20 Ways to Fight Tyranny In the USA in Book by Historian & Holocaust Expert< < Back to
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by news daily pouring out of Washington D.C. and the White House that you find confusing, depressing or just plain outrageous?
Do you think that our democracy is in jeopardy by threats being made by the President and other governmental officials against free speech and civil liberties? Do you begin or end your day full of anger or rage at what our government has become?
Do you feel frustrated thinking, as an individual, that you can do nothing to counteract the tide of authoritarianism projected from the Oval Office?
Well, if you do, then you need to read “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century” written by noted historian and Holocaust expert Dr. Timothy Snyder. This book is directed toward the average person and it outlines 20, very doable, things that individuals can do to protect democracy in America.
This New York Times best seller is only 128 pages and it is written in the form of a political pamphlet – like those distributed during our country’s early history, according to Dr. Snyder.
The book talks about the importance of “language” that we use in our daily discourse. “Freedom begins with language,” Snyder says. He also notes that authoritarian leaders also try to manipulate our language by repeating the same phrases over and over until they have become ingrained in our vernacular. He cites phrases like “Fake News” and “No Collusion” as examples.
He also cites the need, as a democracy, that we have for truth and he is concerned about how “truth” is often obfuscated by political rhetoric, talking points and purposeful clouding of facts by governmental officials.
Dr. Snyder also suggests that we get out of our Internet bubbles and echo chambers and actually talk with people face-to-face instead of always relying on others to formulate our opinions for us from media, governmental and political rhetoric.
If one follows the 20 steps outlined in this book, then democracy could be preserved and we could avoid an authoritarian takeover of our country, according to Snyder.
Our democracy is fragile, he says, and we, as individuals, must work diligently to protect it.
Dr. Snyder is the Levin Professor of history at Yale University. He also is a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.
Besides, “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the 20th Century”, he has written several other award-winning books. He wrote “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin” that won 12 awards including the Emerson Prize in Humanities. He also wrote “Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.”