- Books, Literature, and Writing
Recent Writings That Grabbed Me!
Setting the Scene
The 2016 presidential election taught us a lot. One lesson is: Never underestimate the odds that something unusual or improbable can happen. Another lesson is this one: If something threatens to undo what we think were 'safe' practices or ground rules, be prepared to stand up and take action.
With all that in mind, I want to recommend in this very short article two excellent pieces of writing that will at least force those who read each item to think carefully, clearly and deeply about what has now come to pass.
The March 17 issue of "The Atlantic" magazine contains a cover article by David Frum, a Republican commentator and former presidential speech-writer, titled: How to Build An Autocracy.
His comments are too many and too substantive to detail here, but let it be said that it is an eerily accurate assessment of our current administration in power. Whether you love the fact that Donald Trump is now President of the U.S. - or are horrified at what is now in place and how the White House and Cabinet have performed so far, you MUST read and consider what Mr. Frum says. He's no 'flake' or GOP 'talking head.' Neither is he a radical rebel. He's just a solid thinker who describes what he sees taking place with uncanny insight.
- How Donald Trump Could Build an Autocracy in the U.S. - The Atlantic
The preconditions are present in the U.S. today. Here’s the playbook Donald Trump could use to set the country down a path toward illiberalism.
Recently on the PBS Newshour, a professor from Yale -- Timothy Snyder -- was interviewed about his 2017 book titled "On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century."
Snyder's work is brief - just over 100 pages - and to the point. Each of the twenty chapters begins with a brief sentence or two that summarizes what is about to be shared. Then he details that topic in just a few pages. His writing is crisp and blunt, and the chapter comments include at least one action step that the reader can take to guard against the abuses and excesses of power that he presents, using historical examples as illustrations.
Like Frum's article, as you read Synder's book be prepared to be challenged, provoked and stirred.
- On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder, Paperback | Barnes & No
The Paperback of the On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder at Barnes & Noble. FREE Shipping on $25 or more!
As the title of this short piece says, both of the writings I've described grabbed me. I suspect the same thing will happen to you, once you've explored each of these excellent sources.