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Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin Hardcover – 30 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head; First Edition 4th Impression edition (30 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224081411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224081412
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 330,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"scintillating... cogently argued"--Daily Express

"[Snyder's] use of Polish sources makes this book almost unique for English-language readers...superb"--Literary Review

"a superb work of scholarship, full of revealing detail, cleverly compiled from a number of previously little-known sources"--Sunday Times

"Gripping and comprehensive... revisionist history of the best kind: in spare, closely argued prose, with meticulous use of statistics"--The Economist

"Snyder set out to give a human face to the many millions of victims of totalitarianism. He has succeeded admirably."--Roger Moorehouse, 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."--The Guardian

Book Description

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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109 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk on 24 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was raised amongst survivors of the great horror that was the War in Eastern Europe. My mother endured forced labour under the Soviets in 1940 and slave labour under the Nazis after 1941. She saw some of her family being deported by the Soviets to almost certain death in Kazakhstan and discovered the rest in a mass grave, shot by the Nazis. Her best friend survived Auschwitz. My Godfather was a partizan in the forests around Lwow, fighting both Nazis and Soviets. My Godmother lived through the Stalinist regime, survived the battles for Kharkov and slave labour in Germany. I was taught chess by a White Russian whose memories of that time were horrific. Even I visited Auschwitz in 1963 - when I returned to England I was shocked to realise non of the English people I knew knew anything about the place. Until recently who, apart from the Poles, knew the truth about Katyn?
So, when I started reading Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands" my first impression was "There is nothing new here". I'd heard it all in one place or another. But what Snyder does do is take all those evils and puts them together in his Pandora's Box - only one thing is missing, Hope. Because there was no hope, only fear and death. The depressing bleakness hollows out the soul. One has to pause to take stock, to look away, to absorb the evil and hear the dead cry out for justice, and an understanding that what happened there, on the "Eastern Front", in the "Bloodlands", actually exceeded anything the West could understand: "...The American and British soldiers who liberated the dying inmates from camps in Germany believed that they had discovered the horrors of Nazism.
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180 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Lost John TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Timothy Snyder defines the Bloodlands in today's terms as Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, Petersburg, the western rim of the Russian Federation, and most of Poland. Between 1930 and 1945, the region saw the murder of more than 14 million people. The famine associated with farm collectivisation took more than three million lives, mostly in Ukraine. The Great Terror (/Purge/Yezhovshchina), also pre-war, took 700,000. The Nazis and Soviets then invaded Poland and the Baltic States, and both set about eliminating the educated classes; 200,000 dead. Hitler invaded the Soviet Union and starved to death a million or more Leningrad residents and three million prisoners of war. More than five million Jews living in Poland, the Baltic States and the occupied Soviet Union were shot or gassed. After the tide of war turned, the Soviets encouraged partisans to harry retreating German troops (but gave them little support) and a further half million civilians were killed in Belarus and Warsaw.

As the 700 plus entries in the bibliography of this volume demonstrate, there is a vast scholarship that falls within or overlaps this subject area. Timothy Snyder's achievement, and it is very considerable, is to bring it all together, presenting data, narrative and a selection of first-hand accounts as a coherent and digestible whole. The horror and the scale of the slaughter are hard to comprehend - staggering numbers of people rounded-up, transported, killed, and bodies disposed of in very short spaces of time, even a single day, or night. They are also hard to take, especially when a few last words reach us from a victim, such as from a child who knows she is about to be killed, and how.

But Timothy Snyder has a bigger purpose than merely to shock us.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr Barry Clayton TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
There is very little one can add to the excellent reviews already listed save to say that in this book Snyder again demonstrates his ability to write yet another magnificent history. A Professor at Yale, he has already written acclaimed books such as :'The Reconstruction of Nations', books that reek of deep knowledge and meticulous scholarship.

Sad to say there are still people who deny the atrocities committed by Stalin and Hitler (plus of course thousands of willing assistants). They ought to be force-fed this book. The crimes these monsters were responsible for are almost impossible to comprehend. How can one, for example, imagine millions being deliberately starved to death?

Snyder has linguistic skills of a very high order and an ability to write outstanding books based on original research. No matter how many books one has read on this period of history you will learn a great deal that is new from 'Bloodlands'.

For students, and some historians, he usefully explains the distinction between concentration camps and death camps. There is much confusion about these terms and Snyder makes the difference very clear. As he points out many people survived the horrors of the camps while none survived the killing sites. There was an enormous difference between labour and gas, slavery and bullets.

Snyder's discussion of the appalling Gulags should be read in conjunction with Applebaum's brilliant account in :Gulag'. Both remind us that in order to defeat the Nazis we had to 'sup with the devil' who ruled the Soviet Union.
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