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Twilight of Democracy

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David, John and Ruth Marcus discuss Biden’s campaign, Big Tech, and author Anne Applebaum joins to discuss her new book Twilight of Democracy.Here are some notes and references from this week’s show:John Dickerson for the Washington Post: “The Ultimate Test of Presidential Character Is Restraint”Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism by Anne ApplebaumAnne Applebaum for the Atlantic: “History Will Judge Trump’s Enablers Harshly”Here are this week’s cocktail chatters:John: The Underground Railroad and The Nickleboys by Colson Whitehead; Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-DaltonRuth: Sophie Haigney for The New Yorker: “An Elegy for the Landline in Literature”Anne: MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman by Ben HubbardDavid: Meredith Cash for Business Insider: “Take a Peek at Alabama Football's Stunning New Locker Room That Was Part of a $16 Million Renovation”Listener chatter from Mark Allender @markwallender for ProPublica: Jodi S. Cohen for ProPublica: “A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention.”Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show.For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment Ruth, David, and John discuss David’s dilemma concerning the best interests of his cats.You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) The email address for the Political Gabfest is (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


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