There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century

Mariner. Oct. 2021. 432p. ISBN 9780358574316. $30. POL SCI
This book by foreign policy expert Hill, combining memoir and political science, accounts for her 30-year career as a specialist in U.S.–Russia relations, provides insights on political divisions in the United States, and argues that declining economic opportunity can spark authoritarianism. Hill made headlines in 2019 when she testified before Congress during the first Trump impeachment hearing, as a former National Security Council official in the Trump administration. Here she relates the personal challenges she overcame to reach that position. Hill grew up in the economically distressed North East region of England, after the collapse of coal mining industries. She left the region to study internationally, including a year spent in the Soviet Union as its empire was collapsing. In 1989, Hill received a scholarship to the Harvard Kennedy School where she studied economic inequality in the U.S., UK, and Russia. With her knowledge of post-Soviet Russia, Hill makes a convincing case that populism can slide into authoritarianism if citizens and leadership are not vigilant and demonstrates similar political outcomes throughout the world.
VERDICT Readers interested in Hill’s life and in international relations will be well informed by this book; her reporting of behind-the-scenes activity in the Trump White House will also fascinate.
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