"On Tyranny" by Timothy Snyder

By Timothy Snyder

Reviewed by Julia

ISBN 9780804190114

"On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century"
by T
imothy Snyder is a slim, slightly larger than pocket-sized guidebook for the American citizen who already has been or is prepared to be "woke" - a newly popularized slang term from African American culture. To be "woke" is to be aware of social issues, and our current political climate has sky-rocketed this volume to #1 in non-fiction paperbacks. These miniature essays refer to our modern experience in context with historic political takeovers by Fascist and communist governments, identifying the subtle and not-so-subtle societal surrenders that paved the course for complete power giveaways. Necessary civil alertness, argues
Snyder, ranges from use of language, eye contact, and maintaining one's private life, to choosing to stand out, investigating, and implementing courage. When certain citizen freedoms are slowly shunted, "do you 'choose to play the game'" asks Snyder quoting Havel, or do you work with vigilance to stand firm in your convictions, support your institutions, and refuse to acquiesce the rights of yourself and others? "Political regimes are not born overnight" is a known phrase. "Nunca Mas" - "Never again", is the mantra of the Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina.  "On Tyranny" is wonderfully structured call to stay "woke", and never succumb to the rapid progression of small obeyance towards the terrifying fencing in of humanity that is possible and still in existence in parts of the world.

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