On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

On Tyranny

An historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America’s turn towards authoritarianism.On November 9th, millions of Americans woke up to the impossible: the election of Donald Trump as president. Against all predictions, one of the most-disliked presidential candidates in history had swept the electoral college, elevating a man with open contempt for democratic norms and institutions to the height of power.Timothy Snyder is ...

Details On Tyranny

TitleOn Tyranny
Release DateMar 28th, 2017
PublisherTim Duggan Books
GenreNonfiction, History, Politics, Philosophy, Writing, Essays

Reviews On Tyranny

  • Lisa
    “If young people do not begin to make history, politicians of eternity and inevitability will destroy it. And to make history, they need to know some. This is not the end, but a beginning.” The closing lines of this extended essay, divided into twenty lessons on history in its relation to current happenings, speak to me on a personal level. That is what I have been thinking about, and working for, as long as I can remember. Learning from the ...
  • Julie
    On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder is a 2017 Tim Duggan Books publication. As a Professor of History at Yale University, Professor Snyder uses his expertise to lay out the importance of learning from the mistakes made throughout history, and to warn against a cavalier attitude towards the strength of our own democracy. The author lists habits we need to develop, and continually practice, in order to protect ou...
  • Matt
    History teaches us the tricks of authoritarians. We can’t allow ourselves to fall for them.(from a recent interview with the author; worth reading!)Reading this book is imperative. You may not get another chance.In twenty small lessons Timothy Snyder, history professor at Yale university and specialized in East European history and the holocaust, illustrates how oppressive regimes and authoritarian governments worked in the past and what might ...
  • Bill Kerwin
    As Duncan Black ("Atrios" at Eschaton) phrased it a few days ago, “I veer from ‘haha Trump's a big dumdum’ to ‘oh shit we're all going to die.’” Is Trump a clown or an autocrat? A buffoon, or a despot-in-training?I can’t give you a definitive answer, but I am sure of one thing: for those worried about totalitarianism in the good ole USA, historian Timothy Snyder’s little book On Tyrrany is an excellent guide to what to do and what...
  • Kevin
    Probably the most important book you could read this year. Please read it, then give your copy to someone else to read.
  • Elyse
    I had read Timothy Snyder before. I still remember that even though much of it was challenging to read - much of it gave me chills to. The book I'm speaking about is "Black Earth":The Holocaust as History and a Warning...published in 2015. And..... here again, Snyder is giving us a warning...and what's even more scary is some of the things he said in "Black Earth" give me more concern for those chills -- because I never thought those warnings wou...
  • Trish
    Snyder, a professor of history at Yale University, has written a pamphlet reminiscent of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, written in 1776, at America’s beginning. Snyder’s pamphlet contains twenty admonitions for us to consider as we pay attention to the political environment we see right now in the United States. The first sentence of Snyder’s Prologue brings us right back to our founding fathers, the Constitution, and the democratic republi...
  • Peter Bradley
    Please give my review a helpful vote on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/review/R3PWF91...A sad example of how ideology distorts scholarship.I purchased this expecting a thoughtful discussion about the lessons that an academic can draw from 20th century totalitarianism. I was hopeful about something insight and depth from the author of Bloodlands, which did a really good job of bracketing Nazism and Communism into a coherent narrative. This is not...
  • David
    This is a marvelous little book about how to avoid allowing one's homeland to sink into tyranny. The book really does contain twenty short lessons, practical ways to recognize tyranny and ways to fight it. This book was written after Donald Trump was elected president. Timothy Snyder, a celebrated historian, shows how Trump's ascendancy is on a slippery slope toward fascism. Snyder is an expert on the Holocaust, and he shows how the administratio...
  • Ted
    If young people do not begin to make history, politicians of eternity and inevitability will destroy it. And to make history, young Americans will have to know some."The time is out of joint. O cursed spite,That ever I was born to set it right."Thus Hamlet. Yet he concludes,"Nay, come, let's go together." conclusion of Snyder's Epilogue, "History and Liberty"NOTE: This is the review which drew me to the book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
  • Andy
    If this is the response to creeping fascism in America, we are in trouble.(Note: for suggested alternatives see comment stream below.) Obviously, Hitler is bad. And some of the advice is unassailable (Contribute to good causes, etc.) But beyond that, the little essays that make up this book seem pretty messy.-Before Hitler comes to power, it makes sense to stand up, speak out, etc. But after, it's more about getting out or going underground. If t...
  • Ammar
    Timely read for what is facing the free world in 2017. A Book to show how to be different, read books, find out the truth and don't be a blind follower, because between democracy and tyranny a thin blue line and many are tempted to cross it. Be smart Be a rebel
  • Montzalee Wittmann
    On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder is a masterpiece of what is happening now and this was written before the orange tornado. This book was based on past history and what to expect from tyranny...and boy does it match today perfect. This is one book each and every American needs to read. It is a short but power in its message. Wonderful!
  • Steve
    Something short (but not sweet).Something easy to read (but difficult to stomach).Something worth reading (but not because you'll enjoy reading it).Something scary - in that it could keep you up all night (except that, if you've already decided to read it, you're already up most nights after these long days).Something important, arguably written for a target audience (most of whom will not read it).Something that only a serious intellectual could...
  • abby
    I'm going to go a bit against the grain on this one. This book is like the Tuesdays with Morrie version of political activism. Its message boils down to this: Americans are not special; if we don't actively defend our democracy, we can fall into the same trap of authoritarianism that ensnared 20th century Europe (because apparently the lessons we can learn from the 20th century don't include the likes of Pinochet, Castro or the Khmer Rouge). Auth...
  • Bam
    I put a hold on this new book from our library system when it first came out in March and just finally got my hands on it. Either it is that popular or there are very few copies in the system. I was getting desperate and on the verge of buying it for myself. Now that I've read it, I definitely will buy it and stick copies in family Christmas stockings--I believe it is THAT important for everyone to read. Timothy Snyder is a history teacher at Yal...
  • Ioana
    Once an avid user of GR, it’s now been a while – something creeping up on a year. I’ve been reading some, and recently the pace has increased to pre-The-Traumatic-Event levels; in the weeks to come I’ll be hoping to catch up on both writing my own reviews and catching up with what my dear friends here have been up to and reading.Of all I’ve read recently, I decided to make this one my first review, so as to explain my prolonged absence ...
  • Tom Tabasco
    After seeing it pop up in my feed, with the de rigueur shining reviews, I've decided to read this book, which I find a magnificent ode to American ignorance. "I have a PhD so I can vent off against Trump and let liberals vent whenever they will talk about having read this book"Doesn't any liberal reader here realize that the Trump phenomenon has NOTHING to do with fascism ? I am from Italy and live in CA and I hear Trump being compared to Hitler ...
  • Paul
    "History does not repeat," Timothy Snyder begins his booklet, "but it does instruct." Of course, history instructs best when mediated through capable interlocutors like Snyder, who uses his formidable knowledge on the rise and fall of totalitarianism in mid-century Europe to assess what concerned Americans should do as they see their own democracy taking its first sliding steps backward into potential tyranny.I cannot recommend this work highly e...
  • Barbara (The Bibliophage)
    On Tyranny shook me. It’s supposed to do that. Timothy Snyder offers 20 concrete actions to take that can resist tyrannical behavior. Some of the actions he recommends are internal – such as believe in truth. However, he also takes that thought process and suggests external changes or stands you can take. For example, subscribe and support investigative print journalism.Snyder compares today to a variety of twentieth-century regimes, and the ...
  • Melora
    Mercy. I don't know how to respond to this book without reference to the current U.S. political situation. Oh well. As Alexander Pope would say, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” so on we go!No. Wait. On second thought, let's not be hasty! How 'bout I tell you right now that if you think Trump is doing a bang up job, that if those dingbats in the legislative and judicial branches would just toe the line, our fine leader would have A...
  • TheSkepticalReader
    “The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot. A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, “although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,” wrote Orwell, tends to be “uninterested in what happens in the real world.” Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelis...
  • Cheryl Kennedy
    What is patriotism? From historical examples and the current presidency, Timothy Snyder tells readers what it is not. It is not patriotic to dodge the draft and to mock war heroes and their families. It is not patriotic to avoid paying taxes when American working families do pay.It is not patriotic to admire foreign dictators. It is not patriotic to cultivate a relationship with Gaddafi, or to say that Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin are super...
  • Book's Calling
    Autor-historik nabízí konkrétní rady a tipy, jak se chovat, abychom v současném světě uchránili demokracii. Čerpá přitom z dějin 20. století. V knize jsou ale také stručné lekce dějepisu, takže se určitě i něco přiučíte (to byl třeba můj případ). Autor několikrát zmiňuje Václava Havla, což mě velmi potěšilo. Myslím, že by se tahle kniha měla stát povinnou četbou na středních školách. Já po ní jistě...
  • Lauren
    An hour well spent. A tool-kit for mobilization.Only downside is that he pulls solely from European historical models, but the truth is there and it is playing out right before our eyes.
  • Mary Alice
    This is an important book for all Americans today. It treats the rise of fascism and Communism in repressive regimes throughout the twentieth century, and compares those times to the situation in the US right now. I have read some chapters a few times. It's scary. Twenty easy lessons. Very short. Only you have to read carefully. Maybe the lessons aren't so easy. The overarching theme is that we must be careful and brave. There are lessons for pol...
  • Faith
    We can not assume that democracy will survive in America or that the system of checks and balances created by our Constitution will save us from threats from both citizens determined to tear down the system and foreign nations determined to destabilize it. This book is an introduction to both the threats and possible defenses. Personally, I am not hopeful that anything will save us from ignorance, stupidity and the worst characteristics of oursel...
  • Will
    This little book was written earlier this year in response to the shocking presidential upset to the South of us, and presciently, before the even more shocking support of white supremacy became apparent. The work is subtitled “20 lessons from the 20th Century” and the chapters, with titles like “Do not obey in advance”, “Defend institutions”, “Be wary of paramilitaries” or “Be calm when the unthinkable arrives” are very short...
  • Haaze
    This timely and brief book by Snyder is interesting, thought-provoking and disturbing. The author focuses on major political events in Europe during the 20th century that led to tyranny, war, loss of human rights and the death and misery of tens of millions of individuals. It is a rallying cry for citizens to consider the importance and fragility of the process and state of democracy in the modern world. The twenty sections hold great wisdom and ...
  • David Lentz
    It pained me to no end to read the brief but powerful, scholarly case of Yale Historian, Timothy Snyder, that our highest American ideals and beloved form of government are rapidly evolving from a highly flawed democracy burdened by the advancement of special interests, to an oligarchy and ultimately, potentially, a totalitarian state. Snyder points to 20 lessons based upon the realities of human experience studied through the lens of an Ivy Leag...