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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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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.
In his path-breaking and often courageous study of Europe's 'bloodlands,' Snyder shows how very much more complicated the story was. His account of the methods and motives of murderous regimes, both at home and in foreign war, will radically revise our appreciation of the implications of mass extermination in the recent past. 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 stunning contribution of Tim Snyder's book is to present 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. As Snyder vividly demonstrates, their combined impact on the people living in the 'bloodlands' was quite simply the greatest man-made demographic catastrophe and human tragedy in European history
Christopher R. Browning, author of 'Ordinary Men' and 'The Origins of the Final Solution',
Timothy Snyder has written a nuanced, original and penetrating analysis of Europe's twentieth century killing fields between Russia and Germany, drawing on many little-known sources. 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,
Combining formidable linguistic and detective skills with a fine sense of impartiality, he tackles vital questions which have deterred less courageous historians: Where and when were the largest casualties inflicted? Who were the perpetrators, and which ethnic and national groups were victimized? How can one calculate and verify the numbers? This is a book which will force its readers to rethink history
Norman Davies, F.B.A, and author of Europe: A History,
Christopher Silvester, Daily Express
[Snyder's] use of Polish sources makes this book almost unique for English-language readers...superb
Donald Rayfield, Literary Review
Part of the fascinating rethinking of eastern Europe under Hitler and Stalin, and opens up a catastrophic landscape
David Herman, New Statesman
A revelatory account
John Gray, New Statesman
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
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
Gripping and comprehensive... revisionist history of the best kind: in spare, closely argued prose, with meticulous use of statistics
A superb work of scholarship, full of revealing detail, cleverly compiled from a number of previously little-known sources
A magnificent tour de force
this scrupulously researched history... is the first book in English to explore both German and Soviet mass killings together. As a history of political mass murder, Bloodlands serves to illuminate the political sickness that reduced 14 million people to the status of non-persons.
Ian Thompson, Daily Telegraph Review
[Snyder] has made extensive use of personal accounts and previously untapped evidence to offer a very human view of what might easily have become just another chapter in the study of politics. The effect is to create an emotionally charged book which gives the victims of the crimes a voice
Anita J Prazmowska, TLS
This is a powerful, personal and sometimes controversial account of the human tragedy'
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Timothy Snyder has written and edited a number of critically acclaimed and prize-winning books about twentieth-century European history, including Bloodlands, which won the Leipzig Prize for European Understanding ...