On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

by Timothy Snyder


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#1 New York Times Bestseller

The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism.  Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804190114
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 02/28/2017
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 16,583
Product dimensions: 4.40(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Timothy Snyder is the Levin Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. Snyder is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and a permanent fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

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Excerpted from "On Tyranny"
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Copyright © 2017 Timothy Snyder.
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On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must be read by all who care about America and its future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Timothy warns us that historical cycles, inevitable good ends and eternal dangers are myths that lull our minds to sleep. They allow us to float with the tide. This is a necessary read for those living during the Trump administration.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this articulate explanation of the current seemingly unexpected and shocking events that are actually very predictable given the current American views.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read book for the Trump era.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scares me to death! unfortunately I think he hit the nail right on the head! I think our country is in for some hard times ahead!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book articulates for me what I felt but could not express rationally. Read it and see for yourself
TrueBlueCoondog More than 1 year ago
This little book is THE most important reading for today's American. A concise, non-biased realities presented based in FACT. Warning: it is full of mirrors. I am purchasing 2 additional copies to mail to my Senators!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A quick read - a must read! Especially during these times of chaotic democracy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Be warned vulnerable Patriots. Looks can be deceiving. Your strong man might actually be your greatest enemy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The most important book I have read this year! It is a quick read, but recommended reading for all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this to anyone wishing to understand our current political moment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ex .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A short well-written book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A "highly" recommended read for fellow Americans who love our country are truly concerned about our nation's current state of upheaval, dissension and division under the Trump administration. Thought-provoking and chilling - I read it in one sitting and I'm tempted to buy multiple copies to share with others. (...Should be mandatory reading for all members of Congress at this time.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sadly the book is so true. Well written and easy to read . All high school and college students should read .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don’t miss this. Tune into author interview/presentations on YouTube or BooK-TV.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a quick read but a must read. Calm, practical, insightful.
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Rosemary-Standeven More than 1 year ago
It is often quite clear when there is a dictatorship, when tyranny has taken over, when there is no free speech, and people live in fear of the government. What is not always clear, is how the country got to that point. Say, there was a military coup, or invasion or other revolutionary take-over, with guns and violence – then yes, that is how the dictatorship came into being. One day free – the next in chains. But many dictatorships start slowly, and insidiously. The rights of citizens and the freedoms that everyone has taken for granted disappear one by one, until one day the citizens wake up and it is too late – the dictatorship has already taken firm hold. This book is a warning against the latter case. It gives twenty markers of tyranny in its infancy – twenty changes to identify and oppose. The book was published primarily in response to the presidency of Trump, but also in response to the many populist and far-right movements that seem to be springing up all over the globe. Trump is not a dictator, and there is every possibility that he will get bored and go away of his own volition, but the precedents that he is setting in his time in office are already starting to erode American – and indeed world – democracy: the aggressive nationalism, the cries of ‘fake news’, the demonising of minority groups, foreigners and experts, … If Trump goes, will that necessarily mean a return to sanity and a free country? Or will the damage already done be too deep? What could come next? Likewise, in Britain a populist movement encouraged by lies, misdirection and a vain hope that any change will be better than the status quo, has lumbered us with an ill-conceived Brexit that will damage the country for at least decades to come – economically and spiritually. As Remoaners, we, who oppose Brexit, are daily, forcefully reminded that ‘the PEOPLE have spoken’, and that it is undemocratic to question the WILL OF THE PEOPLE. There is talk of there being riots and civil war if the WILL OF THE PEOPLE is not obeyed. Unfortunately, nobody actually knows what the will of the people is, apart from a nebulous desire of 38% of the potential voting public to leave the EU – but not how nor why we should leave. Two quotes I particularly liked were: “To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true then no-one can criticize power”, and “A nationalist will say ‘it can’t happen here’, which is the first step towards disaster. A patriot says that it could happen here, but that we will stop it.” To oppose tyranny requires many, many people being aware of the danger signs and acting on them. I am reminded of a poem by Pastor Niemöller, who was imprisoned in Dachau: "First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me." Another version updated for the Trump era can be found at https://qz.com/702497/the-famous-poem-by-an-anti-nazi-pastor-rewritten-for-donald-trumps-america/ The book is well-written and very thought-provoking. It needs to be widely read and acted on, but – as one other reviewer pointed out, the people who most need to read this book, probably won’t. It is a call to watchfulness and a reminder of the dangers of apathy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Actually a 4.5....very good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This should be circulated like Thomas Paine's pamphlets. Helpful to any revolutionary spirit.
Lark11 More than 1 year ago
This is a thought-provoking book, though reading it is probably a prerequisite to appreciating the true import of that praise. The first line of the prologue reads as follows: "History does not repeat, but it does instruct." History instructs by allowing us to examine similar events and then identify those common threads that run through them. It is the ability to identify these underlying commonalities that leads to knowledge and true understanding. Snyder seamlessly weaves the history and present together to instruct and illustrate those tools wielded by tyrants to obtain and secure power. He does this so effectively, that he basically reveals the "tyrant playbook." Instead of watching a chaotic play in real time, with players moving seemingly in random, unconnected ways, you get to see the underlying design of the action and how all the pieces fit together to accomplish the tyrant's goal. This is a short book, only 126 pages, and short pages at that. However, while it is short in length, it is long on impact. I expected this to be a relatively quick read that I would complete in short order and move past. Instead, it has lingered. In fact, I carry it in my bag and take it out to re-read various passages from time to time. The book touches on a variety of topics, including the danger of "screens," the absurdity of "rhinos," and the world-changing importance of the printed word. There are numerous examples of both strategies to fight off tyranny and ways to be of comfort to your neighbors, which make this both a necessary and highly recommended read, especially in light of the current state of country. As the opening quote states, "In politics, being deceived is no excuse." This book goes a long way towards illuminating the events of the day and reducing the chances of that deception.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so amazed by this book!You should buy it too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author sees Nazi government in our future after eight years of the most lawless administration in our countrys history