On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Two minutes in to this book, I said to my husband, ‘This should be required reading for every single person in the United States.’
Two minutes later, I amended that absolutely everyone. Everywhere.
The last two-plus years have been a surreal nightmare for anyone longing for a just, fact- or evidence-based world, ruled by democratic principles or adherent and respectful to the rule of law. We should have understood how fragile our democracies were. We should have known how easy it is for the likes of the Trumps and the Farages of the world to rile up racist, classist, xenophobic, misogynistic sentiments.
We should not be surprised by how quickly this all becomes the new normal. It’s all intended to exhaust us and wear us down. And, I fear it’s working a little too well.
I lived in Moscow as the keys to the kingdom passed from Boris Yeltsin to Vladimir Putin. And, I watched as the masses ignored his assault on the budding free press and democratic infancy of the post-Soviet era that favoured rampant oligarchy and corruption and as Putin crushed any sort of dissent or criticism. In a world run by those with the most power, it mattered not that one of the wealthiest individuals on the planet criticised Putin. He lost and ended up behind bars and silenced, because he pissed of Putin. I watched in horror as Russians declared their love for the man with the stone-cold stare who craved power above all. And, he still does.
Everyone–everyone—needs to read this book. And, keep it close to them as we watch the shit storm in the US primarily but elsewhere continue. And, everyone must understand that we are teetering awfully close to full-on, full-scale tyranny.
I’ll be reading this book again and again and again.
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