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Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin | [Timothy Snyder]

Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (410 )
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  •  
    Thomas Chapel Hill, NC, United States 10-14-12
    Thomas Chapel Hill, NC, United States 10-14-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "too long"

    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?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael MILAN, TN, United States 05-04-12
    Michael MILAN, TN, United States 05-04-12

    "Sapere Aude" Kant

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    "Sombering"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What about Ralph Cosham’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I sat in my car in the parking lot at work not wanting to stop listening.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walrus Rex Grand Junction, CO United States 01-31-15
    Walrus Rex Grand Junction, CO United States 01-31-15 Member Since 2008

    rexferal

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    "Horrifying"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book explores the darkest places of political extremism. The communists and Nazi out do each other in political terrorism.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BA 10-19-14
    BA 10-19-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    2
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    "Sad Commentary On the Human Race!"
    Would you listen to Bloodlands again? Why?

    No, it was informative but once is enough!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bloodlands?

    Realizing that Hitler was a novice of brutality compared to Stalin.


    Have you listened to any of Ralph Cosham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    If this doesn't depress a person then theres really a problem!


    Any additional comments?

    Very well done, but the truth is hard to bear!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Johnson Victoria, BC 09-19-14
    Mike Johnson Victoria, BC 09-19-14 Member Since 2012

    rower55

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    "Brutally Informative"

    In this book you will find a summary of the methods employed by Germany and Russia against the populations under their control. I have studied this era on and off for many decades with focus on the political aspects of the totalitarian practices of era regarding political repression including slavery and murder.
    This book is not loaded with what could be considered to be pornographic details but provides a kind of brief summary which may never be exceeded in completeness and brevity. This will give you an overview and provide what you need to know for a reasonably complete understanding.
    Narration excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    william f. wasley Sparks, NV United States 06-09-14
    william f. wasley Sparks, NV United States 06-09-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Aptly named"
    What made the experience of listening to Bloodlands the most enjoyable?

    There is nothing enjoyable about mass slaughter. The understanding of why it happened and who carried it out, from a historical perspective, was enlightening


    What other book might you compare Bloodlands to and why?

    Any book comparing killing on an enormous scale brought about by psychotic leaders


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When I finished it and it all sunk in. I then went to Poland with a new insight as to Polish history


    Any additional comments?

    Not for the faint of heart

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    McCoffee Saratoga, CA, United States 04-08-14
    McCoffee Saratoga, CA, United States 04-08-14

    I like history and biography, novels too. I do have a thing for zombie books as well. I need crappy thrillers now and then.

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    "Scrunched"

    We tend to think of Hitler and Germany to their west, but Ukraine and Belarus got it bad from both sides. Hard to believe what humans can do to each other. Well-researched, well-narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 12-07-13
    Amy 12-07-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Prepare to Change Your Perception of WWII"
    What did you love best about Bloodlands?


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book is graphic and disturbing, but so was mass murder of millions during WWII. There are several stories that are sad and poignant.


    Any additional comments?

    Be prepared to challenge your pre-conceived notions of WWII. This book will change your perceptions of the magnitude of the lives lost in both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It will also show that Hitler actually killed more people than Stalin did and that prison camps on both sides were not necessarily a death sentence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhea Fort Worth, TX, United States 09-13-13
    Rhea Fort Worth, TX, United States 09-13-13 Member Since 2013

    short, fat, and stupid.

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    "yikes"

    Reads like a spreadsheet of war crimes and there statistics. The first part of the book was very hard to get through, however it became easier and easier. Wasnt my favorite book but I am very glad I listened to it. It gave me a real feal as to the gravity and scale of the Soviet and German crimes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Santa Barbara, ca, United States 08-03-13
    Michael Santa Barbara, ca, United States 08-03-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Unbelievable"
    Would you listen to Bloodlands again? Why?

    No. I never reread books.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bloodlands?

    The post-war follow-up on how Stalin rewrote European history.


    What about Ralph Cosham’s performance did you like?

    Steady. Handled a ton of numbers in a straight forward manner. Unemotional without being monotone or flat.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. The subject is just too big - wide and deep.


    Any additional comments?

    The only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history.

    I've read several books on both theatres of war. This was unique due to its focus on the victims -both of Stalin and Hitler.

    Unlike the Pacific war, the battle in Europe was one of several ethnicities, religious beliefs and a staggering amount of leaders and methodologies. This book brought the all the nuance together.

    Painful to listen to what with all the inhumanity on exhibit. And, the numbers are just overwhelming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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