On Tyranny

On Tyranny

Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century

Book - 2017
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"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."-- Amazon.com
Publisher: New York :, Tim Duggan Books,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780804190114
0804190119
Characteristics: 126 pages ; 16 cm

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Not bad, but pretty goofy. It's a preachy book, so if you don't like that, this book is not for you. Preachy books are okay, as long as there's something else in there that makes it all worthwhile, like tons of valid info or a funny style. This book has neither, unfortunately. Too many times he presents information that he’s pulled directly from his backside. A lot of his material is logically sound, but it’s not new. A reasonably “edumacated” liberal already knows the stuff presented in this book. So, it becomes preaching to the choir, or worse, YAWN.

He rails against criticisms of the “main stream media”—which is actually the corporate media. And I know why: The establishment, corporate media adores him. The New York Times, and its cocktail crowd, lavishes kudos upon him. That’s why he sounds older than me—yet, he’s younger than moi. The establishment is old and boorish—and he’s proud to be a part of it. And they can’t stand people like Noam Chomsky—which, for me, is many times the scholar Snyder will ever be.

But he really goes off the rails when he talks about the “internets.” The printed word is so much more valuable and honest when compared to words on a screen. Yeah, he essentially says that! Ugh.

Enjoy your next, elite cocktail party, Mr. Snyder. Cheerio!

SnoIsleLib_DeniseD Sep 05, 2017

Concise and essential.

k
katm3
Aug 22, 2017

Pathetic book! From a professor at the 'Skull and Bones' headquarters, Yale.

For starters, no mention of how the CIA rescued and recruited countless Nazis, or the American businessmen, like Prescott Bush, who financed Hitler's rise to power. No mention of the fact that the CIA, in partnership with the School of Assassins, has interfered with elections and installed dictators in every foreign country to secure the interests of corporations, which is what U.S. "national security" really stands for. No mention of the "weapons of mass destruction in Iraq" lie of 2003 repeated by the same corporate-owned media who are now trying to rally hatred against Russia.

And which part of "no" do these elitist Hillary supporters still not understand? Yet, we're all expected to believe that the most unpopular candidate in history, who committed blatant election fraud in the DNC primary, is really a victim of Russian interference in the general election? Really? Simultaneously screaming at us Hillary-refusers for being "republican" while ignoring our main complaint about the Clintons and Obama is that they do a better job expanding the ugliest policies of the corporate elites than their republican counterparts Bush Jr and Sr could ever get away with?

Not to mention that 'patriotism' and fascism' have the same definition in the dictionary-- "love of country/nation," neither of which democracy has any use for...

Don't waste your time with this trite crap from Yale.

Read Eric Lichtblau's 2014 research on the CIA's recruitment of Nazis instead. Or read James Douglass's 2006 book on JFK and the Unspeakable. Or look at SOAWatch dot org to see the seemless transition from Bush Sr to Clinton to Bush Jr to Obama to Trump on U.S. training of mercenaries to torture and kill dissidents who dare to speak out against our CIA-installed dictators... or check out globalresearch dot ca to see how Russia is literally the only defense most of the world has against the unspeakable atrocities committed by the US/Saudi/Israeli coalition.

quite handy, and portable. "In the Soviet Union under the rule of Joseph Stalin, prosperous farmers were portayed on propaganda posters as pigs..A neighbor portrayed as a pig was someone whose property you could take. But those who followed the symbolic logic became victims in their turn."

m
mclarjh
Aug 09, 2017

Concise. Target audience: Americans.

l
lukasevansherman
Aug 01, 2017

This slim little book by Yale professor (Fancy!) could either be filed under no sh** Sherlock if you know your history of how to/self-help (If you're in the Trump administration.)

JCLMELODYK Jul 28, 2017

Republicans will mostly hate this little book. Democrats will mostly love this little book.

There are such good gems in this slim volume such as -

"Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just polite. It is part of being a citizen and a responsible member of society. It is also a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down social barriers, and understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life."

I just wish he would have made his wonderful points "Learn from peers in other countries," "Investigate," without comparing the current President to Hitler. This obfuscates and angers conservatives when his hope is to enlighten.

s
shayshortt
Jul 21, 2017

On Tyranny is a brief tract that can be read in an hour, but offers up thoughts and ideas that deserve much longer attention and consideration. It is a very short and accessible primer on the warning signs of authoritarianism, and the early actions that can be taken by ordinary people to guard against it. It is by no means comprehensive, but is excellent food for thought nevertheless. Think of this as politic disaster preparedness. You hope that you’ll never need that earthquake kit in your closet, but if the big one hits, you’ll be happy you prepared.

Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2017/07/20/on-tyranny/

m
Memawrayne
Jul 17, 2017

A little treasure. It reminds us how precious our democracy is and how delicate. Without support and nurturing from patriotic Americans, it cannot survive.

h
hgibbins
Jun 29, 2017

A very good overview of humans passion for inflicting suffering on other humans. In retrospect I believe the author should probably have not confined himself to just the 20th Century, as some of the atrocities that were perpetrated in the 20th Century had their roots much earlier in history.

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MichaelECasey Apr 25, 2017

MichaelECasey thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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shayshortt
Jul 21, 2017

In On Tyranny, Yale History professor Timothy Snyder offers twenty principles for resisting authoritarian government, drawing cautionary examples from twentieth century European history. It grew out of a Facebook post Snyder made in the aftermath of America’s 2016 election. In it, he attempts to bring his wide knowledge of European history, and the collapse of democracies, to bear on the current political moment.

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shayshortt
Jul 21, 2017

The mistake is to assume that rulers who come to power through institutions cannot change or destroy those very institutions.

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