20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Tiptoe confidently through the minefield...,
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This review is from: The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (Paperback)
Although I'm not a historian, my ancestors are from the region Snyder writes about, and I think he has written an excellent book. It's not for the faint-hearted, in the sense that the history of the region is very complicated indeed, and yet he takes us clearly, confidently and in a very structured way through four centuries and the intertwined histories of five peoples (for the Jews of the area had no country of their own). He comes across in full command of an enormous amount of material and data, and manages to explain without prejudice or bias, the most horrific events so that they can be seen and understood from the perspectives of all the peoples and nations involved. If you want or need to understand why the map of Europe is the way it is today, I can't imagine anyone doing it more fairly or clearly than Snyder. And if you are connected with Eastern Europe in any way, although you may feel sad about the way things have ended up as a result of twentieth century history, you will probably agree that the situation now is the best that could be achieved, given the past.