Books of the Year and Press Distinctions: The Independent, The Financial Times; The Economist, The Telegraph, The New Statesman, The Atlantic, BBC History Magazine, The Seattle Times, History Today, The Jewish Forward, Reason Magazine.  Editor's Pick, New York Times Book Review; Die Welt, Book of the Week; NRC Handelsblad, Book of the Week, El País, Book of the Week; NDR Sachbuch des Monats;  New York Times non-fiction bestseller, Der Spiegel non-fiction bestseller (Germany); Gazeta Wyborcza non-fiction bestseller (Poland); Dziennik Polski bestseller (Poland), Wall Street Journal #1 hardback history bestseller.

Prizes: Literature Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters; Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding; Phi Beta Kappa Emerson Book Award; Gustav Ranis International History Prize; Prakhina Foundation International Book Prize; Jean-Charles Velge Prize, Tadeusz Walendowski Book Prize, Cundill Prize Recognition of Excellence, shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize, shortlisted for the Wayne S. Vucinich Prize (ASEEES), shortlisted for the Austrian Scholarly Book of the Year. Jury commendation, Bristol Festival of Ideas.


“How Stalin and Hitler enabled each other’s crimes and killed 14m people between the Baltic and the Black Sea. A lifetime’s work by a Yale University historian who deserves to be read and reread.”

The Economist, Books of the Year

“[An] important new history…. One of Snyder’s major achievements in Bloodlands is to preserve this sense of the singularity of Jewish experience, even while showing its complex relationship to the terrible experiences of the peoples among whom Jews lived.... The relationship between Jews and Communism is probably the most explosive of all the subjects Snyder addresses, and here he benefits most from the strengths he shows throughout the book—deep learning, wide compassion, and clear, careful moral judgment.... [A]nyone who wants to fully comprehend the Holocaust—at least, as far as it can be comprehended—should read Bloodlands, which shows how much evil had to be done in order to make the ultimate evil possible.”

—Adam Kirsch, Tablet


“Snyder’s revisionist history describes how about 14 million people died in the lands between Germany and the Soviet Union, giving a fresh take on the tragedies that occurred during World War II.”

Roll Call

“This superb and harrowing history tells of 14m people murdered in the land between Berlin and Moscow between 1933 and 1945 – not only those who died in the Holocaust, but the 3.3m victims of Stalin’s starvation of the Soviet Ukraine, the many members of Poland’s elite who perished and the Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians starved by Hitler.”

Financial Times, holiday round-up


“Timothy Snyder…compels us to look squarely at the full range of destruction committed first by Stalin’s regime and then by Hitler’s Reich. Each fashioned a terrifying orgy of deliberate mass killing…. Snyder punctuates his comprehensive and eloquent account with brief glimpses of individual victims, perpetrators and witnesses.”

New York Times Book Review


“Snyder is perhaps the most talented younger historian of modern Europe working today. Astonishingly prolific, he grounds his work in authoritative mastery of the facts, mining tomes of information in multiple languages and brilliantly synthesizing his findings. At the very least, Bloodlands is valuable for its astounding narrative integration of a gruesome era of European history…. A preternaturally gifted prose stylist, [Snyder] strives for a moral urgency appropriate to his depressing topics, and he rarely succumbs to bathos…. [B]y any measure Bloodlands is a remarkable, even triumphant accomplishment.”

—Samuel Moyn, The Nation


“[A] genuinely shattering report on the ideology, the political strategy, and the daily horror of Soviet and Nazi rule in the region that Timothy Snyder calls the bloodlands…. Timothy Snyder did archival research in English, German, Yiddish, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Russian, and French. His learning is extraordinary. His vivid imagination leads him to see combinations, similarities, and general trends where others would see only chaos and confusion…. This is an important book. I have never seen a book like it.”

Istvan Deak, The New Republic


“Statistics are an important part of Mr. Snyder’s narrative, but he does not forget that every number was once a human being…. This book is a grim but important read.”

Washington Times


“To us in the West, the horrors of World War II are associated with the names of Auschwitz, Iwo Jima and Hiroshima. Without denying the significance of these places, Snyder, an immensely talented historian at Yale University, radically alters our understanding of the mass murder that went on during these years by showing in convincing fashion where and how most victims met their end. Bloodlands overflows with startling facts and revelations…. In a conclusion that should be required reading for all, Snyder addresses the moral questions raised by this murderous history with insight and recognition of the shades of culpability that make it difficult at times to neatly separate victims from perpetrators. He also shines much-needed light on the dangers of ‘competitive martyrology’ of the recent past, as the nations of the bloodlands have tried to claim greatest victim status.”

Seattle Times

“…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.”

Financial Times


“The story of World War II, like that of most wars, usually gets told by the victors. Diplomatic and military accounts are set largely in the West and star the morally upright Allies—the U.S., Britain and Soviet Union—in battles against fascism. The Holocaust gets its own separate history, as a case apart in its genocidal intent and human tragedy. Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin forces a dramatic shift in these perceptions…. Among his other goals in Bloodlands, Mr. Snyder attempts to put the Holocaust in context—to restore it, in a sense, to the history of the wider European conflict. This is a task that no historian can attempt without risking controversy. Yet far from minimizing Jewish suffering, Bloodlandsgives a fuller picture of the Nazi killing machine.”

The Wall Street Journal


“[A] brave and original history of mass killing in the twentieth century…. Snyder’s original contribution is to treat all of these episodes—the Ukrainian famine, the Holocaust, Stalin’s mass executions, the planned starvation of Soviet POWs, postwar ethnic cleansing—as different facets of the same phenomenon. Instead of studying Nazi atrocities or Soviet atrocities separately, as many others have done, he looks at them together. Yet Snyder does not exactly compare the two systems either. His intention, rather, is to show that the two systems committed the same kinds of crimes at the same times and in the same places, that they aided and abetted one another, and above all that their interaction with one another led to more mass killing than either might have carried out alone.”

Anne Applebaum, New York Review of Books

“[G]ripping 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…. Even those who pride themselves on knowing their history will find themselves repeatedly brought up short by his insights, contrasts and comparisons…. Mr. Snyder’s scrupulous and nuanced book steers clear of the sterile, sloganising exchanges about whether Stalin was as bad as Hitler, or whether Soviet mass murder in Ukraine or elsewhere is a moral equivalent of the Nazis’ extermination of the Jews. What it does do, admirably, is to explain and record. Both totalitarian empires turned human beings into statistics, and their deaths into a necessary step towards a better future. Mr. Snyder’s book explains, with sympathy, fairness and insight, how that happened, and to whom.”

The Economist


“A chillingly systematic study of the mass murder mutually perpetrated by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany…. A significant work of staggering figures and scholarship.”

Kirkus Reviews, starred review


“[Bloodlands] modifies our view of this appalling period.... Snyder insists that the colossal atrocities in his ‘bloodlands’ have to be set inside a single historical frame. To look at them separately – for instance, to see Hitler’s crimes as ‘so great as to stand outside history’, or Stalin’s as a monstrous device to achieve modernisation – is to let the two dictators ‘define their own works for us’.... This book’s unforgettable account of the Ukraine famine shows conclusively that Stalin knew what was happening in the countryside and chose to let it run its course.... 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.”

Guardian (UK)


“This is a superb work of scholarship, full of revealing detail, cleverly compiled from a number of previously little-known sources, and in places beautifully written…. He searched hidden archives in five countries and judiciously mined unknown memoirs and diaries.... Snyder does justice to the horror of his subject through the power of his storytelling.”

The Sunday Times (UK)

“Solid and judicious scholarship.” Booklist


“A chillingly systematic study of the mass murder mutually perpetrated by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany…. A significant work of staggering figures and scholarship.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


“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


“Nearly seventy years after VE-Day, World War Two continues to be perceived through a narrow Western perspective, and many basic problems about the war of 1939-45 remain unresolved. In Bloodlands – which refers to the huge belt of territory between Germany and Russia – Timothy Snyder examines the little known tract of the European continent that was scourged by Stalin as well as Hitler, and reaches some disturbing conclusions.  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.” —Professor Norman Davies


“Historians of Nazi Germany have analyzed Hitler’s war of destruction in the East, Final Solution, and vast racial revolution and colonization project outlined in the Generalplan Ost. Historians of the Soviet Union have analyzed Stalin’s collectivization, Great Terror, Gulag archipelago, deportation and exile of mistrusted minorities, and rapid sovietization of newly-annexed territories on the western border. In both cases the focus has been more often on the politics and decision-making of the dictatorships than on the fate of their victims. 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, Frank Porter Graham Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


“For over a decade in the middle of twentieth century, the lands between Russia and Germany were the killing fields of Europe. Tens of millions of civilians from Poland to Ukraine, Lithuania to Belarus were starved, beaten, shot and gassed to death by the authorities and armies of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. We think we know this story and we assign it shorthand labels: Auschwitz, the Gulag. In his path-breaking and often courageous study of Europe’s ‘bloodlands,’ Timothy 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.” Tony Judt, author of Postwar and Ill Fares the Land

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