On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

In the twentieth 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 twentieth 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.

Timothy Snyder is Bird White Housum Professor of History at Yale University and IWM Permanent Fellow. He is the author of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.


Über Tyrannei: Zwanzig Lektionen für den Widerstand
Verlag C. H. Beck: München, 2017

Wir sind nicht klüger als die Menschen, die erlebt haben, wie überall in Europa die Demokratie unterging und Faschismus, Nationalsozialismus und Kommunismus kamen. Aber einen Vorteil haben wir. Wir können aus ihren Erfahrungen lernen.
Timothy Snyder, führender Historiker des 20. Jahrhunderts, wendet sich mit seinem neuen, dringenden Buch an die Bürger von Donald Trumps Amerika. Aber auch für uns Europäer birgt der internationale Bestseller Warnung und Rat.

Timothy Snyder ist Professor für Osteuropäische Geschichte an der Yale University und Permanent Fellow am IWM. Seine Bücher “Bloodlands” und “Black Earth” wurden in viele Sprachen übersetzt. Snyder wurde für seine Arbeiten u.a. mit dem Hannah-Arendt-Preis und dem Leipziger Buchpreis für Europäische Verständigung ausgezeichnet. Timothy Snyder ist Permanent Fellow am Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen.

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