So much has been written about the atrocities committed in Eastern Europe during the 1930s and 1940s – not to mention all the feature films and documentaries – that casual observers of history might think they already know this story. Then along comes Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who recasts the drama of the 14 million people starved, shot and gassed during a 12-year period. Snyder precisely documents how Stalin and Hitler utilized the “bloodlands” – the borderlands between their nations – to execute their genocidal plans. Snyder’s great contribution is to “turn the numbers back into people.” getAbstract thinks his meticulous history should be required reading, particularly for new generations who may not understand the full horror or impact of Europe’s greatest murder mystery. And what is that mystery? It is not who committed the crimes or why; that is mostly known from this source and many others. Rather it is how each victim faced death, often in the most cruel circumstances, and how the killers, millions of people, and their witnesses, millions more, lived with these crimes, and even justified them.
About the Author
Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder specializes in the Holocaust and Central and Eastern Europe.
Instant access to over 20,000 book summaries
Discover your next favorite book with getAbstract.
See prices >>
Stay up-to-date with emerging trends in less time.
Learn more >>
Customers who read this summary also read
Comment on this summary
2 months agoThis really is a fantastic book. The summary could do more to better and more memorably highlight the contribution of Snyder's work: <br> <br>Snyder analyses the entire period of mass murder during the lands between Germany and Soviet territories, from 1930-1945. This is a novel contribution to a relatively saturated field of research since these stories are told in isolation or against other narratives. Snyder cares not for sanctified stories, but rather analyses this bloody period in relation. <br> <br>This book gives an insight into murder and territory in the great middle: the 'Bloodlands'. <br> <br>Read this book!
3 years agoPoor non-sence.
5 years agoAn important subject for history students and whom ever is interested in the tragic holocaust, but an importance of 10 is way over the top. With all due respect, how would a drug addict, an American homeless or an African orphan would benefit from this book? Emotions took their toll with this disappoint and unbalanced rating. This is not to belittle the events, but current tragedies deserve more attention since they can be stopped unlike the tragic holocaust where it ended with only only tears and memories left from it.
6 years agoMaybe that's how summaries are supposed to be, but this was more of laundry list of facts. As a WWII buff of sorts, I already knew Germans and Russians killed people by the millions and knew of Sobibor, Treblinka, Katyn etc. Maybe I need to read the full book for more access to analysis, strategy or that human connection mentioned. Rated it a 7.
6 years agoGood summary about the Bloodlands. There're lots of concepts and historical backgrounds. I had a chance to visit Poland, Germany and Russia as a business try.
I had no idea why Hitler killed so many Jewish people before reading this summary. And the Holocaust is not everything in WW2. More than 14 million people were starved, shot, gassed in bloodlands. And 6 million Jews were dead.
It makes me to have more historic question.
6 years agoGood summary of WW 2. Very accurate and gives an extreme picture of how the Holocuast took place. Great summary of a a brief time period in which the number of people's lives that were lost equalled so many.