Monday, May 22, 2017

Book Review: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

Title: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
Author: Timothy Snyder
Pages: 128 pages
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Tim Duggan Books
Genre: Nonfiction; Politics; Democracy
My Rating: 5/5

Summary
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
This book has been on my radar for quite some time, but it took Timothy Snyder appearing on The Daily Show to finally kick my ass into picking this one up. On Tyranny is right in my wheelhouse: a compact guide that links the past with the present. A warning, if you will. A big CODE RED.
"To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true than no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, than all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights." 
History gives us a glimpse of how how bad things can get, and empowers us to stay out of these traps in the future. This above passage on post-truth was particularly mind-blowing. WHY? Because post-truth paves the way to regime. If you say the truth is false (and enough people believe you), there is no law. There is no democracy. To go after facts, you must 1) lie yourself, and 2) say your opponents or journalists lie. Therefore, no one believes in truth and resistance becomes impossible. Does this sound familiar?

This small book is an endless resource in times like these and was probably made pocket-size for that same reason. Highly recommend.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this honest review.

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