Los Angeles Times

Q&A: Book sees parallels between Trump's presidency, erosion of democracy in other countries

As scholars who study the death of democracies around the globe, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt saw Donald Trump's rise to power as an alarming sign of dangerous times ahead for the United States.

The two professors of government at Harvard University found parallels with fascism in Germany and Italy before World War II and with Latin America's long struggle with dictatorships.

In the United States, they argue in their new book, "How Democracies Die," the threat comes not from a military coup, but from a duly elected leader who, like former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, subverts democratic institutions one step at a time in a steady march to autocracy.

"We must be aware of the fateful missteps that

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