Archive for October 5th, 2021

Nora Krug On Tyranny Tim Snyder

Tim Snyder’s On Tyranny, Illustrated by Nora Krug

I have a little book in a couple of spots around my studio, one stained from multiple coffee spills. It’s On Tyranny, from historian Tim Snyder, first published in 2017. 

It’s a book that I have given copies away to a number of people and one that I often pick up to read just a few of its short pages when I am need of some affirmation that there are people out there who are paying attention and seeing the same patterns and behaviors observed in the past taking place now. You wouldn’t think that would be comforting but in a time when previously unacceptable acts of corruption and malignance have become normalized and all too commonplace, it is good to know that there are folks out there sounding the alarm.

Evil in the form of tyranny and fascism doesn’t happen in fell swoops. It is an insidious growth, often overlooked until it has fully taken hold. As the late chronicler of authoritarianism Hannah Arendt put in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil:

Good can be radical; evil can never be radical, it can only be extreme, for it possesses neither depth nor any demonic dimension yet–and this is its horror–it can spread like a fungus over the surface of the earth and lay waste the entire world. Evil comes from a failure to think. It defies thought for as soon as thought tries to engage itself with evil and examine the premises and principles from which it originates, it is frustrated because it finds nothing there. That is the banality of evil.

Snyder’s book lays out the warning signs of authoritarianism in a way that is easily digested and applied to current events. It has been a huge success and went through many printings in the past 4 years.

Today, October 5, is the publication date for a new edition of the book in collaboration with acclaimed illustrator Nora Krug. The graphics add a layer of depth to the already engaging narrative.

I thought I would share a few of the pages here this morning, just to give you a taste of how the imagery interacts with the words.

Nora Krug On Tyranny Tim Snyder 2Nora Krug On Tyranny Tim Snyder 3Nora Krug On Tyranny Tim Snyder 4

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