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Publisher's Summary

With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy was thought to be absolute. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. But we now know this to be premature. Authoritarianism first returned in Russia, as Putin developed a political system dedicated solely to the consolidation and exercise of power. In the last six years, it has creeped from east to west as nationalism inflames Europe, abetted by Russian propaganda and cyberwarfare. While countries like Poland and Hungary have made hard turns toward authoritarianism, the electoral upsets of 2016 revealed the citizens of the US and UK in revolt against their countries' longstanding policies and values.
But this threat to the West also presents the opportunity to better understand the pillars of our own political order. In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy. By showcasing the stark choices before us - between equality or oligarchy, individuality or totality, truth and falsehood - Snyder restores our understanding of the basis of our way of life, offering a way forward in a time of terrible uncertainty.
©2018 Timothy Snyder (P)2018 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Combining topical reporting with delvings into the history of ideas and some political-philosophical musing in the author’s own voice, this relatively short book covers a vast canvas.... A roller-coaster world calls for a news editor's skill in processing facts and a philosopher's ability to dissect ideologies. Snyder has both." (The Economist)  
"The Road to Unfreedom offers a brief, potent and carefully documented history of Vladimir Putin's consolidation of power in Russia, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election." (Chicago Tribune
 "We are living in dangerous times, Timothy Snyder argues forcefully and eloquently in his new book.... To understand Putin, Snyder argues persuasively, you must understand his ideas.... The Road to Unfreedom is a good wake-up call." (The New York Times Book Review
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 04-14-18

Fascinating Exploration of Current Events

Anyone who has been trying to make sense of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the 2016 U.S. elections, and Russian actions more generally will likely find this of interest. It describes the ideological inspiration behind Putin and his cronies and their reasoning for interfering in other countries. By combining recent history, current events, and the philosophies of several important ideological figures with his own observations from long study of Europe, Timothy Snyder has done the best job so far of making sense of these events.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Richard Keohane on 04-08-18

A Key Understanding of Modern Politics

Would you consider the audio edition of The Road to Unfreedom to be better than the print version?

The Road to Unfreedom is a dense text, delving with deliberate action into history, philosophy, and politics. Listening can be mentally less taxing than reading.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The book gives a comprehensive understanding of political narratives, and which ones are enticing but hollow and which ones aren't sexy but enrich nations and their citizens. It made me reconsider many of my political beliefs.

Which scene was your favorite?

The division of Identity Politics vs. Prosperity Politics made me rethink how I vote.

If you could give The Road to Unfreedom a new subtitle, what would it be?

The War Between Politicians Who Talk About Cultural Identity, Vs. Politicians Who Say What Can Be Done For Those They Represent

Any additional comments?

A must-read for those who wish to be informed about modern politics.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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