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From Democracy to Dictatorship: Lessons for Today's American from Germany's Weimar Republic

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Democracies can die. And down through time, have often died of self-inflicted wounds. In the Age of Donald Trump, it would be wise for America to bear this in mind and learn from the lessons that history can teach. Our past of ethno-racial identity politics and sometimes violently exclusionary manias already provides us with a proto-fascist tradition to draw from. This in Democracies can die. And down through time, have often died of self-inflicted wounds. In the Age of Donald Trump, it would be wise for America to bear this in mind and learn from the lessons that history can teach. Our past of ethno-racial identity politics and sometimes violently exclusionary manias already provides us with a proto-fascist tradition to draw from. This intentionally short book offers a warning not based on theory, but based on the experience of a specific time and place -- the decline of Germany's Weimar Republic and the rise of German fascism (Nazism) in the years between the two world wars. For our time and place, the parallels are by no means perfect -- Trump is certainly no Hitler -- but are close enough to be unsettling. But this historical lesson can also encourage optimism. Despite Weimar's immense problems (far greater than ours today), its replacement by fascism was by no means inevitable. If the Third Reich could have been averted, then surely Trump can be checked. And checked without violence. If, that is, we summon some old fashioned civic virtues, and learn from past mistakes.


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Democracies can die. And down through time, have often died of self-inflicted wounds. In the Age of Donald Trump, it would be wise for America to bear this in mind and learn from the lessons that history can teach. Our past of ethno-racial identity politics and sometimes violently exclusionary manias already provides us with a proto-fascist tradition to draw from. This in Democracies can die. And down through time, have often died of self-inflicted wounds. In the Age of Donald Trump, it would be wise for America to bear this in mind and learn from the lessons that history can teach. Our past of ethno-racial identity politics and sometimes violently exclusionary manias already provides us with a proto-fascist tradition to draw from. This intentionally short book offers a warning not based on theory, but based on the experience of a specific time and place -- the decline of Germany's Weimar Republic and the rise of German fascism (Nazism) in the years between the two world wars. For our time and place, the parallels are by no means perfect -- Trump is certainly no Hitler -- but are close enough to be unsettling. But this historical lesson can also encourage optimism. Despite Weimar's immense problems (far greater than ours today), its replacement by fascism was by no means inevitable. If the Third Reich could have been averted, then surely Trump can be checked. And checked without violence. If, that is, we summon some old fashioned civic virtues, and learn from past mistakes.

8 review for From Democracy to Dictatorship: Lessons for Today's American from Germany's Weimar Republic

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    Kevin D Frank

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