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4.00062774639046 out of 54.00062774639046 out of 54.00062774639046 out of 54.00062774639046 out of 54.00062774639046 out of 5 4.00 (1,593 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Timothy Snyder Narrator: Ralph Cosham Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781455199020
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Americans think of World War II as “The Good War,” a moment when the forces of good resoundingly triumphed over evil. Yet the war was not decided by D-Day. It was decided in the East, by the Red Army and Joseph Stalin. While conventional wisdom locates the horrors of WWII in the six million Jews killed in German concentration camps, the reality is even grimmer. In thirteen years, the Nazi and Soviet regimes killed thirteen million people in the lands between Germany and Russia. The majority of these deaths occurred in Eastern Europe, not Germany.

In the groundbreaking long-view style of Tony Judt and Niall Ferguson, Tim Snyder, one of America’s foremost historians of Eastern Europe, has written a new history of Europe that focuses on the battleground of Eastern Europe, which suffered the worst crimes of Hitler and Stalin. Based upon scholarly literature and primary sources in all of the relevant languages, Bloodlands pays special attention to the sources left by those who were killed: the letters home, the notes flung from trains, the diaries found on corpses.

This is a new kind of European history, one more concerned with suffering than with intention, one that recognizes how stories of progress or victory have excluded the most salient human experience, and one focused on the extreme predicament of the tens of millions of Europeans who found themselves between Hitler and Stalin.

The scale of destruction in the lands between Germany and Russia has eluded historians and baffles the cynicism of our new century, but for these very reasons, Bloodlands offers the way forward to a sensible reconstruction of European history. Ultimately, in Snyder’s matchless telling, the German and Soviet regimes appear not so much as totalitarian twins but as rivals whose ruthless pursuit of similar goals doomed millions of innocents.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The most definitive book ever written on the atrocities of Hitler and Stalin…It’s one of the most shocking books I have ever read in my life…written by a genius, Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale. This is a really amazing book…I thought I’d seen it all, heard it all—I didn’t.”

    Michael Savage, New York Times bestselling author and host of The Michael Savage Show

  • “[A] brave and original history of mass killing in the twentieth century.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “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

  • “[A] stunning book…Certainly, we need to know everything, understand everything, feel everything. Snyder’s book, by making an original account of the period in copious detail laid out in somberly blunt declarative sentences, should expand these three faculties in anyone who engages its grim but lucid exposition.”

    New Yorker

  • “Meticulously researched…As a corrective to our usual picture of the period, Bloodlands is immensely valuable…A forceful and important lesson in historical geography.”


  • “Part of the freshness of Bloodlands is that it flips around our traditional viewpoint on the Second World War and the years that led up to it: Instead of seeing the conflict from the top down, as a struggle between powers, it begins with the perspective of the victims and those who were closest to the murder…There will continue to be intense arguments about the extent to which the crimes of Hitler and Stalin can, or should, be seen in the same light. But there is one thing we can know unequivocally: For the victims, there was no difference.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Snyder’s research is careful and thorough, his narrative powerful…By including Soviet with German mass atrocities in his purview, Timothy Snyder begins the necessary but as yet still taboo examination of the full depravity of total war as it was practiced in the twentieth century, before the advent of nuclear weapons foreclosed it.”

    Washington Post

  • Bloodlands does what every truly important book should: It makes us see the world differently.”

    Wall Street Journal, “Five Best” feature

  • “In his path-breaking and often courageous study of Europe’s ‘bloodlands,’ Tim 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 Reappraisals

  • “Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands is one of the most impressive books of history that I have ever read.”


  • “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 US, 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.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “This is a book which will force its readers to rethink history.”

    Norman Davies

  • “History of a high order, Bloodlands may also point us towards lessons for our own time.”

    Timothy Garton Ash

  • “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

  • “[A] magisterial work…Snyder’s account is engaging, encyclopedic.”

    Foreign Affairs

  • Snyder’s book forces us to frame the Holocaust within a wider landscape of genocidal policies by both the Nazis and the Soviets without diminishing the uniqueness of Hitler’s war against the Jews.”

    Jewish Book World

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • An Economist Best Book of 2010

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb Nuttall Pramick | 2/3/2014

    " Hard to believe this could happen so recently. I already knew about the Terror, and the famines, but to read the stories and see the numbersd is astounding. Incredible research. I have to admit, I find myself thinking "this is impossible, he must be wrong!" A great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Douglas | 1/4/2014

    " A great and terrible book about the greatest horror of the 20th Century - Nazi and Soviet mass murder in Eastern Europe. Chapter after chapter, it immerses the reader in the worst things in the world, without ever really becoming numbing or unbearable. The last chapter is a fearless moral conclusion, condemning the appropriation of victimhood, of lies and damn lies, and how those are not harmless (albiet odious) political devices, but have actually led to more killing. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 12/23/2013

    " Stunning story of the fate that fell to the lands unfortunate to fall between two of the 20th century's worst psychopaths. A good complement to "Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million" by Martin Amis. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Morgun | 12/3/2013

    " Excellent look at the complicated rise of two tyrants that for ever reshaped the world. A good historical look at the circumstances surrounding their rise to power. Well researched and well written. Although hard and grim reminder of psychotic actions driven by power. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Jordan | 11/7/2013

    " Perhaps one of the most depressing -- yet necessary -- books I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stanley Cloud | 10/29/2013

    " Grim reading, but the go-to book for detailed accounts of the murders committed by Hitler and Stalin against the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olegs Tkacevs | 10/20/2013

    " Great book! Perfect for those who are interested in the bloody history of Eastern Europe during the WWII and Stalin`s repressions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 8/9/2013

    " Although it describes events almost too terrible to read, an excellent and necessary lesson. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura Kuhn | 5/18/2012

    " Not a light read, either in style or substance, but it definitely gives a new perspective on genocide and the 20th century. I consider myself fairly well-versed in these topics, and this gave new-to-me information. I may purchase a copy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew H | 4/5/2012

    " An amazing and telling history of the lands between Russia and Germany which endured the brunt of both Hitler and Stalin's methods and motives of extermination of populations barely hinted at in the confines of the Holocaust "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Mackey | 3/22/2012

    " Depressing book alright but deeply interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rita | 3/19/2012

    " Too depressing. After reading about Stalin's deliberate starvation of the Ukraine, I couldn't go on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gaeta1 | 1/3/2012

    " "One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic" --Stalin "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 9/22/2011

    " A must read for those who don't learn history in school today. A true account of how man can be cruel and evil in the name of their government. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 May | 5/10/2011

    " A litany of death coloured by individual lives. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olegs | 4/23/2011

    " Great book! Perfect for those who are interested in the bloody history of Eastern Europe during the WWII and Stalin`s repressions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darosenthal | 4/17/2011

    " Though Professor Snyder's account occasionally bogs down with apparatchik in-fights, he challenges the mind's capacity for horror as this once-multinational landscape is alternately transported, butchered, and starved into a war-shocked, Jewless state. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 4/8/2011

    " Horribly disturbing, but fills in a lot of pre- and WWII events that you never heard about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 4/7/2011

    " Interesting study of how most intentional murder during WWII done by Germans and Russians occurred in area of Eastern Europe between Germany and Russia. But not very well written and in much need of editing (i.e., way too long for what it said). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 4/1/2011

    " Made it through half and skimmed the rest. This book was a beating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Davehbo | 3/22/2011

    " Excellent look at Holocaust from a different view. Russia/Germany war. Explains different ideas for Final Solution. Things evolved, and this author was on top of it. "

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About the Author
Author Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is the author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century and Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which received the literature award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hannah Arendt Prize, and the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding. Snyder is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement and a former contributing editor at The New Republic. He is a permanent fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences, serves as the faculty advisor for the Fortunoff Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, and sits on the advisory council of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research.

About the Narrator

Ralph Cosham (1936–2014), a.k.a. Geoffrey Howard, was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles, and several of his narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. He won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and in 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for Best Mystery Narration for his reading of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.