Saturday, November 3, 2018

Review: On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

Title: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
Author: Timothy Snyder
Year Published: 2017


Genre: Adult non-fiction
Pages: 126
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2018 Google Reading map): USA

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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.

Review: My daughter suggested that I read this book, so thank you Sophia! It's short so you can read it in one sitting and it's interesting so you want to. 

Snyder has twenty chapters, or concepts that he puts forth as things to watch out for and ways to act as a nation heads toward tyranny. They range from Do not obey in advance to Believe in truth to Be as courageous as you can. Each lesson has a one-paragraph summary of the idea followed by a few pages of examples from history in the twentieth century ranging from Hitler's Germany to Putin's Russia to the current situation in the US.

Snyder isn't saying that we're living in a tyranny, though he is warning us to pay attention, speak up, and not get pulled along. All super good advice. Vote. Pay attention.

Challenges for which this counts: 

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