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The Road to Unfreedom. Russia, Europe, America | IWM
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The Road to Unfreedom. Russia, Europe, America


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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 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.

Timothy Snyder is the Levin Professor of History at Yale University and IWM Permanent Fellow. He is the author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century,  Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.

Der Weg in die Unfreiheit. Russland, Europa, Amerika
Verlag C. H. Beck: München, 2018

Timothy Snyder ist Professor für Osteuropäische Geschichte an der Yale University und Permanent Fellow am IWM. Seine Bücher “Über Tyrannei”, “Bloodlands” und “Black Earth” wurden in viele Sprachen übersetzt. Snyder wurde für seine Arbeiten u.a. mit dem Hannah-Arendt-Preis und dem Leipziger Buchpreis für Europäische Verständigung ausgezeichnet. Timothy Snyder ist Permanent Fellow am Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen.

Recent Publications

  • Pogroms et Ghetto: Les Musulmans dans l’Inde Contemporaine


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    En 2002 se sont déroulées dans l’État du Gujarat les plus graves attaques contre des musulmans qu’a connues la République indienne depuis 1947. 2 000 d’entre eux ont péri au cours des violences qui ont duré près de six mois tandis que 150 000 autres ont été contraints de fuir définitivement leur logement, attaqués par …
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  • Perceptions of Society in Communist Europe: Regime Archives and Popular Opinion


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    Drawing on archival sources from Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany, Romania and Bulgaria, Perceptions of Society in Communist Europe considers whether and to what extent communist regimes cared about popular opinion, how they obtained their information, and how it helped them implement and maintain their rule. Contrary to popular belief, communist regimes sought to legitimise their …
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  • Populating No Man’s Land: Economic Concepts of Ownership under Communism


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    This edited volume opening the new series Revisiting Communism: Collectivist Economic Thought in Historical Perspective focuses on the concepts of ownership, the cornerstone of political economy in Soviet-type societies. The authors’ main objective is to contribute to the still unwritten chapter on collectivism in the history books of modern economic thought. They trace the lengthy …
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