets beneath the Day-Glo skin of Donald Trump.

• Danish Husain, Indian storyteller and actor, finds himself recounting the story not only of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but also of the ascension of the extremism of the Sangh Parivar.

• Burhan Sönmez, Turkish novelist, dissects the bewildering career of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

• Lara Vapnyar, Russian-American novelist and journalist, excavates the manly origins of the Supreme Leader of All the Russias.

• Ninotchka Rosca, Filipina feminist novelist, unravels the crazily macho world of Rodrigo Duterte.

These essays do not presume to be neutral. They are by partisan thinkers, magical writers, people who see not only the monsters but also a future beyond the ghouls. A future that is necessary. The present is too painful.

112 pages • Paperback ISBN 978-1-682191-69-9 • E-book 978-1-682191-70-5

About the Editor and Contributors

vijay prashad author photo

Photo © Vijay Prashad

Vijay Prashad is the executive director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. He is the author or editor of several books, including The Darker Nations: A Biography of the Short-Lived Third World and The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South. His most recent book is Red Star Over the Third World. He writes regularly for Frontline, The Hindu, Alternet and BirGun.

Eve Ensler is the Tony Award-winning playwright, activist, and author of the theatrical Obie Award winning phenomenon The Vagina Monologues, published in 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries. Ensler is founder of V-Day, the 20-year-old global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Her new play The Fruit Trilogy opens in 2018 with the Abingdon Theatre Company at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

Danish Husain is an actor, poet, storyteller, and theater director. He has appeared in a number of films, including Peepli Live (2010), AnkhonDekhi (2013), Newton (2017).

Lara Vapnyar came to the U.S. from Russia in 1994. She is the author of the novels Scent of Pine (Simon and Schuster), Memoirs of a Muse (Pantheon), and Still Here (Hogarth) and two collections of short stories. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vogue, Harper’s, and The New Republic.

Burhan Sönmez is a novelist, editor, and the translator of William Blake into Turkish. In April 2018 he was the awarded the first European Bank Prize for Literature for his novel Istanbul Istanbul (OR Books). A board member of PEN International, he also won the Disturbing the Peace Award from the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation in 2017.

Ninotchka Rosca is a novelist and journalist. Her two novels—State of War (1988) and Twice Blessed (1992)—are considered classics of modern Philippine literature. She co-wrote Jose Maria Sison’s At Home in the World, a book about the founding chairman of the re-established Communist Party of the Philippines.