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How to Lose a Country

The 7 Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship
Narrated by: Ece Temelkuran
Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Summary

An urgent call to action from one of Europe’s most well-regarded political thinkers. How to Lose a Country: The Seven Warning Signs of Rising Populism is a field guide to spotting the insidious patterns and mechanisms of the populist wave sweeping the globe - before it’s too late.

‘It couldn’t happen here’.

Ece Temelkuran heard reasonable people in Britain say it the night of the Brexit vote.

She heard reasonable people in America say it the night Trump’s election was soundtracked by chants of ‘build that wall’.

She heard reasonable people in Turkey say it as Erdoğan rigged elections, rebuilt the economy around cronyism and labelled his opposition as terrorists.

How to Lose a Country is an impassioned plea, a warning to the world that populism and nationalism don’t march fully formed into government; they creep. Award-winning author and journalist Ece Temelkuran identifies the early warning signs of this phenomenon sprouting up across the world, from Eastern Europe to South America, in order to define a global pattern and arm the listener with the tools to root it out.

Proposing alternative, global answers to the pressing - and too often paralysing - political questions of our time, Temelkuran explores the insidious idea of ‘real people’, the infantilisation of language and debate, the way laughter can prove a false friend, and the dangers of underestimating one’s opponent. She weaves memoir, history and clear-sighted argument into an urgent and eloquent defence of democracy.

No longer can the reasonable comfort themselves with ‘it couldn’t happen here’. It is happening. And soon it may be too late.

©2019 Ece Temelkuran (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"A brilliant analysis of how democracy can be starved to death. It's one of the most important books anyone could read at the moment, when public institutions are slowly being corrupted wherever we look." (Philip Pullman) 

"Temelkuran, a treasure of a novelist, turns a nonfiction eye to the burning topic of today: populism. Vivid, visionary, terrifyingly familiar, How to Lose a Country is essential reading for everyone on planet Earth." (Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Less)

"Highly readable and vibrates with outrage." (The Times, Hannah Lucinda Smith)

What listeners say about How to Lose a Country

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Narration

I really want to listen to this book but the author narrating the English version was a terrible idea. I regularly mishear what is said because of his accent to the point where I find it can't follow it.

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A must-read to understand today's politics.

I am a reader of Ece Temelkuran since her first articles started to appear on the newspapers, approximately 25 years ago. I always admired her journalist side and loved her style in her artices, hence I was a bit heart broken when she turned her face towards the literature. With this book, despite she tells one of the very sad aspects of our lives, I feel the warmth of being understood and being reflected: I am an astrophysicist, living in abroad in the last 10 years and struggling to find my home, appalling with the same question again and again "is this my country? This cannot be my country.".

This book is not about how we, Turks, lost our country. This book is about populist politics taking over the world. Hence it is about Turkey, as much as its is about the States, United Kingdom and many other countries.
If you want to have a better, clearer, deeper and a wider understanding of what the heck is happening in the world politics, I strongly suggest you to read this book.

You will hear about the women in Argentina, in the States and in Turkey, you will hear the resemblances between Melanie Trump and Sümeyye Erdoğan, and you will hear about how people try to cope with what feels incomprehensible at most times.

If you're a fan of the author you can listen it from the audible but my hypothesis on authors and poets being the murderers of their own children when they attempt to give a voice to them, still holds its grounds. So beware.

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Remarkable

A simply remarkable and essential book, written for our times by a remarkable and essential woman.

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  • Houssem Hajlaoui
  • 13-05-19

A must-read if think "it cannot happen here"

A well-written tale of how turkey shifted to totalitarianism with spot-on parallels with current events.
brilliant and heartbreaking storytelling..
can't recommend enough

1 person found this helpful