This review, originally published in Critics at Large is reproduced on this site because the On Tyranny offers helpful thoughts on how citizens can avoid crossing the line into darkness and becoming complicious with a president that has no clue that there is a line.
|Historian Timothy Snyder speaking in 2016.|
"Americans today are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism in the twentieth century. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so."
“To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.”
“Post-truth is pre-fascism.”
– Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny.
Recently, I was fortunate to hear in Toronto a stimulating talk by distinguished Yale historian, Timothy Snyder, author of acclaimed monographs Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning and his latest, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (Tim Duggan Books, 2017). His talk was followed by a Q&A with CBC correspondent, Susan Ormiston. It turned out that his presentation was more an expansion of the epilogue in On Tyranny that explores two paradigms leading to worldviews that founder on an insufficient knowledge of history, while the interview with Ormiston directly related to the lessons Snyder posits in that slim (a mere 126 pages) but substantive volume.