"Snyder’s book is addressed to the American reader, but its message is broader"by Annabelle Chapman / April 11, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in May 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder (Bodley Head, £8.99)
As Americans cope with the ascent of Donald Trump, the past offers a warning. “History permits us to be responsible: not for everything, but for something,” writes Yale history professor Timothy Snyder in his new book On Tyranny.
Snyder’s “20 lessons,” covering political parties, paramilitaries and propaganda, are drawn from Europe’s experience of fascism and communism, updated for the age of portable screens. Following paths trodden by Hannah Arendt, Czesław Miłosz and Václav Havel, Snyder has written a manifesto for surviving the political rampages of our time with our rights and freedoms intact. The passages on language and the death of truth, drawing on work by linguistic scholar Victor Klemperer, are especially timely.