“History does not repeat itself, but it does instruct.” With those words Yale historian Timothy Snyder introduced readers to his new book, “On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century.”
Snyder, the Bird White Housum Professor of History who specializes in Central and Eastern European history, originally wrote the 20 lessons in the book as a post on Facebook to make himself feel like he was “being useful” and to “get the sense of crushing despair off of [his] chest” following the election of Donald Trump.
The post was shared over 17,000 times on Facebook and has been read by millions of people worldwide — which, Snyder says, is precisely the reason that he chose Facebook as the medium. “I didn’t claim copyright over it, and as a result numerous outlets picked it up. Several million people from a wide variety of backgrounds viewed it,” not just those who read national newspapers for which he frequently contributes articles. “I was glad about that,” he says.