On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

On Tyranny

A 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 o...

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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • Kevin Kelsey
    Probably the most important book you could read this year. Please read it, then give your copy to someone else to read.
  • 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...
  • Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
    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...
  • 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...
  • Trish
    Snyder, a professor of history at Yale University, has written a pamphlet reminiscent of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense which was 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 democrati...
  • David Schaafsma
    “History does not repeat, but it does instruct.”--Snyder“I love the poorly educated”--TrumpI carried this little book in my back pocket at the recent Chicago march against the incarceration of children and separation of families policy of the current U. S. administration. It’s a pamphlet written by a Holocaust historian to help us look for and mobilize against fascist tendencies. It contains twenty lessons he has gleaned from his histor...
  • 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...
  • Richard Derus
    Rating: 5* of fiveNot for its perfection of style but for its perfection of wisdom and its amazing timeliness. As I write this today, 24 March 2018, I saw the face of our future president in Emma Gonzalez as she stood silent, focused, determined, at a march made by young people to demand their lives be protected from ammosexual assholes. She spoke for six minutes and twenty seconds in total, the same amount of time that it took one piece of shit ...
  • 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...
  • Jan Rice
    This book at bottom is a version of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,But the times are out of joint, so I forgot--It didn't all happen at once. The soil was prepared:In my time and place--maybe every time and place--confusion was sown,The way to clear thinking not made straight. Once we knew, though, that everyone in the class should get a valentine card (if anyone did)And everyone should be invited to the birthday party--Black...
  • Michael Ferro
    It's sad how timely and necessary this book is, but that's modern America. We live in a broken country gone hog wild on greed. A book like this can help change that. No matter your politics, fascism and authoritarianism arise when we're looking another way, distracted, numb to history. The only way to get out in front of and stop a tyrant is to know what we're looking for. A book like this can save our country and unite us toward a common goal of...
  • 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!
  • Lilo
    With hundreds of reviews* of this little book on Goodreads and 1,800 on Amazon, what can I say that has not already been said before?Well, first of all, I would like to say: “Thank you, Timothy Snyder, for writing these so very necessary twenty lessons and writing them in an easy-comprehensible way, in a small booklet that can be read in a few hours.”If I were as filthy rich as You Know Who, I’d buy 100 mio copies of this gem and have them ...
  • 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 ...
  • Bam cooks the books ;-)
    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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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...
  • Malia
    Though this wasn't exactly groundbreaking, the author succinctly and thoughtfully outlines what it takes not to succumb to tyranny of any kind, how to foster behaviors and values within ourselves and in our environment to protect and educate ourselves. Snyder is a scholar of fascism, and that comes across clearly in his confidence and ability to illustrate a point with poignant examples. This is a very short book, and I would recommend it as a qu...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Esil
    On Tyranny is one of those books everybody should read. It’s short and goes directly to the point, drawing strong parallels between fascist and totalitarian regimes of the 20th century and recent politics in the 21st century. The message is clear: remembering and understanding history matters.This works excellently as an audio read by the author.
  • 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...
  • Jeff Dawson
    What a wonderful collection of absurd conclusions and utter hippocratic left wing garbage!I’m not surprised so many liberals are clamoring, “You Must Read this Before it’s TOO Late!” Too late for what? The country being turned around and law and order restored on the streets? Or perhaps attempting to get the deficit under control and the economy back on track. No that’s not what they or the author are talking about. It’s the dismantli...
  • Maximilian W.
    Allow me to preface this short review by explaining that I am not a fan of Donald Trump. In fact, quite the contrary: I believe him to be an idiotic buffoon with no idea of what he is doing or the responsibility he has somehow managed to undertake. That does not make me a supporter of Hillary Clinton or even, as America narrowly defines it, a 'liberal'. As such, I have tried to read this book with as much of a free and open mind as possible, unta...