On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

by Timothy Snyder

“What good fortune for those in power that people do not think.”

You probably know which 20th century leader said that, but now in an era of Brexit and Trump and Macron our fragile democracies are once again weighed down by the burden of populism. A record 137.5 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election. That sounds pretty great, until you realize that there are 308 million Americans and thus not even half the people voted. Setting aside the utility of voting in what is essentially a one-party system, does the fickle whim of the mob inevitably lead to people like Donald "I love the poorly educated" Trump?

Democracy isn't simply voting for the candidate of your party every couple years. It's a constant process, and a huge part of that are the mechanisms that hold our elected officials to account. In On Tyranny, Yale historian Timothy Snyder details the new threats faced by our political order and mines the past for weapons with which to prevent it from falling again.