The Rise of Global Authoritarianism

St. Louis Author Sarah Kendzior to discuss autocracy and the American future

Sarah Kendzior

ST. LOUIS – Join the Ethical Society of St. Louis for “The Rise of Global Authoritarianism” with local author Sarah Kendzior in person or online, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m. Kendzior, the author of “Hiding in Plain Sight” and “The View from Flyover Country,” will explore the rise of autocracy, paying particular attention to Missouri as the bellwether of American decline.

Her talk will examine the causes of rising autocracy – decades-long institutional rot, entrenched corruption, elite criminal impunity, digital media silos full of propaganda, and the embrace of groupthink and cults that tends to thrive in unstable times – and offer potential solutions to our ongoing crises.

“Sarah Kendzior is a modern-day prophet,” said Ethical Society of St. Louis Leader James Croft. “Her writing on American politics and culture is searingly honest, deeply thoughtful, and profoundly wise. At a time when truly dangerous forces are twisting American politics, we need voices like Kendzior’s to wake us up and get us to act.”

Kendzior will illustrate how Missouri has served as a petri dish for the end of the American experiment, a place where dirty dark money operatives test out their worst ideas on an innocent populace. But because Missouri has borne the brunt of these tactics early, she believes it may be better prepared to fight for the American future.

“While some might be put off by her diagnoses, we need to be honest about the challenges we face as a nation if we are to overcome them,” Croft said. “That honesty is what Sarah Kendzior offers, and that is why we are so delighted to have her join us for the Ethical Society of St. Louis’ annual Pacino Lecture. The Pacino Lecture is offered in memory of Nick Pacino, a member of the Ethical Society who was passionate about thought-provoking and timely ideas, and Kendzior is a perfect speaker to honor his memory.”

The hybrid event is free and open to the public. It will take place in the Ethical Society’s Auditorium at 9001 Clayton Road in St. Louis, and at  

The Ethical Society of St. Louis is a Humanist congregation where people come together to explore the biggest questions of life without reference to scripture, religion or God. To learn more, visit

Speaker Bio

Sarah Kendzior is the author of the bestselling books “Hiding in Plain Sight” and “The View from Flyover Country,” and of the upcoming book “They Knew,” which will be published in September 2022. She is the cohost of the Gaslit Nation podcast, which covers corruption in the US and the rise of authoritarianism worldwide. Kendzior has a PhD in Anthropology from Washington University in St Louis. She has written for a wide variety of publications, including the Globe and Mail, NBC News, and the Guardian. She lives in St. Louis.