A Dreyfusard from the Right

A Review of Anne Applebaum’s Twilight of Democracy

13 July 2020

In Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum grapples with the transformation of the anti-communist right she has long been an emblematic representative. Weaving together political analysis and contemporary history with intimate portraits from within what used to be her own milieu, this urgent volume reflects on the unexpected reversals in the author’s adult years.

A young supporter of the neoliberal-neoconservative turn in the West originally from Washington DC, Anne Applebaum was in her mid-twenties during the fall of Soviet regimes in Europe, that seemingly conclusive “victory over totalitarianism.”

She was part of a large and diverse group at the time whose members believed that “the democratic revolution would now continue, that more good things would follow the collapse of the Soviet Union” (160).

Based in London during the early 1990s, Applebaum soon moved to Poland to emerge as a journalist, political commentator and historian of Soviet regimes much discussed on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Ferenc Laczó

Ph.D. Assistant Professor in European History at Maastricht University.

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