On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

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Tim Duggan Books, 2017 - HISTORY - 126 pages
#1 New York Times Bestseller * A historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America's turn towards authoritarianism.

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.

On Tyranny is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come.

"Mr. Snyder is a rising public intellectual unafraid to make bold connections between past and present." --The New York Times
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - atdCross - LibraryThing

Great nuggets of wisdom to discern methods used by those inclined to be tyrants and how to head it off protecting our fragile democracy, especially in light of Trump's attempted coup d'état on 11/6/2020. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kcshankd - LibraryThing

Sobering, finally read in a day after having it nearby for a couple years. I fear that 2022 and especially 2024 will prove a further test than 2020 did, as Republicans are no longer hiding their contempt for election officials and the will of the electorate. Read full review

Contents

Do not obey in advance
17
Defend institutions
22
Beware the oneparty state
26
Take responsibility for the face of the world
32
Remember professional ethics
38
Be wary of paramilitaries
42
Be reflective if you must be armed
47
Stand
51
Make eye contact and small talk
81
Practice corporeal politics
83
Establish a private life
87
Contribute to good causes
92
Learn from peers in other countries
95
Listen for dangerous words
99
Be calm when the unthinkable arrives
103
Be a patriot
111

Be kind to our language
59
Believe in truth
65
Investigate
72
Be as courageous as you can
115
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About the author (2017)

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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