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Publisher's 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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Customer Reviews

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By Philip I. Kyson on 06-04-17

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.

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By Amazon Customer on 04-05-17

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!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By abdullahi mohamud on 03-28-17

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.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By Sam on 08-23-17

The most important book I've ever read.

I beg you to read this. A hugely important book that is short, easily digestible, with every sentence hitting a home run.

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By Anonymous User on 07-27-17

piercing, insightful and concise

this essay-like commentary was incisive and clear, and provides great historical context to current events.

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