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About the Author

Includes the name: Nora Krug (author)

Obras por Nora Krug

Associated Works

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 (2012) — Contribuidor — 199 exemplares, 7 críticas
The Best American Comics 2012 (2012) — Contribuidor — 114 exemplares, 4 críticas
Bookstores: A Celebration of Independent Booksellers (2021) — Prefácio, algumas edições60 exemplares, 1 crítica

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
1977
Sexo
female
Nacionalidade
USA
Germany (birth)
Locais de residência
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Membros

Críticas

Belonging is a powerful, personal memoir in graphic-novel format. Author Nora Krug grew up in the shadow of Germany's role in WWII - due to her family's and her own feelings of guilt, she learned little of her relative's lives or involvement in the war. Belonging is the story of her quest to unbury her family's history, and come to terms with what it means for her personally to be a German.

I was fascinated with this story. I can't recall ever reading a non-fiction or memoir style book of the feelings and experiences of a German born post-WWII. Learning how Krug felt, and how she lives with her country's history was engrossing. Krug is challenged by her discoveries that her family history isn't a simple black-and-white. Learning how multifaceted German lives were during the war, (not the simple Nazi or not-Nazi as I always thought), was enlightening and at times heartbreaking. This story explores the choices people make to protect their family, at the cost of morality, and the shame that results. An intense reminder of how this can happen anywhere, and to anyone.… (mais)
 
Assinalado
escapinginpaper | 26 outras críticas | May 18, 2024 |
My favorite moment of my favorite film is the "La Marseillaise" scene in Casablanca that has freedom fighter Victor Laszlo, portrayed by Paul Henreid, abruptly break off a conversation with café-owner Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart, when he overhears German soldiers in the bar singing a patriotic military song, and with dramatic purpose that underscores his own outrage intervenes to have the orchestra take up the French national anthem instead. The bandleader hesitates, Bogie nods his assent. At first, the Germans persist, but soon nearly all the patrons at Rick’s join in, including, perhaps most memorably, the young French woman Yvonne, shown earlier consorting with a German soldier, now stridently vocalizing each syllable of "La Marseillaise" with tears streaming down her face, until the volume and force of the anthem drowns out the Germans and they surrender to the circumstances. As the music fades, Yvonne cries out reflexively, “Vive la France!” I have screened Casablanca more than two dozen times, but the "La Marseillaise" scene grips me anew in each instance; I feel chills, and tears well up in my eyes every time. It is just a movie, of course, but the symbolism is stark and powerful nonetheless, a poignant metaphor of how ordinary people can—even with tiny measures—resist fascism.
The "La Marseillaise" scene flashed over me as I turned the pages of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by distinguished Yale professor and historian Timothy Snyder, originally published in 2017 and later reissued in this splendid Graphic Edition (2021) beautifully illustrated by Nora Krug. But while Victor Laszlo and Yvonne are fictional celluloid heroes of a staged drama, Snyder looks back to actual individuals who confronted horrific circumstances when state fascism and rising totalitarianism convulsed Europe in the twentieth century, and connects the dots to the unsettling strength of emergent strains of neofascism that threaten to consume increasingly brittle democratic institutions in the West.
But identifying elements of fascism is not always easy, since while no less menacing these typically take on forms far more subtle than swastikas sewn to a shirt. In 2014, Hillary Clinton was roundly pilloried for casting Vladimir Putin’s naked aggression in Ukraine in the same realm as Adolf Hitler’s adventurism in the Sudetenland and the Austrian Anschluss. I lack Clinton’s stature, certainly, but I was similarly rebuked in my own circles on the eve of the 2016 presidential election when I drew lines from Trump’s MAGA to Hitler’s Nazis.
But Timothy Snyder has proved a reliable guide for these matters, most prominently in his The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America [2018], a magnificent work of unassailable scholarship that clearly established that such analogies are hardly hyperbolic—and prescient enough to anticipate Putin’s malignant strain of revanchism that later saw Russian tanks rolling into Ukraine in a full-scale invasion, an act of unprovoked aggression not seen in Europe since World War II. The latter made the cable news, but there’s been far more equally sinister stuff floating just beneath the radar for some years that untrained eyes have failed to detect.
Snyder argues that Putin has carefully and cleverly sculpted a rebranded neofascism for the millennium, and that his fingerprints are everywhere: in efforts to fracture the NATO alliance, by championing Brexit to weaken the European Union, in vitriolic campaigns against so-called “immigrant invasions,” as well as others promoting antifeminism, homophobia, and hypermasculinity—and especially in election interference in the United States! Snyder posits that Putin helped fashion the fictional candidate “Donald Trump successful businessman,” who was then marketed to the American people. Paul Manafort was the last advisor to the last pro-Russian president of Ukraine before he became the first campaign manager to Donald Trump. That Trump is indeed Putin’s puppet is a secret hiding in plain sight.
By the courageous acts of some, the ineptitude of Trump himself, and a certain amount of luck, America weathered his four year tenure, if only—as January 6th reminds us—just barely. But our democracy is unlikely to survive a second go-around. Which is why in this election year recognizing and confronting fascism, in efforts both small and large, is so vital to the future of our fragile Republic. For those paying attention, the United States in the early 2020s has begun to feel disturbingly like Germany in 1930s. But how does the average American distinguish reality from propaganda, skillfully broadcast from both Moscow and Mar-a-Lago? Or, even more challenging, detect signs of fascism in MAGA, however blatant these might seem to members of the intelligentsia like Snyder?
This is an obstacle too often underestimated. Donald Trump has bragged about his support among the lower educated, a too-true if uncomfortable reflection of a vote-casting cohort overlooked at our own peril. The problem with The Road to Unfreedom, for all of its superlative craftsmanship, is that it is directed towards intellectuals and the politically sophisticated, reducing both its reach and its appeal to a wider and arguably more significant audience. Which is exactly what makes On Tyranny—especially in this standout graphic edition—such a critical and indeed far more accessible implement in our arsenal to combat fascism. Moreover, a younger demographic, weaned on graphic novels and plagued with a certain contempt for political institutions, is more likely to find enlightenment, perhaps even epiphany, between the covers of this slender publication.
In marked contrast to The Road to Unfreedom, Snyder’s On Tyranny is a brief and easy read. The entire volume could be consumed in a single sitting, although I deliberately stretched it out over several days in order to soak in the messaging. The Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century of the subtitle are rendered as twenty chapters that look to the past and present to predict the grim future that lies ahead without an active intervention he assigns to all of us, collectively. In his words and the accompanying illustrations, the echoes from some ninety years past shriek loudly into our current political maelstrom. It may take a keen ear to otherwise catch that tune, but Snyder makes certain those sounds are unmistakable.
The first chapter, with its lesson “Do not obey in advance,” speaks most consequentially to just how the complacency of an obedient population enables the oppressor. The Nazis were pleasantly surprised at how effortlessly Austrians ceded their own sovereignty in the Anschluss, and colluded to persecute the Jews among them. Tyrants don’t always have to seize control; sometimes it is handed to them. Hitler himself first gained political power through elections, as did the communists in Czechoslovakia in 1946. But what was to cement the absolute rule that followed was the anticipatory obedience that Snyder pronounces the true political tragedy, that conformity from a docile population that facilitates absolute rule until it can no longer be reversed—be that be Hitler’s Reich, Soviet style communism, or some other less flamboyantly ornamented authoritarian regime. In the end, totalitarianism, however packaged, is always a terrifying similar creature.
But its disguise can be quite compelling. One way to unmask it is to “Believe in truth” (Lesson Ten) and to defend that truth unfailingly against “alternate facts” being foisted upon you by those who work to blur the boundaries of reality with questionable notions that confirm a specific narrative. Snyder lectures that: “To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so.” This is uncomfortably familiar territory these days, recognizable in everything from unscientific attacks on vaccines and climate science, to a whitewashing of the insurrection, to the “big lie” of election denial, along with a prevailing whiff of vague yet menacing conspiracy hovering about every discussion. What if Big Pharma is forcing dangerous vaccines into our bloodstreams? What if climate scientists are covertly colluding to advance a green agenda? What if Nancy Pelosi engineered the assault on Congress? What if Biden is not the legitimate president? The power and reach of social media dwarfs the capacity of legitimate news to keep up, as the unsophisticated and the paranoid alike are almost effortlessly swept into a maze of rabbit holes that look to distort as well as discredit empirical evidence in order to market a faith in the unfounded that promotes skillfully devised misinformation.
Snyder correctly identifies the process as “… open hostility to verifiable reality, which takes the form of presenting inventions and lies as if they were facts.” Donald Trump, of course, is the master of this mechanism. The author reports Trump averaging six lies daily in 2017, and twenty-seven a day by 2020. The Washington Post more specifically quantified that as an astonishing 30,573 false or misleading claims over a total of four years! Such is how a "fictional counterworld” is constructed, one of “magical thinking” that is “the open embrace of contradiction.” The result breeds chaos and uncertainty and finally a fear of disorder that can only be addressed by the seemingly benevolent “strong man,” the tyrant-in-waiting with all the answers, eager to come to the rescue with feigned benevolence, declaring “Only I can fix it.” Snyder turns to history to remind us that this is nothing new, that the house that MAGA built is chillingly similar to the ones fascists of the past called home.
There are eighteen more lessons, all of them valuable, but my own favorite is the final one which makes for an entire chapter in two sentences: “Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die under tyranny.” For me, those lines brought to mind Hans and Sophie Scholl, idealistic young German siblings guillotined by Hitler’s regime for handing out pamphlets associated with the doomed anti-Nazi “White Rose” movement. There have been many other such martyrs to freedom over time, but even more who survived and lived to see the day that their own tyrants were tumbled and human dignity restored. We can only do what we can. We can only be as courageous as we can be.
In the closing scenes of Casablanca, Bogie risks his life against long odds to urge Ilsa, played by Ingrid Bergman, the love of his life as well as the wife of Victor Laszlo, to step onto a plane poised for departure to be at Victor’s side in his ongoing crusade against fascism. Rick famously tells her: “Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” Here Rick, Ilsa, and Victor are being as courageous as they can be.
Buy On Tyranny. Read it more than once. Share it with your friends and family. These are perilous times. Fascists walk in our midst wearing red caps. Be as courageous as you can. And while you’re at it, hum a few bars of "La Marseillaise.”

THE TWENTY LESSONS
 Do not obey in advance.
 Defend institutions.
 Beware the one-party state.
 Take responsibility for the face of the world.
 Remember professional ethics.
 Be wary of paramilitaries.
 Be reflective if you must be armed.
 Stand out.
 Be kind to our language.
 Believe in truth.
 Investigate.
 Make eye contact and small talk.
 Practice corporeal politics.
 Establish a private life.
 Contribute to good causes.
 Learn from peers in other countries.
 Listen for dangerous words.
 Be calm when the unthinkable arrives.
 Be a patriot.
 Be as courageous as you can.

Review of: The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America, by Timothy Snyder
“Trump’s false or misleading claims total 30,573 over 4 years,” The Washington Post. January 24, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/24/trumps-false-or-misleading-cl...
Review of: At the Heart of the White Rose: Letters and Diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl, edited by Inge Jens
Review of: On Tyranny (Graphic Edition): Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder, Illustrated by Nora Krug – Regarp Book Blog https://regarp.com/2024/04/18/review-of-on-tyranny-graphic-edition-twenty-lesson...
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
Garp83 | 10 outras críticas | Apr 18, 2024 |
Brilliant and thought-provoking, this one prompted lots of discussion at book club.
 
Assinalado
bookem | 26 outras críticas | Mar 27, 2024 |
Timothy Snyder and Nora Krug’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century offers a guide on how to resist the current rise of tyranny in western democracies, complete with illustrations that support the main argument and underscore Snyder’s theses. They implore their readers not to obey in advance; to defend institutions; to beware the one-party state; to take responsibility for the face of the world; to remember professional ethics; to be wary of paramilitaries; to be reflective if they must be armed; to stand out; to be kind to our language; to believe in truth; to investigate; to make eye contact and small talk; to practice corporeal politics; to establish a private life; to contribute to good causes; to learn from peers in other countries; to listen for dangerous words; to be calm when the unthinkable arrives; to be a patriot; and to be as courageous as they can. They caution that the current era of post-truth only serves fascism as it feeds propaganda (p. 63). Discussing the importance of a private life, Snyder writes, “We are free only insofar as we exercise control over what people know about us, and in what circumstances they come to know it” (p. 80). This cautions people not to accept leaks from unethical sources in the same caliber as serious, investigative work that puts information in context. Describing the importance of history, Snyder writes of Russia’s propaganda efforts in the mid-2010s, “History, which for a time seemed to be running from west to east, now seems to be moving from east to west. Everything that happens here seems to happen there first” (p. 89). Further, “History gives us the company of those who have done and suffered more than we have” in resisting totalitarianism and fascism (p. 119). Krug’s artwork perfectly complements Snyder’s text while using historical art to reflect the sources Snyder cites. Snyder and Krug’s book is all-too-timely, especially as the 2024 election approaches.… (mais)
½
 
Assinalado
DarthDeverell | 10 outras críticas | Mar 8, 2024 |

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Estatísticas

Obras
6
Also by
3
Membros
775
Popularidade
#32,829
Avaliação
4.0
Críticas
39
ISBN
39
Línguas
9

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