Cover Image: On Tyranny Graphic Edition

On Tyranny Graphic Edition

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Member Reviews

5 stars!!

First of all I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher, Ten Speed Press, for granting me an early copy of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review.

This is a non-fiction graphic novel about tips to make wiser political decisions, resisting and identifying authoritarianism.

The points are stated clearly, there text included to accompany the illustrations is just what is needed, so it’s not too much or too little.

This was quite an enjoyable experience that allowed the reader to stop and reflect constantly on the points given as a guide and the explanations offered.

Images were stunning, the colour scheme was brilliantly chosen to produce certain emotions and attract attention to the right details. I cannot even put into words how incredible I thought the illustrator, Nora Krug, was. I also loved the illustration style and cannot wait to see more of her job.

I personally agree with every single point stated by the historian Tymothy Snyder and believe everybody should read this to realise how close certain world leaders are from being dictators and act accordingly.

I do recommend this to everyone!
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I think this book should be a must read for every person interested in politics. The original book was already fantastic but turning it into a graphic novel just made it even better. The illustrations were absolutely stunning and added so much more to an already incredible book. Highly recommend!
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Excellent companion to the original book; makes for a more casual read and the illustrations are excellent. Definitely recommend this, even if you own the origina.
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I thought this book would use a traditional graphic novel format with a comic book style. This adaptation is more of an illustrated edition. It looks like a picture book with longer passages on each page. I prefer non-fiction adaptations that make the content more accessible. I recommend reading the original or listening to the audiobook.
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This volume is an update to one that was originally published in 2017. In addition to updating and extending some events, this edition is in a graphic format, which has advantages and disadvantages. The images chosen often enhance the text; at the same time, the choice of font can’t be hard to read, and the formatting of many pages can make it difficult to follow the text, with some text splitting into columns on either side of images, and other text reading across or through images, including a few places where text reads across facing pages. This can distract from the content on occasion. 

This is a cautionary reporting of history, with recent events compared and contrasted with historical events, primarily from WWI, WWII, and the recent revolutions in the late 20th century in Russia and Czechoslovakia - many of which are compared to the clearly-described but never named former president. The historical parallels are strong, but limited to Europe, Russia, and the US. The author is understandably concerned that the US is heading in an authoritarian direction, and he may well be correct; however, he provides no alternative interpretations, no reference to any other part of the world or events outside the areas named, and very little in the way of possible ways to shift the future he foresees. Snyder’s interpretation is both realistic and pessimistic. 

I received an advance copy of this volume in exchange for my review. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Didn't capture my attention and engagement. Interested in trying it again though and hopefully it will take.
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I think graphic novel adaptations of non-fiction books is a great trend. The information can be made more accessible for all readers. This is a great purchase for a public library collection.
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The illustrations added so much to this already incredibly important little book, and I think makes it even more accessible to a wider audience. Required reading for our turbulent times.
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Nora Krug has illustrated a stripped-down version of Timothy Snyder’s <i>On Tyranny</i> for this graphic edition of the book.  Snyder breaks down into twenty lessons we can learn from fascism in the 20th century, as well as some examples in present day we have seen these types of events coming again in America and Europe.

This book does a great job of laying out how to recognize fascism and how to stand up against it.  This book will not be popular with Trump supporters, but I would say it is aimed at everyone else to make us aware that we need to learn from history to avoid having it repeat itself.  Snyder is a historian of fascism, so he is highly qualified to disseminate this information.  Everyone needs to know this information.

Here are the 20 lessons from the book:

1. Do not obey in advance.
2. Defend institutions.
3. Beware the one-party state.
4. Take responsibility for the world.
5. Remember professional ethics.
6. Be wary of paramilitaries.
7. Be reflective if you must be armed.
8. Stand out.
9. Be kind to our language.
10. Believe in truth.
11. Investigate.
12. Make eye contact and small talk.
13. Practice corporeal politics.
14. Establish a private life.
15. Contribute to good causes.
16. Learn from peers in other countries.
17. Listen for dangerous words.
18. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives.
19. Be a patriot.
20. Be as courageous as you can.

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me an ARC of this book.
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This a great and at the same time unnerving graphic novel.  I love the way that it’s broken into 20 chapters and each has a lesson for us to learn or remember.  The art is great.  Nora Krug uses a mix of photos from the past mixed with drawings to illustrate each chapter.  We’re reminded what happened in Europe and U.S.S.R. in the 1920s-1940s. And they use history to show what the world is looking like now and how history might be repeating itself.  I think this is good book to have around to remind you what happened in the past because some people are forgetting the past and repeating it now.
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A very fine adaptation of the book in a graphic form, losing none of the original's potency while adding memorable visual detail.
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When On Tyranny first came out in 2017, I remember reading it in my bathtub, absolutely riveted and completely terrified. I remained that way, completely terrified that is, through the remainder of Trump’s presidency up until the present day. In the short review I posted on Goodreads at the time, I called it the “most powerful and timely book we’ve got right now,” and I stand by that assessment. In it, Snyder presented us with a model of political rectitude, elucidating the present by drawing parallels from the past in the hope that we might steer ourselves toward a more just and equitable future.

To return to my terror, I suppose Snyder himself would say that an alert citizen is a good citizen, but only if that citizen is proactive rather than reactive. Like most forms of social good, democracy does not self-correct when it encounters flaws in the mechanism. The people in charge of its maintenance, which is all of us, have to pull over on the side of the road, lift up the hood, and put in a little elbow grease to fix it. To further labor the metaphor: Democracy does not offer roadside assistance.

To lessen our chances of breaking down in the first place, however, it’s important to practice good citizenship at all times, not just in times of crisis. We should advocate for the causes important to us all the time, not just during an election year. We should lobby our legislators to pass laws that strengthen our democracy, that protect human rights. We should make calls, donate when and where we can, and show up to participate with our bodies every chance we get.

I have done my best to be a proactive citizen and I’d like to think that my efforts helped us to avoid another four years of Trump, at least for the moment. I’m holding my breath thinking that putrid orange tyrant will try to run again in the next presidential election. If he does, and heaven forbid, wins, God have mercy on us all.

The good news is I’m not that much of a cynic yet. On my not-so-good days, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think we were doomed beyond saving, but I don’t like to back down from a fight. It’s not good for your digestion. Actually, I’m not sure what pugnacity does for your digestion, but I’ve always found it winsome to follow the revealing of a questionable character trait with something ameliorative to make myself more palatable.

I was so excited when I found out that a graphic edition of Snyder’s book was being released and having now read it, I can assuredly say it did not disappoint. Timothy Snyder is not only a historian of the highest echelon, but a prescient prognosticator of our possible political futures. I intentionally used futures, plural, because our course is not set. We the people, the body politic, are the cartographers drawing the map toward our future. What the future looks like is based on the collective decisions we make today to either defend or neglect democracy. Don’t let’s make it easy for the tyrants, orange or otherwise.

Nora Krug’s illustrations are sometimes macabre and at other times breathtakingly beautiful, and sometimes they are both in equal measure. All of her illustrations are elegant in their simplicity and deftly executed on the page. Her inclusion of historical photographs, many of which were found in photo albums and other ephemera at flea markets and antique shops, add depth and pictorial veracity to Snyder’s narrative of the history of tyranny in the twentieth century.

Although a review is not and should not necessarily be a summary of a work, I’d like to include here the twenty lessons Snyder gives in his book, if for no other reason than to pique the interest of would-be readers.

Snyder’s Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Do not obey in advance.
Defend institutions.
Beware the one-party state.
Take responsibility for the face of the world.
Remember professional ethics.
Be wary of paramilitaries.
Be reflective if you must be armed.
Stand out.
Be kind to our language.
Believe in truth.
Make eye contact and small talk.
Practice corporeal politics.
Establish a private life.
Contribute to good causes.
Learn from peers in other countries.
Listen for dangerous words.
Be calm when the unthinkable arrives.
Be a patriot.
Be as courageous as you can.

© 2017, 2021 Timothy Snyder. All rights reserved.
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Even though I'm not sure I loved it, this book was an interesting read. It asks some very important questions and would provoke great discussions among
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I received a galley copy of On Tyranny and was excited to see how the author had translated the text into a graphic edition. I wasn't disappointed. The text came alive with the illustrations and, I feel, likely makes it more accessible to a broader range of readers. Snyder's original On Tyranny is an excellent, succinct book that clearly underscores the threat of fascism and the many warning signs. This graphic edition is even more powerful and likely will spread his teachings to a much broader audience. I could not recommend this book more highly to anyone who is living during the current period where fascism is on the rise and democracy is actively being threatened.
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Snyder's 2017 book has been beautifully illustrated and updated. It's both terrible and strong. There are twenty courses that use instances from the twentieth-century tyrannies of the Nazis, Soviets, and fascists. These teachings are intended to serve as both a warning and a plan of action. Please, everyone, get up and work to obtain voting rights. I'll attempt to include as much as possible into my classes in order to get myself into "good difficulty."
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What is tyranny?  In this book it is the wrongful act of a power by a single individual or group or the sly/sneaky overcoming of laws and rights that benefit the “ruler,” but not the common people.  The book is a reminder of how easy it is to just look the other way or “let it slide.”   There are suggestions on what the common people need to do to avert this from happening.  In some ways, I found this book “heavy” to read.  I would stop reading and think about what he wrote.  It made sense to me.  I did like the idea of protesting on social media.  It is a book that everyone should read.
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Beautifully illustrated and updated version of Snyder's 2017 book.  It’s so powerful and terrifying. There’s twenty lessons using examples from the Nazi, Soviet, and fascist tyrannies of the twentieth century. These lessons are meant as both warning and action plans. Everybody please wake up and work to secure voting rights. I will try to incorporate as much as I can into my lessons and get myself into "good trouble."
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"On Tyranny" is a bite-sized graphic version of Snyder's book by the same name published in 2017. Written after the 2016 presidential election, Snyder explores the history of tyranny & subsequent rebellion in American history. The author draws parallels to the 2010s American political climate to the Holocaust and fascists movements in the 20th century to argue that the US is dangerously encroaching upon a fascist government/mentality. After reading, my biggest criticism was that the author could have used more varied evidence -- while the evidence provided was effective, I think his overall argument could be more persuasive if he provided a wider variety of historical examples.

My political ideologies align with Snyder's perspective, and I think many readers of this book will agree. However, I felt as if the text was intended for a younger or more naive audience -- certainly not anyone on the far right of the political aisle, but rather teenagers who may be developing their own political identities. 

The artwork was not my preferred style, but I loved the incorporation of found objects and objects from nature. The illustrator intentionally created a style that appeared amateurish with pencil sketches and such, but I generally don't enjoy reading graphic novels like that. 

While I found the parallels from the twentieth century to today relevant and enlightening, it may be tricky to use this in the classroom.
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Thank you netgalley for the chance to review. I tried to like this book, but it seemed such a mess. It bored me.
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First of all, I haven’t read the original novel, so I can’t judge how the graphic novel compares to .t 

The language in the graphic novel was fairly accessible for the broader audience and while I didn’t particularly love the art style, it was okay and made the book look more interesting. 

There were a few points where I absolutely have to disagree with the author though. 
For once, his advice is to avoid the internet and to read books instead. That might apply for some sites, but the internet is definitely a great source of information that tends to be more up to date with current events by it’s nature. 

Especially the recommdation to read HP and the Deathly Hallows felt wrong to me since I don’t believe in supporting the book’s author based on her political views. 

Some of the advice given was just a little random, for example to make eye contact and small talk. 

Furthermore the author seems to believe that the print media are more reliable than other sources, with which I don’t necessarily agree either. 

And finally, the author also states: “Protest can be organized through social media, but nothing is real that does not end on the streets”. I vehemently disagree with this statement as it fails to recognise the enormous impact hacktivism can make. Additionally, digital strikes during the COVID pandemic have resulted in great media coverage. His statement is plain false. 


So overall this was an interesting and thought provoking read and I liked how the original novel was made more accessible by adapting it into a graphic novel. Due to me disagreeing with some of the advice the author gives I can’t rate the book any higher though.
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