A magisterial new history book about the bloodlands - the lands that lie between Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany - where 14 million people were killed during the years 1933 - 1944
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Published: 01 September 2011
In the middle of Europe, in the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered fourteen million people in the bloodlands between Berlin and Moscow. In a twelve-year-period, in these killing fields - today's Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Western Russia and the eastern Baltic coast - an average of more than one million citizens were slaughtered every year, as a result of deliberate policies unrelated to combat. In his revelatory book Timothy Snyder offers a ground-breaking investigation into the motives and methods of Stalin and Hitler and, using scholarly literature and primary sources, pays special attention to the testimony of the victims, including the letters home, the notes flung from trains, the diaries on corpses. The result is a brilliantly researched, profoundly humane, authoritative and original book that forces us to re-examine the greatest tragedy in European history and re-think our past.
A superb work of scholarship, full of revealing detail... Snyder does justice to the horror of his subject through the power of his storytelling
Superb and harrowing history
Financial Times, Books of the Year
An original, wonderful and horrifying book...this beautifully written and superbly researched work is undoubtedly one of the most important to emerge for a long time
An excellent, authoritative and imaginative book, which tells the grim story of the greatest human and demographic tragedy in European history with exemplary clarity. Snyder set out to give a human face to the many millions of victims of totalitarianism. He has succeeded admirably
Roger Moorhouse, BBC History Magazine
Bloodlands - impeccably researched and appropriately sensitive to its volatile material - is the most important book to appear on this subject for decades and will surely become the reference in its field
The figures are so huge and so awful that grief could grow numb. But Snyder, who is a noble writer as well as a great researcher, knows that. He asks us not to think in those round numbers
Neal Ascherson, Guardian
[Snyder's] use of Polish sources makes this book almost unique for English-language readers...superb
Donald Rayfield, Literary Review
Snyder presents material that is undeniably fresh - what's more, it comes from sources in languages with which very few western academics are familiar. The success of Bloodlands really lies in its effective presentation of cold, hard scholarship, which is in abundance
Guy Walters, Financial Times
Combining formidable linguistic and detective skills with a fine sense of impartiality, he tackles vital questions which have deterred less courageous historians... This is a book which will force its readers to rethink history
Norman Davies, F.B.A, and author of Europe: A History,
Gripping and comprehensive...revisionist history of the best kind: in spare, closely argued prose, with meticulous use of statistics, [Snyder] makes the reader rethink some of the best-known episodes in Europe
A stunning contribution...a synthetic account by an East European historian in which the focus is on the geographic zone where the lethal policies of Hitler and Stalin interacted, overlapped, and mutually escalated one another
Christopher R. Browning, author of 'Ordinary Men' and 'The Origins of the Final Solution',
A nuanced, original and penetrating analysis of Europe's twentieth century killing fields... History of a high order, Bloodlands may also point us towards lessons for our own time
Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies, University of Oxford, and author of The File,
Part of the fascinating rethinking of eastern Europe under Hitler and Stalin, and opens up a catastrophic landscape
David Herman, New Statesman, Books of the Year
Snyder's painstaking arithmetic helps us acknowledge the anonymous dead and makes European history clearer.
James Boyle, Sunday Herald, Christmas round up
A lifetime's work by a Yale university historian whose work deserves to be red and reread
Economist, Christmas round up
An original, wonderful and horrifying book....this beautifully written and superbly researched work is undoubtedly one of the most important to emerge for a long time
Antony Beevor, BBC History Magazine, Christmas round up
Seeks persuasively and movingly to offer a new interpretive framework for the nightmare of Europe's mid-20th century.
Stephen Howe, Independent, Christmas round up
The book throws a great deal of light on the policies shared by Hitler and Stalin (albeit for different purposes), especially starvation as a form of ethnic cleansing. It is a horrifying story but the wider emphasis should do much to give readers a more accurate understanding than is often presented
Snyder steers clear of questions of moral equivalence between Soviet and Nazi atrocities, but instead highlights a perverse synergy between the two regimes in which their interaction, as allies or as enemies, always had the same effect of facilitating mass murder.
Ian Pindar, Guardian
I [didn't] expect a non-fiction book to have such a heightened level of perfection... nor for one so stuffed with education to have such a memorable emotive response. Definitely my non-fiction title of the year.
John Lloyd, The Book Bag
A powerful, personal and occasionally controversial account of the human tragedy that unfolded across central Europe half a century ago
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Timothy Snyder received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997. He has held fellowships in Paris and Vienna, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard. He has written and edited a number of critically ...