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Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin…

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Timothy Snyder

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8733810,166 (4.29)100
Title:Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
Authors:Timothy Snyder
Info:Basic Books (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 544 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder (2010)


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A very sobering and sad commentary on the atrocities in the geographies the author talks about. Can only be taken in fairly small “doses”, because of the graphic depictions he provides. Even though his numbers might not be exact (and could be exaggerated), he tries to explain the context of how he arrived at them in his afterword. Nonetheless, the numbers issues do not override the sheer volume of atrocities that occurred. I highly recommend this book to everyone – a very strong stomach is required, but the book may cause you to reconsider some of the pre-conceived thoughts you may have about what happened, who did what and where, and how/why some of the “events” in these geographies have gotten greater emphasis in the US press and teaching of history in US schools, versus the emphasis that may be given to these events in Eastern European and Soviet materials. Be sure to read the afterword and other materials at the end of the book for further information, as well as his comments about how we view the individuals who committed these atrocities. An excellent book. ( )
  highlander6022 | Mar 16, 2016 |
The book describes the killing of more than 14 million people in the name of Stalin and Hitler. Many more people died by deliberate starvation, executions, and other forms of murdering than as direct casualties of the war in the so-called bloodlands: Poland, Ukraine, Belarusse, the Soviet Union west of Moscow.
The author is clear about his aim in this book and in later publications: "The nazi and Soviet regimes turned people into numbers, some of which we can only estimate, some of which we can reconstruct with fair precision. It is for us as scholars to seek these and put them into perspective. it is for us as humanists to turn the numbers back into peoplel if we cannot do that, the Hitler and Stalin have shaped not only our world, bur our humanity." (p.408) ( )
  Dettingmeijer | Nov 23, 2015 |
Epochal! ( )
  Jacobflaws | Jan 20, 2015 |
In spite of the abundant WWII literature and movies, we only have a partial understanding of things since the first half of the 20th century is still too often viewed through Western European eyes only. Without wanting to minimise what happened in the Western half of the continent, the atrocities in Eastern Europe belonged to a wholly different order of magnitude. The author concentrates on this part of Europe that found itself between two totalitarian states - with tens of millions of civilian victims as a result. He makes the counterintuitive and chilling case how Hitler and Stalin, though political opponents, were often strategic allies in obliterating the population of these bloodlands. The consequences reverberate to this day, both in the physical landscape of the ruined cities, the silence of its lost population and in the geopolitical tensions in countries like Poland and Ukraine. ( )
  fist | Oct 26, 2014 |
In writing Bloodlands, Timothy Snyder has given us a new way to look at the tragedy of the years leading up to and including the Second World War. While it makes for a harrowing read, it is a necessary book for anyone interested in Eastern Europe and the Second World War.

Snyder rightly eschews simplistic comparisons between the deaths caused by both Hitler and Stalin but does not shy away from a brutal retelling of the stories of those many millions who were soon to be voiceless.

If anything, this book provides a brilliant polemic against bureaucracy and totalitarianism while being careful not to dismiss the violence to come out of both fascism and communism as madness or behavior beyond the pale. Snyder teases out the perspectives of victims and oppressors on all sides, allowing one to see causes and consequences not of individual inhumanity but the inhumanity of the systems in which human beings were helplessly entangled.

Finally, Snyder's book provides a useful corrective to the dearth of information which still exists due to decades of Soviet secrecy in the wake of the USSR's victory. One gets the sense that there are volumes of research yet to be undertaken before a complete picture of the tragedy emerges, particularly surrounding deaths in the Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Undoubtedly the task to uncover this information remains daunting, but Snyder has provided us with the first steps as well as an excellent framework for doing so. ( )
  twp77 | Aug 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Snyder’s ambition is to persuade the West—and the rest of the world—to see the war in a broader perspective. He does so by disputing popular assumptions about victims, death tolls, and killing methods—of which more in a moment—but above all about dates and geography. The title of this book, Bloodlands, is not a metaphor. Snyder’s “bloodlands,” which others have called “borderlands,” run from Poznan in the West to Smolensk in the East, encompassing modern Poland, the Baltic states, Ukraine, Belarus, and the edge of western Russia (see map on page 10). This is the region that experienced not one but two—and sometimes three—wartime occupations. This is also the region that suffered the most casualties and endured the worst physical destruction.

More to the point, this is the region that experienced the worst of both Stalin’s and Hitler’s ideological madness.
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.
added by ekorrhjulet | editThe Economist (Oct 14, 2010)
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In this revelatory book, Timothy Snyder offers a groundbreaking investigation of Europe's killing fields and a sustained explanation of the motives and methods of both Hitler and Stalin. He anchors the history of Hitler's Holocaust and Stalin's Terror in their time and place and provides a fresh account of the relationship between the two regime.… (more)

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