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Demagogues and authoritarians are flourishing in this modern age of political myth. They exploit our fears and fantasies. Exposing the fictions that these new rulers use to take and keep control has never been more urgent – and people risk their careers, liberty or even their lives to do so. In this revealing and richly reported book, international correspondent Michael Peel illuminates the surprising parallels between leaders, movements and their supporters who have thrived using potent but questionable stories. From Aung San Suu Kyi’s Myanmar to Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody drugs crackdown in the Philippines, and from Britain’s struggle over Brexit to Syria’s civil war, he probes the patterns in narratives that too often serve the interests of the chosen few. Above all, Peel shows the extraordinary and sometimes dangerous steps courageous people take to challenge these fabulists – and the treacherous paths they lead us down.

About the Author

Michael Peel is the European diplomatic correspondent based in Brussels for the Financial Times. He has reported for the FT from South East Asia, the Middle East and west Africa. He is the author of A Swamp Full of Dollars: Pipelines and Paramilitaries at Nigeria’s Oil Frontier, which was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and nominated for the Orwell Prize. @Mikepeeljourno

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