Author Chat with Kenneth C Davis (Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)

0-_20201020-221059_1

 Today we're excited to chat with Kenneth C Davis author of

Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy.

Read on for more about Kenneth and his book, plus a giveaway!

 

 

 

Meet Kenneth C Davis!

Kenneth C. Davis is best known as the New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned  and America’s Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation. Davis’s new work is Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy. It will be released on October 6 by Holt/Macmillan. Find out more about Davis and his work at dontknowmuch.com    

 

 Website * Facebook * Twitter 

 

 

 

 

Meet Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy!

From the bestselling author of the Don’t Know Much About® books comes a dramatic account of the origins of democracy, the history of authoritarianism, and the reigns of five of history's deadliest dictators.

What makes a country fall to a dictator? How do authoritarian leaders—strongmen—capable of killing millions acquire their power? How are they able to defeat the ideal of democracy? And what can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

By profiling five of the most notoriously ruthless dictators in history—Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Saddam Hussein—Kenneth C. Davis seeks to answer these questions, examining the forces in these strongmen’s personal lives and historical periods that shaped the leaders they’d become. Meticulously researched and complete with photographs, Strongman provides insight into the lives of five leaders who callously transformed the world and serves as an invaluable resource in an era when democracy itself seems in peril.

"Strongman is a book that is both deeply researched and deeply felt, both an alarming warning and a galvanizing call to action, both daunting and necessary to read and discuss." —Cynthia Levinson, author of Fault Lines in the Constitution

 

 

Amazon * B & N Indiebound

 

 

 

 

~ Author Chat ~

 This interview was conducted with Ken by Joann Davis.

 

Kenneth C. Davis is best known as the New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned  and America’s Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation. Davis’s new work is Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy. It will be released on October 6 by Holt/Macmillan. Find out more about Davis and his work at dontknowmuch.com    

 


Hello Kenneth C. Davis. You speak to young people all the time about American History and Civics. What’s your impression of the young people with whom you engage?

 

Kids get a very bad rap for being disinterested and misinformed about history and politics, but in my experience, they are anything but. And, as we all know, they are taking the lead around the world, on many issues, from climate change and gun violence to Black Lives Matter and racial justice. 

 

Several years ago, I began “Skyping to School.” I wanted to talk about some of the important stories our schoolbooks leave out—I call it “hidden history.” Like the fact that some of our most famous presidents enslaved people by the hundreds. Or that our nation was “conceived in liberty,” but born in shackles. I began on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and have since made between 400 and 500 virtual visits to classrooms and talked with thousands of students.  

 

The more I talked to kids, mostly in middle school and high school, the more excited I became by these conversations. These students were not only curious, engaged, interested, and concerned about the big questions of history. They cared about civics and democracy. They want to know their rights. They took an interest in activism. And most important, they asked good, hard questions.

 

One student asked me why they can have a license to drive a car but are not old enough to vote. And that turned my head. Let’s talk about that. Why not?

 

And let’s be honest—we have to include young people and students in the conversation. Because the future is theirs.

 

Who are your personal heroes in history?

 

Two of my first heroes were Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy. When I was 14 in 1968, they were both gunned down. Both men were breathtaking and inspiring leaders who dared to speak about civil rights and poverty. They inspired me to think about how we have to dream and act to improve the lives of others. They challenged young people especially to make a difference. In 1968, I couldn’t vote, but I began to find ways to voice my opinions. I wrote letters to the newspaper —the first thing I ever wrote to be published was a letter to my hometown newspaper, The Daily Argus. It was on the topic of student athletics.  A few years later, I walked out of school with a lot of other kids to protest the Vietnam War.

 

I also have deep admiration for another hero, the late John Lewis, who I was lucky to meet. Lewis was a great civil rights leader who was beaten, bloodied, and jailed for his actions and beliefs. But he was not cowed or deterred. He had a brilliance for turning ideas into action.  His idea of “good trouble” has inspired a new generation. I often think about what he taught us about democracy — that is  an “act” not a “state.” We have to act to protect democracy. It’s not a spectator sport.



What is your new book Strongman about and what single point stands out?

 

Strongman tells the story of five of the most ruthless dictators in history and how they led their nations and people down such murderous paths. But these five men are real people, not “monsters,” and it is important to understand what real people are capable of doing.

 

One of the first things that leapt out to me is how quickly a Strongman, like Hitler or Mussolini, can take over a country, seize total control, and destroy democracy. 

 

It’s probably one of the most frightening pieces of the story — not only how quickly it can happen, but how so many people willingly follow them. With democracy in peril around the world, we need to be on guard for a Strongman with authoritarian tendencies who follows a playbook of similar moves. I write about those moves in my book.

 

You’ve been working as a writer for a long time. How did you become a writer?

 

A few years ago, I found a school assignment I wrote when I was nine: “My Project About Presidents.” It was an illustrated booklet that asked questions about some of the presidents. So clearly, I have loved history, books, and questions for a long time. From the time I was a small boy, I loved to read and I liked stories of real people. But I never thought I could be a writer. When I was in college, I began writing for the school newspaper. Later I worked in a bookstore where a friend read my college work and told me I should be writing books not selling them. That set me on the path to write about subjects I cared about and that I thought people need to understand.

 

I am very lucky in that I found the thing I loved to do and made a career out of it. I always believed that history was not about dates, battles, and speeches. And that is why I have written stories of real people that show us how the past is connected to the present. And when people ask me how to be a writer, my answer is simple: Start by being a reader. I think every great writer is a great reader first. And remember the power of questions. When you don’t know much, ask.

 

 

 

 

Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy

By: Kenneth C Davis

Publisher: Henry Holt BYR

Release Date: October 6th, 2020

 

  

 

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

One winner will receive a copy of Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy ~ (US Only)

 

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Featured Review: Twisted Pines (Lane Baker)
Giveaway: The Sisters of Straygarden Place (Hayley...

Related Posts

 

Comments 6

Already Registered? Login Here
Zachary Snyder on Wednesday, 21 October 2020 13:28

Looks like an important read!

0
Looks like an important read!
Joan Kim on Thursday, 29 October 2020 06:23

We need more books like this, that takes tough subjects that seem complicated and makes it digestible for young adults.

0
We need more books like this, that takes tough subjects that seem complicated and makes it digestible for young adults.
Penny Olson on Friday, 13 November 2020 16:25

The cover is ominous. I can't think of a more relevant history book given how the US election could have turned out.

0
The cover is ominous. I can't think of a more relevant history book given how the US election could have turned out.
Alyssa Annico on Sunday, 15 November 2020 08:07

Important to today's times and issues!

0
Important to today's times and issues!
Danielle Hammelef on Sunday, 15 November 2020 11:56

The cover is perfect for this important and timely nonfiction book.

0
The cover is perfect for this important and timely nonfiction book.
Danielle Lynn on Thursday, 19 November 2020 21:04

I like the cover. It definitely grabs my attention with the colors and the photos used are easily recognizable. As a history buff I'm always looking forward to new releases in the subject and I'm truly excited about this one.

0
I like the cover. It definitely grabs my attention with the colors and the photos used are easily recognizable. As a history buff I'm always looking forward to new releases in the subject and I'm truly excited about this one.

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet the ten remarkable kings, queens, inventors, scholars, and visionaries...
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cuddle up with your little one and get ready to...
The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER: A JOHNNY CONSTANTINE GRAPHIC...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A shocking thriller about a group of friends who go...
Bird Boy
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Take flight in this heartwarming story about a boy who...
Love You By Heart
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Acclaimed creator of The Word Collector, Happy Dreamer, Say Something,...
Fa-La-La Llama (Touch-and-Feel Board Book)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Get ready to deck the halls with these joyful, singing,...
The Oddmire, Book 3: Deepest, Darkest
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The third adventure in the beloved fantasy series full of...
The Oddmire, Book 2: The Unready Queen
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Human-raised brothers Tinn and Cole join forces with Fable, daughter...
The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it,...
Our Way Back to Always
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
To All the Boys I've Loved Before meets Morgan Matson...
The Last Gate of the Emperor
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel David Makonnen comes an...
Traitors Among Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
World War II may be over. But two sisters are...
The Devil Makes Three
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
When Tess and Eliot stumble upon an ancient book hidden...
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet the ten remarkable kings, queens, inventors, scholars, and visionaries...
Liar's Room
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This spooky stand-alone from MG horror expert Dan Poblocki is...

Latest Member Reviews

Mary, Will I Die?
 
3.0
"It started off as a prank among friends five years ago. All they had to do was say Bloody Mary..."
Bee a Good Human: A Pollinators' Guide to a Better Life
 
4.0
"Bee a Good Human: A Pollinator’s Guide to a Better Life is a compilation of artwork from Ali Beckman, or..."
Bee a Good Human: A Pollinators' Guide to a Better Life
 
4.0
"Bee a Good Human: A Pollinator’s Guide to a Better Life is a compilation of artwork from Ali Beckman, or..."
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
 
5.0
"In her introduction to this book, Ms. Baptiste mentions that every February, for Black History Month, her children would bring..."
Kyle's Little Sister
 
4.0
"Grace is just entering 6th grade, and will be rejoining her older brother Kyle at school, where he is a..."
Willa of Dark Hollow (Willa of the Wood, 2)
 
4.5
"What I Loved: In the first book, I left wanting to see Willa interact more in nature. In this..."
Small Favors
 
4.0
"Amity Falls is a small, quiet, religious town surrounded by forests. Ellerie Downing lives there with her sisters, brother, and..."
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
4.0
"Rosie Singer knows something is wrong with her mom. She doesn’t comfort her or look at her the way her..."
The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling
 
5.0
"What I Loved: The Oddmire, Book 1 Changeling delivered a lot of heart and humor in this first installment...."
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
"Beginning with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. about love, COUNT TO LOVE! is a cute poem that encourages..."
The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
 
4.5
"THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER is an adventure-filled graphic novel about Johnny (Kid) Constantine. We start by meeting Kid..."
The Cup and the Prince
 
4.8
"I always love stories that flip gender roles. I feel like there is a character for every type of personality..."
 
3.0
"WHAT I LOVED: Thanks to my brother being big into Dungeons & Dragons, I have some familiarity with tabletop gaming..."
Bird Boy
 
4.5
"BIRD BOY is a sweet picture book about being yourself and embracing your differences. Nico is the new kid in..."
Love You By Heart
 
4.5
"LOVE YOU BY HEART is a simple but beautiful story of love. Featuring a big and little heart, the book..."
Fa-La-La Llama (Touch-and-Feel Board Book)
 
5.0
"FA-LA-LA LLAMA is a delightfully festive board book song. The book features llamas getting into the spirit of the non-religious..."
Our Way Back to Always
 
5.0
"OUR WAY BACK TO ALWAYS is a beautiful YA contemporary romance about two best friends, Sam and Lou. After a..."
Poison Ivy: Thorns
 
4.3
"POISON IVY: THORNS is an intriguing graphic novel that takes us back to the origin story for Poison Ivy. Pamela,..."
Ground Zero
 
5.0
"This book delivers the stories of both Brandon, a nine year old in New York City during the 9/11 attacks,..."
The Last Gate of the Emperor
 
5.0
"Yared Heywat has lived with his Uncle Moti since the death of his parents. They have moved around in very..."