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On Tyranny

Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
Narrated by: Timothy Snyder
Length: 1 hr and 45 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Politics
4.5 out of 5 stars (195 ratings)

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Summary

History does not repeat, but it does instruct.

In the 20th century, European democracies collapsed into fascism, Nazism and communism. These were movements in which a leader or a party claimed to give voice to the people, promised to protect them from global existential threats, and rejected reason in favour of myth. European history shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse, and ordinary people can find themselves in unimaginable circumstances. History can familiarise, and it can warn. Today we are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to totalitarianism in the 20th century. But when the political order seems imperilled, our advantage is that we can learn from their experience to resist the advance of tyranny. Now is a good time to do so.

©2017 Timothy Snyder (P)2017 Random House
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Why was I so slow to find this excellent manifesto and warning

Having listened to the audio version narrated by the author, I feel powerfully better informed and motivated to join a modern day version of The International Brigade “No passaran!”

1 person found this helpful

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Great and currently important

Loved it enough that I listened through twice in a few days! I'm English and feel quite strongly that young people in Europe and America need to know more history to enable us to maintain our progressive cultures, otherwise dictators may usurp power in a way we currently feel impossible having mentally consigned fascism to the past.

Well worth a listen, and has a recommended reading list in one chapter, so might be worth doing further research.

Well delivered by the author with no production errors!

3 people found this helpful

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Essential reading for our current age

An excellent, compact analysis of the lurch towards fascism in the West and what ordinary people should be doing to resist this tide. The lessons are familiar to anyone who has read any of the classic works on totalitarianism but Snyder introduces modern examples such as the Russian war against Ukraine and its attempts to destabilise Western Europe through disinformation and promoting right wing Islamophobes. Best lesson? Get off the Internet! Read a book and actually spend time talking to people outside of your bubble.

3 people found this helpful

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too short

i wanted more to be honest with you. i think i should have realised sooner it only goes on for a few hrs.

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A quick read to change how you see things

Short, snappy and made me realise that things are worse than I had previously thought. However, it does give practical advice so it is also optimistic. Everyone should read/listen to On Tyranny.

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O.k. read

Some interesting points with a similar structure to the 48 laws of power, but less detailed.

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Everyone should readThis book

Utterly absorbing. And full of helpful truths. This should be required reading in schools across the world. It's a wake up call to us all.

I'm going to get copies of this book for several friends.

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Important reading

Very thought provoking listen. Well read. Great anti-complacency brain food. Wake up and think. Highly recommend.

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Ridiculously short

This should have been a free book as it is only an hour and a half long

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Unbalanced political argument

Dressed up as a balanced piece to begin with. Ends up as a unbalanced political propaganda. Shame. Could have been really good. Also very short for the subject.

Voice was easy and prose was fine.

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Profile Image for Philip I. Kyson
  • Philip I. Kyson
  • 04-06-17

outstanding

A timely reminder of how to avoid the tyranny that is now at the front door of most peoples of the world. Knocking on all its guises.

1 person found this helpful