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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • abdullahi mohamud
  • 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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeremy from Preston UK
  • 04-28-18

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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  • Joseph Greene
  • 01-16-18

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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  • Richard Anthony Powell
  • 12-20-17

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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  • M. Griffiths
  • 12-09-17

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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  • Thomas Stoeckle
  • 10-23-17

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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  • Dan
  • 07-05-17

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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  • JBsfx
  • 06-14-17

Essential Reading

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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-05-17

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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  • Sam
  • 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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  • Anonymous User
  • 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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  • E. Stamatakis
  • 07-22-17

Excellent historical overview in today's context

Each and every lesson in this book is a prophecy where the world is heading. Very clear ideas with very accurate historical linkage

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  • Peter
  • 06-17-17

A must listen for under 30's

Well done Timothy Snyder (again) - this book is arguably the most important bit of literature in our current times. Nobody has so eloquently summarised the perils of the current world in a way that is simple and direct. The book provides practical and critical advice - to promote democracy and to be attuned to creeping perils of fascism and tyranny. To all the disenfranchised young people of the world - please listen to this book. I am going to buy hard copies to give away.

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  • Andrew Carter
  • 06-15-17

Excellent - no background knowledge needed

As someone with a newfound interest in global politics I found this to be such a great read, particularly because it didn't get bogged down in specific historic events. It didn't require the reader to have any real existing in depth knowledge of history but rather focussed more on the bigger picture patterns and ideas.

I'd recommend it strongly, and point out that he has a very interesting interview with Sam Harris on the Waking Up podcast that is very suitable 'extra listening' for this audiobook.

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  • Rob
  • 06-01-17

Current, concise and powerful

I can't think of a single more beneficial activity to spend the same amount of time on than reading this book, and then reading it again. The challenge ahead for the struggle against tyranny has become crystal clear for this reader. The author's historical lens provides a compelling comparison to contemporary events. I'll be purchasing a hard copy and fresh highlighter pen.

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  • Nathan
  • 01-25-18

Insultingly Biased.

Snyder uses history to make a point about some things which seemed more likely representative of Hillary Clinton than of Trump himself. He uses the basic that Trump was all evil and hence is able to control the line of thinking that the claims he wants us to use. It provokes thought, however, it's biased.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful