On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
(graphic edition)
By Timothy Snyder, Illustrated by Nora Krug
Publication Date: October 5, 2021
128 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1984860392

Foreign editions: Germany/C.H. Beck Verlag, Italy/Rizzoli Editore, Sweden/Albert Bonniers Forlag, France/Editions Gallimard, Lithuania/MB Hubris, Czech Republic/Prostor, Brazil/Companhia das Letras, Ukraine/Choven and Vydavnytstvo, Spain/Salamandra, Holland/Uitgeverij Balans, United Kingdom/Bodley Head, Norway/Forlaget Press, Armenia/Newmag, Thailand/Bookscape Publishing House, Poland/Znak JednymSłowem

A graphic edition of historian Timothy Snyder’s bestselling book of lessons for surviving and resisting America’s arc toward authoritarianism, featuring the visual storytelling talents of renowned illustrator Nora Krug.

Timothy Snyder’s New York Times bestseller On Tyranny uses the darkest moments in twentieth-century history, from Nazism to Communism, to teach twenty lessons on resisting modern-day authoritarianism. Among the twenty include a warning to be aware of how symbols used today could affect tomorrow (“4: Take responsibility for the face of the world”), an urgent reminder to research everything for yourself and to the fullest extent (“11: Investigate”), a point to use personalized and individualized speech rather than cliched phrases for the sake of mass appeal (“9: Be kind to our language”), and more.

In this graphic edition, Nora Krug draws from her highly inventive art style in Belonging–at once a graphic memoir, collage-style scrapbook, historical narrative, and trove of memories–to breathe new life, color, and power into Snyder’s riveting historical references, turning a quick-read pocket guide of lessons into a visually striking rumination. In a time of great uncertainty and instability, this edition of On Tyranny emphasizes the importance of being active, conscious, and deliberate participants in resistance.


Society of Illustrators Gold Medal

New York Art Directors Club Silver Cube

New York Times Best Graphic Novels of 2021

New York Times Editor’s Choice

Stiftung Buchkunst Die schönsten Bücher Deutschlands 2021

Buchreport: Die besten Comics 2021

Deutschlandfunk Bestenliste 2021

“It is impossible to overstate the urgency of Timothy Snyder’s handbook for recognizing and resisting the normalization of barbarism. Nora Krug illustrates with soulful beauty and the moral clarity of an artist who never flinches. The combination is as hopeful as it is devastating. Krug’s illustrated edition of On Tyranny is more than an instant classic. It is an act of resistance—and a gift of love.” – Joshua Oppenheimer, filmmaker, The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence

“Timothy Snyder is brilliant. On Tyranny is a must read, a clear-eyed guidebook for anyone seeking to learn from history to help us understand the present. It is a manual for how to protect and preserve Democracy. The past teaches us that we, as individuals, must act to reaffirm and protect the freedoms and institutions that we collectively cherish. Listen, learn, be kind and courageous. This stunning new edition beautifully illustrated by Nora Krug makes the lessons jump off the page, into our hearts, filling us with the urgent imperative: act now, before it is too late.” –  Ken Burns, filmmaker

“A more concise, profound, or essential book on the subject does not exist. Snyder’s masterwork is a stunning reminder of the myriad, insidious forms oppression takes. Now beautifully illustrated by Nora Krug, On Tyranny is a bellwether for what we must be awake to, and fight against.” –  J.J. Abrams, filmmaker, Star Trek and Star Wars: The Force Awakens

“Vastly important, deeply affecting, powerful, magnificent.” – Philippe Sands, author, East West Street and The Ratline

“Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny is already an essential read, but the book’s analysis of the mechanics of authoritarianism, fascism, and other forms of tyranny is even more potently delivered in its graphic edition, illustrated by Nora Krug. Krug’s playful but powerful and evocative drawings and diagrams amplify the important ideas in On Tyranny and serve as the sugar to help the reader/viewer digest the medicine of the book’s cautionary look at threats to democracy.  We are often told to visualize things that are crucial to commit to memory. In the graphic edition of On Tyranny, Nora Krug has visualized and rendered some of the most valuable lessons of the 20th century which will serve all citizens as we shape the future.” –  Shepard Fairey, artist and activist

On Tyranny is one of the most important books of our time, and Krug enriches Snyder’s powerful, accessible text with a transcendent humanity. This book should be read and experienced by everyone, its lessons carved into our hearts.” – Nate Powell, graphic novelist, March and Save It for Later

“Cautioning against the politics of inevitability, this gorgeously illuminated edition is as hopeful as it is ominous.” – Publishers Weekly

You can buy the book here!