From the sometimes poetic, often homeric, always impressive writing, to the profound turns of phrase, to the illuminating and exhaustive research into the events and the period, to the deeply insightful interpretation of human motivation, action, and psychology, this book far and away transcends most historical narratives and achieves insights far deeper and far more enlightening than any I've read or listened to before. The performance is equal to the subject matter and the writing. The narrator captures the tone brilliantly. You can read other reviews and capsules to get a sense of subject matter; there’s no need to go into it here. In my view, to listen to or read this book is to gain an understanding not just of some of the most horrible events in history, but of what makes us human. It’s not just a book; it’s an experience.
This is an absolutely illuminating performance. Though the amount of dates, historical figures, and facts would ordinarily make for a burdensome audio, Snyder's brilliant writing and Cosham's wonderful narration bring to life the terrible period of East European history. I found myself as engaged with this book as I would any work of nonfiction, sympathizing with the victims, visualizing their plight, and yearning to hear more. This is easily one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to
Yes, if they like the History Eastern Europe and Hitler and Stalin's impact on the area.
Mao-The Untold Story. It has a lot of the same tragedy but in a different location.
If you are interested in the impact of Stalin and Hitler on the area between Russia and Germany and the devastation wrought on these people you'll like this book. It gives a different perspective to WWII and the early Cold War era. It gives more ammunition to the discrediting of Communism and Fascism. Not uplifting but powerful.
definitely my best audible experience so far. so much has been forgotten or not reported in the u.s. about stalin's famine in the ukraine and poland compared to all we know about hitler's misdeeds.
fluid delivery and compassion for the people afflicted by the tyranny.
horror, incredulity made me cry.
This is a part of our modern history of which we have almost no understanding. This book documents those underlying events that most historians bypass or gloss over. Unfortunately that author crosses his own path several times in the book with the effect of extending the the story to the point that I felt I was listening to the same events told from several angles. The end result was that I have been unable to finish this importand piece of history; perhaps another day.
Yes, lots of historical information. Gives a better understanding of the suffering, and the callousness to that suffering that was going on during World War Two.
I've read numerous books over the years about the Holocaust, Europe during World War I and World War II, and I have studied countless other documentaries on the same subjects. But, I don't think I've ever been so thoroughly engrossed and caught up in such an accounting of Europe during that era as I was during the reading/listening of Timothy Snyder's Bloodlands.
Even though the author probably overdid the statistical storytelling of the horrific numbers of such a tremendous torture and killing, and away, the story needs to be told, and the numbers even though hard to fathom, need to be stated so that you can at least have an attempt at realizing the unimaginable time that this world went through less than 100 years ago.
With all if the uprisings and totalitarian States that still exist in the world today, you would think that humanity would have learned its lesson by now.
Let's just hope that we never have to revisit the magnitude and scale of the loss of humanity, misery, human torture and loss of life ever again.
It's a shame, and all you can ask yourself is "Why God… Why?"
Almost every page is filled with the horror of massive killing. Not an 'enjoyable' topic, but Snyder has authored a riveting presentation of historical events.
Synder's relatively unique combination of historical factors as related to a geographic area provide a perfect framework for this explanation of how and why 14 million people were murdered by Germany and Russia.
The killing of 14 million non-combatants is not an easy topic to hear. Because of the murderous theme of the book, it was necessary to frequently stop for a rest from the often gruesome presentation of facts.
A first rate history book in which Snyder presents a unique and thoughtful analysis of how and why 14 million citizens were murdered in the name of politics. Snyder also successfully challenges numerous commonly accepted 'truths' about the forces unleashed by Hitler and Stalin. I am left with the conclusion that there is no such thing as an innate positive human nature.
I've read quite a lot about WWII and the Holocaust, but this book really bought home the scale of the industrial murder that took place between the Elbe and the Vistula and between 1933 and 1945. Snyder doesn't need to make trite comparisons between Stalinist and Hitlerian atrocities - he lets the crimes and the victims speak for themselves, and the result is a valuable and humane book that should be compulsory reading for our current crop of gung-ho intellectual pygmy leaders, keen to repeat the same mistakes in our supposedly more enlightened times.
Tell us about yourself! I like Russian novels.
I appreciated Snyder's professional integrity throughout the book. He drew me into the story so well, I felt I needed to call my therapist, after I finished each chapter.
I can think of no book that compares to Bloodlands.
Ralph Cosham's contribution is more than amazing!
I will be crying for the rest of my life.