Review of On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth CenturyOn Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An essential and easy read for the times. Times that portend the end of American democracy and descent into authoritarianism, should Biff (think Back to the Future, the movie), AKA Donald J. Trump, be reelected. Noted historian Snyder has the expertise to describe the historical antecedents from Germany, Russia and more to how tyranny arises. Unfortunately, that happened elsewhere with the acquiescence of the populace. It
could
happen here.

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.

So says the back cover of Timothy Snyder’s book. Snyder offers twenty lessons from the last century, in short and simple chapters in this powerful book. Which makes the author eerily prescient on what was to come during the next three and one half years of the Trump administration.

But then, Donald J. Trump was not a complete unknown by the 2016 election—he had announced a campaign the year before and had made countless appearances and tweets even before the inaugural. There was the transition and the inaugural as well—which gave many clues on what was in store for America.

Snyder had the goods on Trump before the current president got started on his path to destroying the rule of law, setting America back decades of progress on so many fronts and–through his appointment of uninformed sycophants to key positions, managed to fail overwhelmingly at dealing with the worst health crisis in 100 years.

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NOTE: Coming late this month, more on this book, plus many more and other great topics in the 2nd  Eagle Peak Annual. Stay “tuned.”

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Acknowledgements: Quotation from back cover of "On Tyranny"

2 thoughts on “Review of On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder”

  1. Speaking of sycophants, I just heard the King just hired a science denier to lead the climate change program with NOAA. And yes, I read that book 4 years ago and haven’t stopped recommending it as vital reading, along with Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here, a fictional tale written in 1930s about how one man and his con clan took over the American government and what ensued. I’m pretty sure Lewis had a crystal ball!

    1. Yes, the climate change denier–more of the same. Plus both Roger Stone and his protege Michael Caputo HHS spokesperson have gone even more bonkers in public than DJT–yes, it IS possible!

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