The Road to Unfreedom

The Road to Unfreedom

Russia, Europe, America

eBook - 2018
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"From the author of On Tyranny comes a stunning new chronicle of the rise of authoritarianism from Russia to Europe and America. With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy was thought to be final. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. This faith was misplaced. Authoritarianism returned to Russia, as Putin found fascist ideas that could be used to justify rule by the wealthy. In the 2010s, it has spread from east to west, aided by Russian warfare in Ukraine and cyberwar and information war in Europe and the United States. Russia found allies among nationalists, oligarchs, and radicals everywhere, and its drive to dissolve Western institutions, states, and values found resonance within the West itself. The rise of populism, the British vote against the EU, and the election of Donald Trump were all Russian goals, but their achievement reveals the vulnerability of Western societies and the uncertain character of Western political order. This fundamental challenge to democracy presents an opportunity to better understand the pillars of our own political order. In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, based on vast research as well as personal reporting, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy and law. By revealing the stark choices before us--between equality or oligarchy, individuality or totality, truth and falsehood--Snyder restores our understanding of the basis of our way of life, offering a way forward in a time of terrible uncertainty"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Tim Duggan Books, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780525574484
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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Sep 12, 2019

The subtitle of this book is 'Russia, Europe and America' and with its very current focus, it seems a little incongruous that it should be written by a historian, rather than a political scientist.But historian Timothy Snyder is, and he was a close associate and friend of the late Tony Judt, another acclaimed 20th century historian. Echoing the title of F.A. Hayek's treatise on market liberalization, The Road to Serfdom, Snyder's book explores the danger posed to the Enlightenment values of reason and reasonableness through two linked historical narrative forces: the politics of inevitability and the politics of eternity....

This book is meticulously footnoted, drawing both on newspaper articles (as one might expect in such a recent history) and academic texts. It is a fairly complex read, and in joining the dots it ranges across countries and events. In doing so, he takes the time to explain the event before weaving it into his broader argument. I found this book chilling and depressing. I'm not sure that individuals are going to have the strength to resist such powerful forces, and everywhere I look - America, Britain, Europe - I find even more reasons to despair...

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Apr 05, 2019

I think that this book is very relevant to the present-day events. From Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election of the United States to the Russia Military Intervention in Ukraine, this book opens up whole new perspectives on world political issues and conflicts. This book mainly talks about how that western media portrayed east-European far-right governments to be demolished and obsolete. This book discusses how misleading it is and why democracy jeopardized in this unstable political time. This book reveals information beyond the press headlines and it provides a deep analysis on the issues that western politicians are facing. But this threat to the West also presents the opportunity to better understand the pillars of our own political order. It allows us to analyze and understand the foundations of politics and why we even created a government system in the first place. By showcasing and comparing examples in history, the author shows us the comeback far left and far right regimes have made to liberal democracy.

I enjoyed this book because of the amount of information and how educated the author is on this topic. I was very surprised by the tactics employed by politicians to influence things without using any military force or treaties. This book not only discusses modern day issues, but it also discusses how we can solve the problem or improve the situation people face. I think this is a good approach, because you not only reveal the problems to the reader, but you tell them a way to resolve it. Giving a problem without a solution is just as useless as not saying it in the first place. Ideas are not simply thought out, but they are planned out. This is a very important point in this book. I rated this book 10/10 because of how important I feel that the matter is. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in global issues and politics.

Jan 30, 2019

This is an important book that provides an understanding of how Russia operates today and how their nefarious tactics are trying to undermine democracies.

I disagree with michaelfwood, the book does not really start after page 123. The whole book can be a little too academic at times but the first chapters are important. They establish the ideology, basically the warped philosophy of Ivan Illyn, that inspires the current Russian government.

Russia is a major threat to the current world order and this book admirably demonstrates that. Snyder explains how Russia has been influencing other nations' politics (brexit, Ukraine, 2016 U.S. elections) predominantly through internet activity. This book will and should make you mad. It confirms how much of a stooge Trump is and how he has been in Russia's pockets for some time. He was a failed businessman, fictitiously revived thanks to Russian crime boss' money.

Again, important book.

Dec 31, 2018

Snyder, a History professor at Yale University, lays out his theory for the rise of totalitarianism in Europe and America. His main thesis is that a society either believes in the rule of law or a politics of eternity where politicians manufacture crisis and manage the resultant emotions. The politics of eternity also believes that a nation is a victim of outside forces and must always be on the offensive. Snyder maintains that Russia has focused on undermining the democracies of Europe and America because it doesn't have the resources to take on its real geopolitical threat -- China. Snyder also lays out his case for how Russia managed to buy Donald Trump and the U.S. presidency in 2016. A provocative book with lots of food for thought and discussion.

Nov 03, 2018

the road from Russia's project to destabilize Western democracies, in order to validate oligarchical rule, leads eventually to Trump, but through disinformation already practiced and perfected in other geopolitical contexts, Ukraine, for instance - Snyder's "politics of eternity" vs "politics of inevitability" is an abstruse dichotomy he proposes which distracts for a while from an otherwise compelling narrative, but little by little makes eminent sense, and delivers a practical perspective from which to view our present complex political landscape

Sep 11, 2018

I found that this study went a long way in helping me understand what has been happening in Europe and the USA, and the role that Putin's Russia has played in the move to the right in these nations, and its influence on inexplicable events such as Brexit and Trump's election to the Presidency of the USA. Starting with a thorough exploration of the roots of the neo-fascism of the current Russian kleptocracy, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, and its attempts to destabilize the EU, the author sets the stage for an interesting analysis of rise of Donald Trump as a political player. The attack on factuality, the spread of fictional explanations for events (eg Russia's take on the Ukraine), that characterize Putin's oligarchical control are shown to be reflected in the Trump led politics in the USA, starting with the fiction of Trump as a successful businessman to his longterm reliance on Russian financial support. The roots of the stupification of the American public are clearly established and the threat of Neo-fascist dominance signaled.

May 11, 2018

This is actually two books. First there is 123 pages of tedious verbiage in pursuit of the author's Grand Theory. The rest of the book, however, is superb. Do yourself a favor and skip directly to page 124. You won't miss anything significant.


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Dec 31, 2018

"A politician of eternity such as Trump uses false beliefs about past and present to justify fictional policies that reaffirm those false beliefs, making of politics an eternal struggle against enemies."


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