A comprehensive work of scholarship documenting the nightmarish history of the "bloodlands" that stretch from Poland to St. Petersburg and then southwest to where Ukraine runs into the Black Sea. In these areas the policies of Stalin and Hitler resulted in the deaths of 14 million people. Snyder asks -- how could so many human lives be brought to a violent end? Using primary sources in multiple languages, Snyder convincingly demonstrates that these deaths were the result not only of the policies of these leaders, but the convergence of their ideologies. He argues that National Socialism and Soviet Communism served as the perfect foils, allowing the totalitarian states to deflect blame on one another and on different ethnic groups living in these areas. He also questions whether in political terms a death can belong to anyone, and observes that at various times leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Poland, and Belarus have all engaged in "the politics of exaggeration" in an effort to exploit the numbers of dead from their countries to claim victimhood rather than responsibility.— Amy
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.
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.
"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