The Road to Unfreedom

Russia, Europe, America

    • 4.6 • 50 Ratings
    • $14.99
    • $14.99

Publisher Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of On Tyranny comes a stunning new chronicle of the rise of authoritarianism from Russia to Europe and America.

“A brilliant analysis of our time.”—Karl Ove Knausgaard, The New Yorker

With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy seemed final. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. This faith was misplaced. Authoritarianism returned to Russia, as Vladimir 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 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.

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. To understand the challenge is to see, and perhaps renew, the fundamental political virtues offered by tradition and demanded by the future. 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.

Politics & Current Events
April 3
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

non-fiction reader ,

A lesson on how to vote

this book should be mandatory reading for anyone who votes. The author’s understanding and teaching as a professor of history with his focus on fascism reminds us how close we are to what a fascist state is.

brtswnsn ,

Relevant, important

Everyone who cares about freedom and what it really means to be American needs to read this book. It is frighteningly prescient.

PeaceCorpsZim97 ,

Fantastic insights.

The “other” reviewer is obviously a pro-Trump advocate. His bias demonstrates a clear lack of knowledge of the author. I suspect the reviewer read one or two paragraphs to reach his “conclusion.” To suggest that Snyder should “read some history books” is laughingly absurd. Professor Snyder has authored many, many valuable history books which have profoundly informed me. And I was a history minor for my undergraduate degree.

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