We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Reading Timothy Snyder's "On Tyranny"

September 30, 2017 8:13 AM

Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats Book Group

At our first Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats Book Group meeting on Saturday 7th October, we will be discussing "On Tyranny" by American historian Timothy Snyder. From the blurb on the inside cover:

"History does not repeat, but it does instruct.

"In the twentieth century, European democracies collapsed into fascism, Nazism and communism. These were movements in which a leader or 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 extraordinary 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."

Written as a response to current potential assaults on democracy in the US, the twenty short sections are equally relevant to the vulnerable position of democracy and liberal values in the UK. Snyder starts each section with suggested actions for us to take, as individuals, so that we can fight back against the particular facet of encroaching tyranny that he goes on to describe. Does Snyder present a timely warning regarding the need to defend democracy, or does he overplay the threats that we face? Read the book and decide for yourself.

You can read a review of the book on the website of The Guardian:

If you are a member of Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats and you are interested in attending the discussion, check your emails from August for more information about our new Book Group.