Epub Timothy Snyder Ó Ó On Tyranny Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century PDF

A historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America’s turn towards authoritarianismOn November 9th millions of Americans woke up to the impossible the election of Donald Trump as president Against all predictions one of the most disliked presidential candidates in history had swept the electoral college elevating a man with open contempt for democratic norms and institutions to the height of powerTimothy Snyder is one of the most celebrated historians of the Holocaust In his books Bloodlands and Black Earth he has carefully dissected the events and values that enabled the rise of Hitler and Stalin and the execution of their catastrophic policies With Twenty Lessons Snyder draws from the darkest hours of the twentieth century to provide hope for the twenty first As he writes “Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism Nazism and communism Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience” Twenty Lessons is a call to arms and a guide to resistance with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come


10 thoughts on “On Tyranny Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

  1. says:

    Some people say this book should be on your person at all times It's so worth reading and provokes great conversation


  2. says:

    “If young people do not begin to make history politicians of eternity and inevitability will destroy it And to make history they need to know some This is not the end but a beginning” The closing lines of this extended essay divided into twenty lessons on history in its relation to current happenings speak to me on a personal level That is what I have been thinking about and working for as long as I can remember Learning from the past is not only a widely neglected subject in school it is a necessity for democratic society to survive Step by step Snyder approaches the various undermining factors of fascist propaganda that have proven successful over and over again in the world He keeps it short and simple and refers to standard books by famous authors both fiction writers and philosophers for deeper understanding of the birth and maintenance of tyrannyHe also suggests different ways of resisting the political brainwashing tendencies and of keeping an independent mind in the midst of mob behaviour One root of fascist success is the general human need to belong and to conform and go with the crowd In a chilling example he describes the terror that Nazi functionaries were able to create with the help of countless regular people“Some killed of murderous conviction But many others who killed were just afraid to stand out Other forces were at work besides conformism But without the conformists the great atrocities would have been impossible”Hannah Arendt is cited describing the moment after the Reichstagsbrand when she realised that you could no longer be a bystander watching terror and misinformation hypnotise a whole nationAnother important topic often raised with my students in class is the dehumanising effect of internet traffic Inhibitions are cast off people forget that what they say is extreme and extremely hurtful They are feeling strong in a selected collective and need “an opposition” to fuel their discussions A simple suggestion is to get out in the real world make eye contact with real people and dare engaging in small talk with people outside your comfort zone This is a vital point especially in our Swedish environment where people naturally shy away even from basic forms of polite greetings The danger of disappearing in an unreal internet community feeding conspiracy fears and distorting reality is omnipresent My parents living on the continent for almost 30 years are shocked whenever they visit their home country and realise the complete isolation from other human beings in SwedenThe tyrannies of the 20th century used the mass media available to them at the time radio and later television to transmit their messages and now the internet fills that function We have one enormous advantage which of course has its negative aspects as well and that is our active participation in it Even though the flow of misinformation is part of the root of the new fascist success in the world it can also be used by people to gently bring nuance and knowledge into the debate“Since in the age of the internet we are all publishers each of us bears some private responsibility for the public’s sense of truth”I think that is of massive importance Think before you write reflect on conseuences for yourself and others and be careful not to add to the populist agenda by using the reductionist vocabulary and simplified nationalist fear tactics to convince people Snyder’s essay is short and only scratches the surface of a huge topic which deserves reflection than the author can possibly deliver given the format I nonetheless think it has a valuable place in the current debate for its clear introduction and reference to further literature as well as for the remarkable historical parallels which make the fault lines of history visible I can imagine reading it with teenage students as a point of departure for overarching discussions but also to read it privately as a simple reminder of what a powerless individual can do to intellectually survive in an increasingly poisoned political atmosphereA good solid recommendation Thank you Matt for encouraging me to read it I am passing it on to my own teenage son


  3. says:

    As Duncan Black Atrios at Eschaton phrased it a few days ago “I veer from ‘haha Trump's a big dumdum’ to ‘oh shit we're all going to die’” Is Trump a clown or an autocrat? A buffoon or a despot in training?I can’t give you a definitive answer but I am sure of one thing for those worried about totalitarianism in the good ole USA historian Timothy Snyder’s little book On Tyrrany is an excellent guide to what to do and what to watch out forSnyder is an excellent source for such advice for his major works are Bloodlands Europe between Hitler and Stalin and Black Earth The Holocaust as History and Warning Thus he spent a good portion of his academic career cataloging the increments that lead to tyranny and the harbingers that can alert us to its comingThis pocket sized 125 page book consists of twenty “lessons” Timothy Snyder believes are helpful both for observing and for preserving our republic and also keeping democracy alive within it Five I found most helpful were “1 Do not obey in advance” Don’t be like Austria anticipating Hitler’s wishes just to get along “2 Defend institutions” Don’t just assume newspapers courts and NGO’s are strong enough to survive “5Remember professional ethics if lawyers behave with honor it will be harder for totalitarianism to take hold “9 “Be kind to our language” avoid cant speak in your own voice read books and “14 Establish a private life” keep off the internet avoid “hooks” they may use to hang you”There are two others worth uoting at some length First “6 Be wary of paramilitaries” When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching with torches and pictures of a leader the end is nigh When the leader the paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle the end has come Second “13 Practice corporeal politics” Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen Get outside Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people Make new friends and march with them On Tyranny is a useful little book both disturbing and strangely comforting I’m laughing at Trump less since I read it and I’m less scared of him too


  4. says:

    On Tyranny Twenty Lessons from the twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder is a 2017 Tim Duggan Books publication As a Professor of History at Yale University Professor Snyder uses his expertise to lay out the importance of learning from the mistakes made throughout history and to warn against a cavalier attitude towards the strength of our own democracy The author lists habits we need to develop and continually practice in order to protect ourselves and our country from falling prey to tyrannical regimes He teaches us how to pick up on subtle changes and how to recognize the signs and symptoms of tyranny and authoritarianism He also advises us on what to do or not to do if the worst does happen Naturally the release of this book begs many people in the United States to make comparisons to our current political climate But the trouble isn’t simply one for America The current trend towards nationalism will remind many of another time when “America First” was a slogan and how the isolationism the world was gripped in was the perfect set up for powerful dictators and of course we all know how that turned out Still we have often believed those days are long over with and our democracy would never again regress or weaken Many have used this book to make comparisons between Trump and Hitler which the author doesn’t discourage out of hand but the book was not written solely for that purpose The book teaches that democracies can fail and how they fail and the lessons we should learn from those failures The lessons outlined here include many habits we should form and stick to no matter how progressive or peaceful things are in our country or with our relationships with other countries I personally believe our complacency in taking for granted our democracy is safe is a dangerous attitude to adopt I didn’t always agree with everything the author suggested I’m an extreme introvert so I doubt I will ever force myself to 'get out there' and 'engage in small talk' I also enjoy social media like Goodreads for example and I love technologies and the internet so again I doubt I will ever deliberately dial back my time spent online However many of the other suggestions the author urges the reader to try are things I already do I don’t have cable so mainstream media aren’t constantly infiltrating my head which keeps those trendy catchphrases out of my vocabulary as well I read print papers and read lots of books which is advice I can get behind The author does offer up a few suggested fiction and nonfiction titles that tie into his philosophies and I do intend to read a few of them I believe the author offers sound advice no matter which side of the political debate you are on If you learn the mistakes made by failed democracies learn your history make yourself aware learn to think for yourself I believe you will have euipped yourself with enough intellect and armor to make informed choices and be prepared for the worst case scenario “If none of us is prepared to die for freedom then all of us will die under tyranny” I hope people will not view this book simply as a comparison between Trump and Hitler because while it may be difficult not to make those parallels right now this book is one that reminds us that ‘History doesn’t repeat but it does instruct’ It is a book that will be important and relevant not just for the here and now but for all future eras of time as well 4 stars


  5. says:

    History teaches us the tricks of authoritarians We can’t allow ourselves to fall for themfrom a recent interview with the author; worth readingReading this book is imperative You may not get another chanceIn twenty small lessons Timothy Snyder history professor at Yale university and specialized in East European history and the holocaust illustrates how oppressive regimes and authoritarian governments worked in the past and what might be done to avoid and crush them in the present The book is clearly addressed at the American people but anyone anywhere with any sense of freedom and security for themselves and for their loved ones now or in the future must read it too The book has a sense of urgency which can hardly be ignored and which I actually didn’t expect from a historianThis is not a scientific work It is noticeable that the author has sought a language which is understandable to laymen and I think he found it Whoever after reading the book does not yet understand what hour the clock of the world has struck can not be helped The chapter headings correspond to instructions and the text contains reasons why it is important to act on them And acting now is crucial; before it gets too late That’s the author’s opinion and that’s the opinion of the reviewer as well#readingagainsttrump This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 30 Unported License


  6. says:

    Probably the most important book you could read this year Please read it then give your copy to someone else to read


  7. says:

    This is a very short well written clearly structured powerful warning and call to action written shortly after Trump was elected There are punchy and uotable epithets on every pageImage The twenty lessons chaptersSnyder is a Yale professor specialising in 20th century history including the Holocaust He looks at the rise of Nazism and to a lesser extent Communism to show parallels with 21st century USA especially Trump the tactics of leaders and the response of ordinary people “ History does not repeat but it does instruct”This was prescient when written It felt timely as I read it immediately after the DNC during the RNC and less than three months before the 2020 presidential election But when I finished it seemed too late and I didn’t feel I’d learned muchWhy read this?“ The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears It was their final most essential command” George Orwell 1984There’s not much new here if you’ve read Orwell and followed peoplesites like Amy Siskind since before she started her weekly list of “not normal” steps towards authoritarianism in November 2016 But if you’re struggling to understand the current triumph of populist strongmen and want historical parallels this is a uick and insightful primer regardless of what country you live inImage 12 Early Warning Signs of Fascism often credited to United States Holocaust Memorial Museum SourceConsider• “ Most of the power of authoritarianism is freely given”• “ Any election can be the last”• Symbols matter “ What might seem like a gesture of pride can be a source of exclusion”• Think of Portland and others See BBC re Trump's crackdown on Portland and Wiki on Portland protests “ When the pro leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle the end has come”• “The emotions of rallies and the ideology of exclusion” can challenge penetrate and then transform the police and military• Nationalism is not the same as patriotism“ A nationalist will say that ‘it can’t happen here’ A patriot says that it could happen here but that we will stop it”• “Defend institutions” is the second pointchapter Back in 2017 who envisaged the USPS being at risk? Less than three months before an election during a pandemic when postal voting will be vital the new Postmaster General has been removing and breaking up sorting machines and banning overtime But there has been a lot of push back from individuals as well as other institutions Enough? Who knows • Listen for dangerous words extremism terrorism emergency exception used to justify breaking norms and uashing oversight and opposition“ Citizens trade real freedom for fake safety” • “ To abandon facts is to abandon freedom” Hence “ Post truth is pre fascism”• Klemperer explained that “truth dies in four modes” modes not a seuence1 Open hostility to verifiable reality inauguration crowd size2 Shamanistic incantation “Lock her up” “Build the wall” Witch hunt Fake News3 Magical thinking One day it’s like a miracle it will disappear Coronavirus and open embrace of contradiction4 Misplaced faith saying Only I can fix itOdditiesAnonymityIt’s a warning to the USA but Snyder only ever refers to “the candidate” and “the president” even though the examples are clearly specific to Trump I suppose he wanted to make it generic but some of the examples are uniue to Trump describing avoiding HIV in 1980s NYC as his “personal Vietnam” a war he avoided and he does name Putin as well as historical figuresTerminologyThis doesn’t get bogged down with definitions of and distinctions between terms like fascism authoritarianism Nazism and totalitarianism In a book this short I think that’s goodWrongSynder claims a deceit of the Brexit campaign was a desire for a British nation state true though “sovereignty” was the term used But he goes on “ Such a thing never existed There was a British Empire and then there was Britain as a member of the European Union” Rubbish We didn’t join the EEC as it then was until 1973 and whatever definition of the British Empire you pick it was long gone by then Further having an empire or not is not directly related to being a nation state which can arguably be dated to Acts of Union in 1800 when we did still have an empire Personality cults “Dear Leader” cults of personality are not mentioned It was visible in 2016 later at the televised start of cabinet meetings and even so now The GOP didn’t even bother with a detailed agenda for the 2020 election just a 49 point bullet list that was widely paraphrased as “whatever Trump wants” It’s lacking in any detail and includes shamanistic incantation a whole section titled “Drain the swamp” with items than for Education magical thinking “Create 10 Million New Jobs in 10 Months” contradictory “Pass Congressional Term Limits” from a president who repeatedly “jokes” about having a third term and the alarming “Teach American Exceptionalism” is one of only two education policiesPropaganda techniuesThe power of propaganda runs through this book but it needs something about the techniues updated to include social media bots and conspiracy sitesNo indexIt’s just about short enough of an extended essay for me to forgive but in general all non fiction books should have one Nor is there a bibliography though he exhorts readers to step back from the internet and read books less likely to be distracted by spectacle mentioning several fiction and non fiction How it starts?Image Audience at Last Night of the Proms year unspecified but not 2020 SourceAs public life in the UK has become partisan in the last few years that is reflected in and amplified by our media My mother has read The Telegraph all her adult life It's an intelligent newspaper in many ways but with a strong conservative and Conservative bias Some of the stories she reads are deceitfully partisan and stoking culture wars against non enemies but they successfully distract from the mishandling of Covid and what will happen with Brexit after 31 December 2020 There were two such stories in a single day this week First was her outrage at the impracticality of making 5 year olds wear masks all day in schools which absolutely no one is suggesting though the government has now advised that secondary pupils should wear them where they can’t socially distance The other was the higher profile story about “cancel culture” and “political correctness gone mad” at the BBC because at this year’s Last Night of the Proms Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia would be played by the orchestra but not sung by the crowd Some of the words are controversial but the reason they won’t be sung by the crowd this year is that there will be no crowd in the auditoriumUPDATE 1 In response to the whipped up outrage which drew bombastic criticism from our oft absent PM the BBC retreated There will be a small choir to sing the wordsI can't fully deprogram someone who's 82 especially when it's been a gradual path it's that the paper has changed than that she has But I do challenge individual stories showing how they undermine her own values and beliefs or why they’re utter nonsense Her default is still to believe unuestioningly but she does at least listen to alternative views and sometimes accept them UPDATE 2 A clear case of Klemperer's open hostility to verifiable reality and magical thinking from our PM immediately defended by flunkies bold is mineBoris Johnson has claimed that 'huge numbers' of people are returning to the office amid a government drive to stop people from working from home despite a lack of evidence Pressed on the prime minister's claim on Tuesday afternoon Downing Street said the PM's comments were not based on any hard figures and that he was in fact expressing of a wish SourceDo somethingSupport the work of real journalists including paying to access their work The mainstream media is no longer mainstream “ It is derision that is mainstream and easy and actual journalism that is edgy and difficult”From Churchill not capitulating in 1940 as Hitler expected to Rosa Parks“ The moment you set an example the status uo is broken and others will follow” “ The individual who investigates is also the citizen who builds”“ The leader who dislikes investigators is a potential tyrant”You can organise online and the current pandemic complicates matters “ But nothing is real that does not end on the streets”Image Ieshia Evans peacefully protests in Baton Rouge July 2016 Source


  8. says:

    Please give my review a helpful vote on sad example of how ideology distorts scholarshipI purchased this expecting a thoughtful discussion about the lessons that an academic can draw from 20th century totalitarianism I was hopeful about something insight and depth from the author of Bloodlands which did a really good job of bracketing Nazism and Communism into a coherent narrative This is not that book To save those who might not know author Timothy Snyder's central thesis is that the current Republican President is Literally Hitler Of course this should probably not come as a surprise Every Republican president is Literally Hitler during their tenure and then they are rehabilitated as the Model of Bipartisanship to be used against the next Republican President who is Literally Hitler George Bush is now in the middle of rehabilitation as the Model of Bipartisanship but there are those of us who remember that not so long he was BushitlerI expected betterI wanted to give Snyder some credit for some his observations Some of his points about tyranny are classic and memorableUnfortunately I have to wonder where he was for the last eight years During the last eight years many people of faith have felt that they were under the heels of a tyranny that threatened to divide us from the rest of America and make us give up our freedom of conscience in order to avoid governmental oppression The 2016 presidential campaign began let us remember with the perennial Democrat shill George Stephanopolous asking an off the wall uestion about contraception Pretty soon we saw a presidential campaign largely framed around the idea that Catholics were UnAmerican dissenters who irrationally refused to pay for contraception The Little Sisters of Poor were reuired to toss a pinch of incense to appease abortion lest they face draconian penalties that would end their historic mission of caring for the poor Likewise we saw the government centralize and make a grab for a substantial part of the economy with that mis named Affordable Health Care Act that carried with the unprecedented intrusion into personal life and personal decision making by reuiring that Americans divert upwards of 20% of their income into the purchase of health insurance to the enrichment of insurance companiesAlthough any of this could be described uite easily as fascist we heard nothing from SnyderLikewise the last eight years has seen an unprecedented normalization of hostility to free speech as colleges have instituted speech codes and rules against triggering and have assaulted and intimidated people who didn't adhere to the progressive lineBut again nothing from SnyderDuring the last presidential campaign we saw videos of the loser's side attacking hitting punching throwing things at and assaulting those on the president's side We've seen riots in the aftermath of an election and attempt to get Electors to violate their oathsOne might have seen in this the image of Brownshirts and the destruction of democracy by ignoring the spirit of the law but again nothing from SnyderSimilarly we remember that under the former president the IRS was used in an unprecedented way to harass and target conservatives One might view this as an unhealthy fascist tendencyBut again crickets from SnyderIt is an interesting feature of Snyder's slim book which is easily read in a single sitting that it is so conservative For example Snyder gives teh very good advice that institutions should be defended uite right but notice this from his bookIt is institutions that help us to preserve decency They need our help as well Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you make them yours by acting on their behalf Institutions do not protect themselves They fall one after the other unless each is defended from the beginning So choose an institution you care about—a court a newspaper a law a labor union—and take its sideThat is good advice but I was amused at what his advice omitted My amusement stemmed from my lengthy reading into the Kirchenkampfe Snyder omits churches Obviously churches were a major institution in the resistance against totalitarianism although Snyder seems to omit this point In a later section he manages explains how Polish workers allied with atheist scholars to bring down Polish Communism without mentioning John Paul II or the Catholic Church The Catholic Church gets one reference here when Snyder observesThe one example of successful resistance to communism was the Solidarity labor movement in Poland in 1980–81 a coalition of workers and professionals elements of the Roman Catholic Church and secular groupsElements As if the Primate of Poland the Bishops of Poland and the Pope were just elements And this is from a history professorI have to wonder about this Is it just the case that a Yale professor lives in such a secular bubble that he edits the data to form his arguments? Or is it the case that he wanted to stay away from the tyranny of the prior eight years? Or is he simply an urban elite entirely out of touch with the country that voted for the president? I found this to be a not very edifying example of scholarshipSo Snyder is strangely uiet about one kind of institution but he is very conservative in his demand that everyone pay proper deference to the press and support it with money and loyalty And here again one wonders where Snyder has been for the last sixteen years It has come to the point where everyone knows that the mainstream press is an arm of one political party which isn't that of the current president Even Communist China has pointed out that media was biased in favor the loser The press has an approval rating lower than that of a cold sore's because people have seen the press blatantly misrepresent facts The time is long gone when the press can't be fact checked in real time and stories that were run during the prior administration can't be found by a simple internet search and set against current stories to show the slanting and bias of press coverageOn the other hand the most independent and professional reporting is often found among amateur bloggers who have real experience and while they may have a bias are not pretending that they don'tSnyder would properly have compared the modern mainstream press to the Gleischaltung version of the press that existed in 1933 Germany if he wanted to make a fair comparisonGiven the revelation through Wiki leaks that there were media members who running their stories past the Clinton campaign Gleischaltung is not too strong a wordHere is another example17 Listen for dangerous words Be alert to the use of the words extremism and terrorism Be alive to the fatal notions of emergency and exception Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabularyHow about racist? Or homophobe? Or Islamaphobe?Such things do exist but it seems to me that Snyder is entirely unaware of how dangerous words are used by his tribe to stifle speech and mark people as outcastsHere is an example where Snyder goes unhinged14 Establish a private life Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around Scrub your computer of malware on a regular basis Remember that email is skywriting Consider using alternative forms of the internet or simply using it less Have personal exchanges in person For the same reason resolve any legal trouble Tyrants seek the hook on which to hang you Try not to have hooksThis may be good advice but Snyder is injecting poison into the body politic by teaching people that they are presently at riskOf course those who are not on the left have known this for awhile Brandon Eich was fired by Mozilla because of a progressive campaign that was manufactured on the outrage that Eich had dared to participate in politics by donating to one side of a California Initiative that was passed Sadly we are at a point where private citizens are targeted for things they say on Facebook and the people who target on both sides justify their mean spirited actions by saying that their target was a bad person because the person voted this way or that or violated some piety or otherI was disappointed in some rules that Snyder didn't offer Here are a few1 Beware of those occasions when someone you like begins to cut away at the spirit of restraint that previously existed Hitler might not have been able to get his Enabling Act if Kurt von Schleicher had not led the way with his own efforts to circumvent the ReichstagLikewise although Democrats cheered and the media was silent when Harry Reid exercised the nuclear option it did set a precedent now that the Fascists control Congress Similarly there was loud cheering for the former president's use of executive decrees but what precedent did unilaterally changing immigration law set for the new president?At various times during the former president's administration I was put in mind of the dangerous precedents he was setting not unlike that of Schleicher See 2 Beware of the Coordinated Press The press has to be truly independent If it becomes a lapdog for one party it cannot fulfill its job of being a watchdog A population that has seen it be a lapdog for eight years will probably not pay it much attention when it continues to serve the interest of the party that is out of power3Beware of Charismatic Leaders who are called the Lightworker and make vapid claims about Hope and Change and being able to stop the rise of the oceans4 Beware of opponents of federalism and advocates of centralizations Hitler eliminated the federal states and centralized power such as coordinating political and economic power such as creating a centralized health insurance systemSnyder is histrionic The fomer president may not have seemed like an authoritiarian but to those who were put to the choice of religious convictions or penalties the former president was very authoritarian Nonetheless only those on the fever swamp did not believe that the former president was not going to surrender power to his successor The current president seems to have an authoritarian personality some might say New Yor personality but his policies tend away from authoritarianism Eliminating the ACA is a pro federalist position Reducing the size of government is anti authoritarianCertainly the media will be there to expose him And does any sane person really think that the president will not surrender power to his successor exactly the same way that the former president gave up power?Snyder is doing no one any good with this paranoid fantasyWe survived the former president as a democracy We will survive the current president as a democracy


  9. says:

    I had read Timothy Snyder before I still remember that even though much of it was challenging to read much of it gave me chills to The book I'm speaking about is Black EarthThe Holocaust as History and a Warningpublished in 2015 And here again Snyder is giving us a warningand what's even scary is some of the things he said in Black Earth give me concern for those chills because I never thought those warnings would manifest in our country just two years later This is an incredible worth reading uick read it's fricken sad it had to be writtenGiven out current political situation what stands out for me after reading this isIf we survive as a democracy it will be going against historyA small tidbit of interest that caught my eye in this book was the section about politicians and television It was a reality wake up remember of how we have taken the collective trance to be normal More then half a century ago the classic novels of totalitarianism warned of the domination of screens the suppression of books the narrowing of vocabularies and the associated difficulties of thoughtSnyder goes on to mention several worthy books to readRat Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 George Orwell's 1984 Philip Roth's The Plot Against Americaa few othersAnd one I have not read that my goodness I actually now see reason to read itSnyder saysOne novel known by millions of young Americans that offers an account of tyranny and resistance is JK Rowling' Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow If you and your friends or your children did not read it that way the first time then it bears reading again Twenty very common sense lessons are in this small book it's only 399 on KindleHighly worth readers time to read it


  10. says:

    If this is the response to creeping fascism in America we are in troubleNote for suggested alternatives see comment stream below Obviously Hitler is bad And some of the advice is unassailable Contribute to good causes etc But beyond that the little essays that make up this book seem pretty messy Before Hitler comes to power it makes sense to stand up speak out etc But after it's about getting out or going underground If the author really believes that Trump is Hitler and that Americans have had our last free election then much of his advice is dangerously counterproductive He says to read books but Mein Kampf was a book and Trump supporters love to read lots of books So this is not a differentiating factor between TrumpHitler and the alternatives In the first chapter he talks about the Milgram experiments The finding there was that about 65% of people will obey evil orders for no good reason So using this as a rationale for the lesson Do not obey is confusing A logical lesson would be Be careful about what you order people to do There seems to be a general confusion about what applies to ordinary citizens vs what is possible for a world leader like Churchill Ch 8 He recommends a bunch of books but it is hard to see these becoming popular manuals for promoting democracy The Rebel by Camus for example is a lengthy philosophical discussion of why it is so hard to get people to rebel against tyranny This brings up a uestion that struck me many times while reading On Tyranny what is the audience for this pamphlet? Ch 1011 Believe in truth and Investigate bugged me You don't need to believe in truth The truth is true whether you believe in it or not Reality exists You can know the truth This is very difficult and nobody can do this for every issue but you can do it for something And if you're not willing or able to do it for anything then you can just shut up and admit ignorance and not be all fanatical about it Because blindly trusting NPR or FOX or Clinton or Trump is still blindly trusting