On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Timothy Snyder / Dec 11, 2019

On Tyranny Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century An historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America s turn towards authoritarianism On November th millions of Americans woke up to the impossible the election of Donald Drump

  • Title: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
  • Author: Timothy Snyder
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 146
  • Format: Audible Audio
  • 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 Drumpf 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 dAn 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 Drumpf 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 one of the most celebrated historians of the Holocaust In his books Bloodlands and Black Earth, he has carefully dissected the events and values that enabled the rise of Hitler and Stalin and the execution of their catastrophic policies With Twenty Lessons, Snyder draws from the darkest hours of the twentieth century to provide hope for the twenty first As he writes, Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism and communism Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience Twenty Lessons 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.

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      Published :2019-09-06T22:11:56+00:00

    About "Timothy Snyder"

      • Timothy Snyder

        Timothy Snyder is Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997, where he was a British Marshall Scholar He has held fellowships in Paris, Vienna, and Warsaw, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard His most recent book is Black Earth The Holocaust as History and Warning, published in September 2015 by Crown Books He is author also of Bloodlands Europe Between Hitler and Stalin 2010 , a history of Nazi and Soviet mass killing on the lands between Berlin and Moscow A New York Times bestseller and a book of the year according to The Atlantic, The Independent, The Financial Times, the Telegraph, and the New Statesman, it has won twelve awards including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought.His other award winning publications include Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles Krauz 1998 The Reconstruction of Nations Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569 1999 2003 Sketches from a Secret War A Polish Artist s Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine 2005 The Red Prince The Secret Lives of A Habsburg Archduke 2008 , and Bloodlands Europe Between Hitler and Stalin 2010 Snyder helped Tony Judt to compose a thematic history of political ideas and intellectuals in politics, Thinking the Twentieth Century 2012 He is also the co editor of Stalin and Europe Terror, War, Domination and Wall Around the West State Power and Immigration Controls in Europe and North America 2001 Snyder was the recipient of an inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellowship in 2015 He is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and sits on the advisory council of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research Research.He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in modern East European political history.


    1. “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 past is not only a widely neglected subject in sch [...]

    2. 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 ourselves and our country, from falling prey to tyra [...]

    3. 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 be done to avoid and crush them in the present. Th [...]

    4. Probably the most important book you could read this year. Please read it, then give your copy to someone else to read.

    5. 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 to watch out for.Snyder is an excellent source fo [...]

    6. 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 Warningpublished in 2015. And here again, Snyder is giving us a warningd 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 would manifest in our country just two years later. This is an inc [...]

    7. Please give my review a helpful vote on - amazon/review/R3PWF91A 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 that book. To save those who might not know, author Timothy Snyder's centr [...]

    8. 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 republic they envisioned.It’s a small book, the quarter [...]

    9. 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 administration's policies are increasingly on a parallel course [...]

    10. 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: /review/showFor a real time source for the previously unthinkable, the "not normal" - t [...]

    11. 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 the author really believes that Trump is Hitler and [...]

    12. 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

    13. 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 tyrannyd 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!

    14. 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 change, of striving for democracy, and protect us [...]

    15. 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 distill - so eloquently - into bite-sized form fo [...]

    16. 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). Author Timothy Snyder lists 20 plans of action to "fig [...]

    17. 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 superior leaders. It is not patriotic to call upon Russ [...]

    18. 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 every single day. I consider that a deeply ignoran [...]

    19. روزهاچشم به اسمارت‌فون‌هایمان دوخته بودیم که تصاویر تظاهرات سراسری مردم ایران را نشان می‌داد؛ تصاویر شعارها، حمله به فرمانداری و بانک و درگیری خیابانی و نیز تصاویر رعب و وحشت مردم از گارد ویژه، کتک خوردن دانشجوها، تیراندازی‌ها و کشته‌شدن‌ها: خیزشی که همه را غافلگیر کرد. [...]

    20. 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 to those who care to read about it (which I can’ [...]

    21. 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 Yale, who has written books on the Nazis and the Holo [...]

    22. 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 America back on its feet and “Great Again” in n [...]

    23. "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 enough. It's quite short – no surprise, as its ge [...]

    24. 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 historical parallels are chilling. As you can imag [...]

    25. “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 novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism “has no univer [...]

    26. Throughout the reading of 'On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the twentieth century' (Timothy Snyder, Vintage Publishing, 2017) the figure of Victor Klemperer resonates strongly. Klemperer was a humanist, philologist, and Professor of Romance Languages and therefore, a man shaped by language, culture, and books. His testimony of the Nazi Germany share many features with other witnesses but his condition of linguist makes Klemperer a sharp observer of the nazi's perversion of language. Klemperer fil [...]

    27. 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 ještě sáhnu.

    28. 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.

    29. 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 dismantling of the Electoral College and the ousting of the [...]

    30. 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 provide food for thought. This is definitely a boo [...]

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