Michael Signer is the author of Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and is at work on Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father, to be published in 2015 by PublicAffairs. A practicing lawyer, he teaches at the University of Virginia and is a principal of the Truman National Security Project.

True Villainy

Bettina Stangneth argues that Hannah Arendt got it all wrong when she argued that Adolf Eichmann epitomized the ‘banality of evil.’ He knew exactly what he was doing.


Chris Tomlinson’s Texas forebears were slave owners, but not until he saw the realities of apartheid in South Africa did he begin to truly process the pain of his own past.

From Sarah Palin putting targets on her enemies to Tea Partiers breaking windows, health care reform has inflamed ugly passions. Mike Signer on how America has overcome militant manias before.

President Obama’s thoughtfulness makes him a fat target for Republicans like Sarah Palin. Michael Signer on why Obama needs fire in his belly.