From the Bookshelf Review – How To Lose A Country

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy of “How To Lose A Country” in exchange for an honest review.

How to Lose a Country, The 7 Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship

by Ece Temelkuran (Category – Non Ficiton – Politics)

Published by 4th Estate Books on 7th February 2019, this is one which, I think, should definitely be on your radar. My full review is below, but first, the blurb.

The Blurb

how to lose a countryAn urgent call to action from one of Europe’s most well-regarded political thinkers. How to Lose a Country: The Seven Warning Signs of Rising Populism is a field guide to spotting the insidious patterns and mechanisms of the populist wave sweeping the globe – before it’s too late.

‘It couldn’t happen here’

Ece Temelkuran heard reasonable people in Britain say it the night of the Brexit vote.

She heard reasonable people in America say it the night Trump’s election was soundtracked by chants of ‘Build that wall.’

She heard reasonable people in Turkey say it as Erdoğan rigged elections, rebuilt the economy around cronyism, and labelled his opposition as terrorists.

How to Lose a Country is an impassioned plea, a warning to the world that populism and nationalism don’t march fully formed into government; they creep. Award winning author and journalist Ece Temelkuran, identifies the early warning signs of this phenomenon, sprouting up across the world from Eastern Europe to South America, in order to define a global pattern, and arm the reader with the tools to root it out.

Proposing alternative, global answers to the pressing – and too often paralysing – poltical questions of our time, Temelkuran explores the insidious idea of ‘real people’, the infantilisation of language and debate, the way laughter can prove a false friend, and the dangers of underestimating one’s opponent. She weaves memoir, history and clear-sighted argument into an urgent and eloquent defence of democracy.

No longer can the reasonable comfort themselves with ‘it couldn’t happen here.’ It is happening. And soon it may be too late.

My Thoughts

I want to shout from the rooftops about this book but I’m not sure my words can do it justice. It is certainly not my usual type of read, a quick scroll through my past posts will certainly indicate that. This, however may well be one of the books strong points. It is not my usual type of read but at no point did I feel lost in political jargon. The author has presented an entirely readable book, about an incredibly important issue in the world today.

As I write this we are still discussing Brexit, there are riots in France, and Venezuela is falling to pieces. Let’s not even talk about the USA. Yes, this is a book that needs to be read as soon as possible.

This book is part memoir, part lesson. I found it engrossing, informative and eye-opening. I’m not going to lie, some of the points that were true eye openers, and some of the points that Ece made showed me just how much I had fallen for.

There aren’t very many books that I would say have changed my view-point on the world, or on the political landscape. But this is one of them.  An excellent look at the rise in populism and the lessons that we should have already learned from experience. 5 Stars.

ece temelkuranYou can find out more about the author, Ece Temelkuran on the official website or follow Ece on Twitter.

How To Lose A Country is due for release on 7th of February, and can be pre ordered now. I highly advise you grab a copy as soon as possible.


  1. Ece Temelkuran and myself are from the same city in Turkey 🙂 she’s a really good journalist. Got this from Netgalley and can’t wait to read.


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