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In this riveting anatomy of authoritarianism, acclaimed journalist William Dobson takes us inside the stubborn battle between dictators and those who would challenge their rule. We are witnessing an incredible moment in the war between dictators and democracy-waves of protests are sweeping Syria and Yemen and despots have fallen in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. But the Arab Spring is only the latest front in a global battle between freedom and repression, a battle that, until recently, dictators have been winning hands-down. The problem is that today's authoritarians are not like the frozen-in-time, ready-to-crack regimes of Burma and North Korea. They are ever-morphing, technologically savvy, and internationally connected, and have replaced more brutal forms of intimidation with subtle coercion. They run "free" elections and allow opposition parties. Their speeches make reference to human rights. They concede ground in order to maintain it. And even as a growing global army of democracy advocates have challenged their power, the dictators have honed new strategies to preserve it . The Dictator's Learning Curveexplains this historic moment and provides crucial insight into the fight for democracy.