For a time after the end of Communism, intellectuals and politicians across Europe and America celebrated a great achievement, a common progressive purpose and, very often, personal friendships. The euphoria quickly evaporated, the common purpose and centre ground gradually disappeared and eventually - as this book compellingly relates - the relationships which went with it completely soured. Anne Applebaum traces a familiar history in an unfamiliar way, looking at the trajectories of individuals caught up in the public events of the last three decades. When politics polarises, and authoritarians start to make the running, which side do you back? If you are a journalist, an intellectual, a civic leader, do you swallow what they are feeding you? When they appropriate history, or pedal conspiracies, or eviscerate the media and the judiciary, do you go along with it? Twilight of Democracy is a new kind of political writing, which shows how the personal and the political are inextricably mixed, and brings a fresh understanding to the dynamics of public life in Europe and America, both in recent decades and now.