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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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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 of 3 people found this review 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 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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!”

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Thought provoking!

A well argued and timely book which could well turn out to be prescient if we’re not careful.

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A message for our time<br />

This book has a vital message for 2018 and beyond. Do read it if you care.

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Ominous

How can we avoid a reprise of the mistakes of the early 20th century? The first step is to recognise the treats posed by Trump & Putin. This is a concise and eminently listenable introduction.

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Mandatory for everyone with a sense of civic duty

This is an important and timely contribution to understanding out turbulent times through lessons from history. #neveragain

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Really good, possibly alarmist

Love how brief it is. And has some well researched stories and quotes but also some less researched bits, but that's all forgivable.

All good advice, but think it's likely alarmist. Let's hope I'm right.

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Essential Reading

Essential reading for our time. The road to tyranny is slippery, comfortable and hard to reverse direction on.

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Terrific short non-fiction!

Quick and easy. A great wake up call on our perception of and relationship with power. Was extra nice that it was read by the author

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  • 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.