From the author of the international bestseller On Tyranny, the definitive history of Hitler’s and Stalin’s politics of mass killing, explaining why Ukraine has been at the center of Western history for the last century. Americans call the Second World War “the Good War.” But before it even began, America’s ally Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens—and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, German and Soviet killing sites fell behind the Iron Curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single story. With a new afterword addressing the relevance of these events to the contemporary decline of democracy, Bloodlands is required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history and its meaning today.
April 26, 2022
File Size: 77 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese
“A startling new interpretation of the period … a stunning book.”―David Denby, New Yorker”A superb and harrowing history.”―Financial Times”Genuinely shattering…. I have never seen a book like it.”―Istvan Deak, New Republic”A brave and original history of mass killing in the twentieth century.”―Anne Applebaum, New York Review of Books”A magisterial work…. Snyder’s account in engaging, encyclopedic.”―Foreign Affairs”Gripping and comprehensive…. Mr. Snyder’s book is revisionist history of the best kind: in spare, closely argued prose, with meticulous use of statistics, he makes the reader rethink some of the best-known episodes in Europe’s modern history.”―Economist”Snyder…compels us to look squarely at the full range of destruction committed first by Stalin’s regime and then by Hitler’s Reich…. A comprehensive and eloquent account.”―New York Times Book Revew”A superb work of scholarship, full of revealing detail, cleverly compiled…and in places beautifully written…. Snyder does justice to the horror of his subject through the power of storytelling.”―The Sunday Times (London)“A gigantic achievement in modern history.”―Rachel Maddow, The Rachel Maddow Show About the Author Timothy Snyder is a professor of history at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. The author of thirteen books, including the bestsellers On Tyranny and Black Earth, his work has been translated into forty languages. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut. <div id="
Having read hundreds of books on World War II, it’s pretty rare to come across a book which covers a topic I’m not very familiar with. However, the subject of the Holocaust is one which I’ve avoided mostly because it’s just too damn depressing, and while this book covers a broader topic it’s probably one I would have skipped in the past. I’m glad I didn’t skip this one.The author defines the Bloodlands as the lands between pre-war Nazi Germany and the western edge of the Russian Republic, predominantly Poland, Belarus, the Baltic States and Ukraine. I was unaware this book would not focus on the military action(s) and instead focus on the ordinary citizens in these areas as I had not read any reviews prior to starting this book. I have to say, this is one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time, and the fact it covers a subject I’ve avoided has opened my mind to wanting to learn more.The author recounts how first Stalin and then Hitler undertook various programs/campaigns against the Polish, Belorussian, Ukrainian and Baltic populaces, as well as against those of the Jewish faith. In a combined campaign of extermination, over 14 million people were killed essentially because of where they lived, what religion they practiced, or if for some reason they were viewed as a threat. Along the way, author Snyder does a really good job of explaining the rationale behind the murderous schemes of Stalin and Hitler and how they fit into the grand plans/ideals of the Nazis and the Soviet Union. Along the way, the reader will encounter multiple personal vignettes about those who there, many of whom did not survive. The story is truly horrifying and the sheer numbers staggering, yet Snyder has woven together an excellent narrative which doesn’t get bogged down in either horror or numbers. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more the events in the Bloodlands from the late 1920’s through the early 1950’s–it truly is an excellent read.
5 stars, according to the amazon.com rating system means “I love it”. I can’t say that I loved reading this book because it details, in a strikingly straightforward manner, the most horrifically immense instances of mass murder in all of history.There number of civilians who perished in the events leading up to and during WW2 are well known to be incredibly large. The great majority of the historical literature chronicling the events in Easter Europe tend to focus on the military strategies and events of this period. This book is different – it casts its exhaustively researched eye upon why and how the power players in this cataclysm murdered the civilians.This is essential reading for anyone who wishes to gain greater understanding of these monumental events. Could this book have been better organized and made more readable? Probably. Could it do so and still convey the essential nature of what transpired without veering off into the realms of incompleteness or conjecture? Maybe, but not easily. There is simply too much information to convey.I have been consuming books on the Eastern Front off and on for 45 years. This book stands alone. I cannot recommend it more strongly.
I have read a lot of books on the Ukraine, and been to Ukraine many times. My future wife, Anna lives in Lviv, Ukraine. She told me stories about the Red Famine that was orchestrated by the Russian dictator, Joseph Stalin. Many family members of Anna’s was murdered by the NKVD, (Russain Secret Police) or known today by the KGB or now the FSB. She described in detail the atrocities and it was horrible. Bloodlands is very descriptive on these inhuman issues commited by Stalin. I always thought Hitler was the worst; not so!! Where Hitler killed many millions, Stalin murdered 33 million of his countrymen. This book tells the story as it really happened, and Anna was not wrong! Hopefully, there will never be a purge like this in the world again! A very intense book to read, but glad I read the truth about the purge committed by Stalin in the 30’s.
Perhaps it is because I am in my 90th year, but I cannot believe many Americans have any idea how gigantic was the slaughter of innocent men, women, and children (yes, even babies) under the Stalin and Hitler regimes. This book tells all, with gory details galore. I have visited several of the Nazi death camps. Nevertheless I had no idea (until I read this book) how awful was the carnage between 1920 and 1945 in Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Germany, and other places.
This is a very well researched, highly detailed piece of work on the history of Central Europe from the end of the First World War till after the second. Mr Snyder illustrates in harrowing detail how virtually every ethnic group suffered some sort of persecution during this period, and also how so many came out with blood on their hands. As someone whose family heritage lies in this part of the world I found the book fascinating but also saddening.Page after page, the author reels off statistics of deaths in the hundreds of thousands and millions. If I had a criticism, it’s that this becomes relentless after a while. However I suppose it only reflects the relentless nature of the killing that took place.This book is a wake-up call and stark reminder of the ability of normal people to do evil when certain conditions come together. It shows that, under the thin veneer of civilisation, we are tribal at heart.Having been educated in the UK, I studied the first and second world wars at school, inevitably from a British perspective. This book presents those conflicts from a Central European (and particularly Polish) perspective. One discovers, for example, that rather than the First World War “ending in 1918”, the border wars that secured the inter-war Polish borders raged until 1922.I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in that period of history in that part of the world. But be warned; it is not a “light read” and is not for the squeamish!
I just bought the paperback version of this. The topic is current and important, and I have valued Snyder’s other work.I am dismayed that the text (400+ pages plus an extensive bibliography) is presented in such a tiny font – my best estimate is 9pt). This does not promise to be easy reading, either in content or in legibility.I see there is a new edition on its way. I very much hope this important shortcoming will be rectified in the later version.
This is a difficult read. The subject material is brutal. Our senses are anesthetized by the scale of the bloodshed. There is no hiding from the numbers and the consequential destruction.It is a subject that needs airing and discussing. Whose tragedy is it? The victims or more broadly humanities. Who counts the numbers, how are they counted by race/religion/country/class? Why are the numbers hidden or alternatively publicised for political purposes?The author deals expertly, calmly and without preaching. His book is well written and researched. It deserves to be widely read and understood.
Truth in NumbersHaving admired Timothy Snyder’s reviews in NYRB, I looked forward to reading Bloodlands. I knew most of what would be in the book (MA thesis on the subject), but I was unprepared for his startlingly original analysis, which had me reading uninterrupted, huge chunks of this book in a sitting. It all comes down to the numbers – no one has ever related the numbers killed by the Germans and the Russians so intently to reveal the truth about the murder of 14 million people – not in combat, but in a specific part of Eastern Europe.Snyder unearths data and human stories which reveal the uncanny similarities between Stalin and Hitler, and some uncomfortable truths. It was Stalin who set the killing machine going in the Ukrainian collectivization in the 1930’s, starving over 3 millions, then moving on to the Great Terror, shooting over 700,000. Stalin killed his ‘own’ people in peace time, Hitler killed ‘lower races’ in wartime. Then, after the war, Stalin took up murder again, albeit on a smaller scale. That the two were partners between September 1939 and June 1941 and split the Bloodlands between themselves for a brief period – no relief to the locals, of course, is well known, but even in the episode, the revelations come thick and fast, particularly over Poland. When Hitler starts killing, his numbers went over 10 million – 5.7 million Jews, millions of Poles and so many others.Stalin killed to control the vast Soviet Union, mainly minorities who might object to his forced collectivization and industrial push. Hitler killed to expand his empire, and the Jews were his favourite victims. Hitler planned to kill over 40 million people in push east, but had to change tack in 1941 when it became clear that he would not defeat the Soviet Union – as early as November, 1941. Then the Final Solution for the Jews became annihilation.Snyder is in control of a vast body of material, writes sparingly and well, and his anecdotes always add colour and humanity. But it is his command of the big picture which makes this a great history book, one that changes perspectives – the more you learn, the more you feel you didn’t know before. Snyder is at his best when he shows how nations use numbers to justify policies, past and present, to write and re-write history. After the war, Stalin had to distance himself from the Jewish suffering, as Russian suffering had to be his focus – Russians were the victims and the winners – no room for the Jews in the Great Patriotic War.This is a great, purposeful work that others will be studying for many years to come. The madness of Stalin and Hitler is not discussed in great detail – it is their behaviour and its consequences that fill these pages. Top drawer for historians.
It is somewhat obvious that since the Berlin Wall came down and the West has been able to access Soviet records of what the so-called communists under Stalin got up to domestically as well as what the Red Army found on their march to Berlin in WWII. New facts and new perspectives on the horrors of it all would emerge.And why not?What better way for the victims to be recognised and remembered? The innocents who have suffered because of the inbuilt ignorance and prejudice of the state proponents of hate. They deserve to have their story told and Snyder’s naming of the some of the victims is more than just a sentimental literary device – it is a form of justice of which he should be proud and of which the reader should be mindful.And what better person to evaluate it all than a non-European such as Timothy Snyder? His gaze is unrelenting, his conclusions comprehensive as well as humane. Snyder’s national objectivity is put to good use and is fair in its conclusions as he turns over the historical record.The sheer scale of human suffering – firstly explored under Stalin and then under Hitler from the years 1933 to 1945 – is simply staggering to the point of overwhelming. The people caught in the lands between Berlin and Moscow were subjected to what a can only be described as the ideological sausage machines dominating the West and East at the time.I have always been pro European but understood that Europe itself (Western to central Europe and right up to the Russian border) can be seen as one mass graveyard of human beings, of nations even. This is what has made the EU so important to me – I’d rather Europe be a place of fields of plenty for all (food) rather than killing fields as history points out to us it has been far too many times previously.It is also clear that the Europe before WWII was a place of inter-woven peoples that almost made the notion of statehood look somewhat ridiculous, even superfluous, artificial even. German speaking Czechs and Poles, Polish speaking Germans or Ukrainians – the sheer mixture of peoples and ethnicities (diversity) is staggering and thought provoking.It is nationalism itself that Snyder tells us is the culprit – nationalism is the unnatural, inhuman law at work here make no mistake about it. People will live where they can live – not where so-called leaders put imaginary lines on maps. They will speak the language they need to speak, till the good land that they can find and work with their neighbours to survive and worship their God as they see fit. To live and be happy.And then there are the Jews. Today Poland is seen as a Roman Catholic country but I had no idea that before WWII Poland was a major Jewish settlement – a centre for Jewry in Europe. Incredible to think when you look at it now. And as for Poland – it needs and deserves a thorough account of what happened during these times caught between these two titanic forces – Nazism and Soviet style cod communism.And now as others have noted (Keith Lowe in ‘The Fear & the Freedom’ or E.M Douglas ‘Orderly and Humane’ for example) we actually have less ethnic diversity (heterogeneity) in Europe and more homogeneous populations that seem ripe and easy prey for excessive and dangerous nationalism in countries that are now under pressure from migrants from Africa and the near East.It’s a heady brew – basically both Hitler and Stalin somehow live on in Europe in the scars created by the nations left behind by their polices after the conflict subsided.Did it ever really end? Perhaps not – perhaps we Europeans even now are walking with tigers? But how well do we understand this?Snyder is philosophical about this and sets an example of what we should be thinking when confronted with evaluating the likes of Hitler and Stalin. He repudiates revenge and an eye for an eye and says instead (p. 400):’To yield to this temptation, to find other people to be inhuman, is to take a step toward not away from, the Nazi position. To find other people incomprehensible is to abandon the search for understanding, and thus to abandon history.’Indeed. That is where we need to start with the most basic and simple question when confronted by potentially destructive ideology: Why?Highly recommended without reservation.
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