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THE BIBLIO FILE is a podcast about "the book," and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging, long-form conversations with best practitioners inside the book trade and out - from writer to reader. Why listen? The hope is that it will help you to read, write, publish, edit, design, and collect better, and improve how you communicate serious, big, necessary, new, good ideas and stories...

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Oct 11, 2022

I first became aware of the graphic edition of Timothy Snyder's book On Tyranny during a visit to the National Socialist Documentation Centre museum in Munich about a year ago (revel in the backstory here). I bought and read a copy of the original edition shortly thereafter. It's a powerful book, full of important, actionable lessons. This past Summer I picked up a copy of Nora Krug's illustrated version of the book. Reading it was revelatory. I simply had to interview her.
So I contacted the person who knows every graphic designer in the world, Steven Heller. He'd just, of course, participated in a presentation with Nora. And yes, was happy to put us in touch. 
Listen here as Nora and I go about reviewing the serious thought she put into illustrating On Tyranny, starting with the cover. Topics touched on include: the importance of small talk; the influence of illustrators; shedding light on the human character; origami; painting with blood (okay, paint that looks like blood); little feet; fire and smoke and war; moral questions, smudges, and the traces of history; big dumb hands; depicting fear; snooping around flea markets; salvaging found objects, photo albums and scrapbooks; how illustrations bring  books into different realms, adding new emphases and layers of meaning, contradictory and otherwise; empathy and history; the importance of personal narratives; emotional entry points into war; dissecting history; vigilance, and the responsibility that each of us has to fight against the rise of tyranny. 
Photo Credit: Nina Subin