These are turbulent times indeed. Ultra-nationalist, populist leaders in power in Russia, India, Turkey, US and many more places. Snyder provides a list of twenty things ordinary citizens can do, not to get sucked into the spiral of potential dictators, drawing lessons from the twentieth century. Defending institutions, being aware of the dangers of one-party rule or domination, speaking out, and believing in truth, are some of them. The book does make a compelling case for being watchful, to ensure that the twentieth century history (rise of Hitler, persecution of Jews, the Holocaust, World War II), are not repeated. Some of the parallels drawn between today’s leaders and Hitler are chilling. However, the writing, when it’s theorizing, is not engaging. It holds attention only when there are examples of twentieth century that bear an unpleasant resemblance with today’s events.
Read, if some of today’s leaders are ruining your sleep.