It’s a scene that has repeated itself for over a century: A man appears on the political landscape who seems to stand for something new and grand. Skilled in the arts of self-presentation and emotional manipulation, he captures the hearts and minds of millions, telling them he will clean up the country. Soon, a personality cult forms around him. Religious figures embrace him as a savior who will bring order to a disordered world. And yet, day after day, he courts the most extremist elements in society, encouraging them to see him as a victim of his many enemies. When his power is threatened, he summons them to defend him, throwing his country into chaos — or even dragging it into civil war.