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 World War II in the six million Jews killed in German concentration camps, the reality is even grimmer. In 13 years, the Nazi and Soviet regimes killed 13 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.
©2010 Timothy Snyder (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"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)
“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)
i learned a fair bit, buts it just gets way too long. you can miss large sections and not feel like anything changed. Yes, it makes you appreciate how bad things got in this area, and gave me a new appreciation for a different aspect/way of looking at this period of history, but could be a lot more succinct. Also the author is pretty full of himself and i would say makes arguments that don't make sense to me...so Auschwitz was both a death camp and a concentration camp, but only the persons that came there as death camp inmmates died, and so the concentration camp portion was not that bad? what kind of sense does that make?
"Sapere Aude" Kant
Yes. The Author tames the hubris with the humanity by showing that Hitler and Stalin were two sides of the same murderous coin and their victims deserved to be heard and acknowledged. Many of the books about the events leading up to WWII give mention to the cruelty of these two despots, but they do not drag into the depths of the mud and despair that millions of people suffered due to their ethnicity or religious affiliation. This book is depressing, but necessarily so. We need to remember that the tragedy of any war is the loss of innocent and non combative lives.
Mr. Cosham's tone and inflection were perfect. He made the story "enjoyable" by being able to give the necessary levity to the subject matter.
Yes. I sat in my car in the parking lot at work not wanting to stop listening.
A powerfully told, humbling account of what it was like to live and die in the lands situated between two of history's greatest monsters.
Excellent historical explanation of a time and place we know too little about in the West.
Good narration, but different takes were spliced together, sometimes mid-sentence, which was a bit distracting.
I had a hard time getting through this book, but I knew it would be hard. This story has usually been split between the Nazi crimes and the Soviet crimes. This book ties it together across borders and across the region. The numbers of victims is astonishing and the book moves thru the incidents chronologically which makes it tough to get through. Yet I feel we owe it to the dead to learn of what happened to so very many innocent humans.
Far too detailed. Don't need an account of every death that occured during this time period. The narrator, on the other hand, was exceptional.
Though difficult to listen at times because of the nature of the subject matter, this book covers the harrowing impact of Hitler and Stalin on the civilian populations of Eastern Europe. This history is not well known but should be widely taught.
It written, detailed information, and very informative. In reading/listing to this you will learn parts of Russian history and Nazi history that you did not realize. It delves deeper then just the holocaust. A fascinating yet horrific time of history.
The only complaint I have about the book is some of the descriptions are gory, but then it is a gory time in history and it does drive the circumstances home.
This book explores the darkest places of political extremism. The communists and Nazi out do each other in political terrorism.
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