After the Fall
Being American in the World We've Made
Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback, Large Print (7/6/2021)
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.
Praise For After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made…
“A classic coming-of-age story, about the journey from idealism to realism, told with candor and immediacy . . . [Ben Rhodes’s] achievement is rare for a political memoir: He has written a humane and honorable book.”—The New York Times Book Review
“More than any other White House memoirist, Rhodes is a creature of the man he served.”—The New Yorker
“Insightful, funny, and moving, this is a beautifully observed, essential record of what it was like to be there.”—Samantha Power
Random House, 9781984856050, 384pp.
Publication Date: June 1, 2021