The Road to Unfreedom

Russia, Europe, America

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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 absolute. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. But we now know this to be premature. Authoritarianism first returned in Russia, as Putin developed a political system dedicated solely to the consolidation and exercise of power. In the last six years, it has creeped from east to west as nationalism inflames Europe, abetted by Russian propaganda and cyberwarfare. While countries like Poland and Hungary have made hard turns towards authoritarianism, the electoral upsets of 2016 revealed the citizens of the US and UK in revolt against their countries' longstanding policies and values.

But this threat to the West also presents an opportunity to better understand the pillars of our own political order. In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy. By showcasing 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.


Praise for Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny
“We are rapidly ripening for fascism. This American writer leaves us with no illusions about ourselves.” —Svetlana Alexievich, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
“A slim book that fits alongside your pocket Constitution and feels only slightly less vital. . . . Grounded in history yet imbued with the fierce urgency of what now.” —Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post
“Snyder reasons with unparalleled clarity, throwing the past and future into sharp relief. He has written the rare kind of book that can be read in one sitting but will keep you coming back to help regain your bearings.” —Masha Gessen, author of The Future Is History
“As Timothy Snyder explains in his fine and frightening On Tyranny, a minority party now has near-total power and is therefore understandably frightened of awakening the actual will of the people.” Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker
“Snyder knows this subject cold. . . . It is impossible to read aphorisms like ‘post-truth is pre-fascism’ and not feel a small chill about the current state of the Republic.” Daniel W. Drezner, The New York Times Book Review

On Tyranny

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