Expanded PRH Audio Edition of Timothy Snyder’s ON TYRANNY to Feature 20 New Lessons About Russia’s War in Ukraine


Timothy Snyder, Photo © Ine Gundersveen

Acclaimed historian Timothy Snyder’s #1 New York Times bestseller On Tyranny (Crown, Random House Audio) will be published in an expanded audio edition that provides the historical background, decodes the propaganda, and explains the significance of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and of Ukrainian resistance. ON TYRANNY: Expanded Audiobook Edition, narrated by the author, will be available exclusively as an audiobook from Random House Audio, on sale April 19. Lance Fitzgerald at Penguin Random House Audio acquired North American and non-exclusive open market audio rights from Tina Bennett at Bennett Literary.

The expanded audiobook edition, including more than eight hours of new content recorded in response to the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine, combines the original essays from On Tyranny with twenty new lessons that answer the questions everyone is asking about this war. A historian of eastern Europe, Snyder explains the connections between events in Russia and Ukraine and the threats to democracy here in the United States. With forays into distant and more recent history, he clarifies both the causes and the stakes of the present war. Speaking only from notes, Snyder guides the reader into the larger moral universe of On Tyranny.

In On Tyranny, Snyder relied upon witnesses of fascism and Stalinism, but also upon the dissidents of our own century. Its lessons have proven to be universal, with the book itself translated into dozens of languages. As the conflict over democracy reaches the sharpest possible pitch in Ukraine, Snyder connects the horrors we are seeing with the future we must rescue. He crystallizes a quarter century of engagement with the country into twenty accessible talks that can guide our understanding of the war – and our reaction.

Snyder, the author of six books on Ukraine’s history and politics, including The Road to Unfreedom and Bloodlands, says, Because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I thought it was important to find a way to say the things that I thought needed to be said about Ukraine, and I’ve decided to connect it to On Tyranny. I’m not reading from a script. I have twenty ideas – twenty further lessons. Some connections between what we can learn about Ukraine in the past, and how we navigate Ukraine and Europe and North America and democracy in general in the present.”

“We recognize the immediate need for Timothy Snyder’s expertise as we seek to understand each day’s news from Ukraine,” says Amanda D’Acierno, President and Publisher, Penguin Random House Audio. “To help bring that context and knowledge to listeners, we’ve worked alongside him to bring this new material from idea to audiobook in just a few short weeks.”

Snyder will donate his net proceeds from ON TYRANNY: Expanded Audiobook Edition to benefit humanitarian causes in Ukraine.

ON TYRANNY: Expanded Audiobook Edition includes:

  • Lesson One: Connections: Why On Tyranny
  • Lesson Two: A Twenty-First Century Test
  • Lesson Three: Fascist Eternity
  • Lesson Four: The Politics of Time
  • Lesson Five: Vikings, Khazars, and Slavs
  • Lesson Six: Valdemar, Volodymyr, and Vladimir
  • Lesson Seven: Renaissance, Reformation, Rebellion
  • Lesson Eight: Colonists and Cossacks
  • Lesson Nine: The Beautiful Language
  • Lesson Ten: Nation as Culture and Choice
  • Lesson Eleven: Brotherland
  • Lesson Twelve: Communist Colonialism
  • Lesson Thirteen: Nazi Colonialism
  • Lesson Fourteen: 1938, 1939, and 1940
  • Lesson Fifteen: Schizofascism
  • Lesson Sixteen: Ukraine, 1945-2005
  • Lesson Seventeen: The Meaning of Maidan
  • Lesson Eighteen: Ukraine and America
  • Lesson Nineteen: Empire and Integration
  • Lesson Twenty: Courage

Posted: March 23, 2022