List Price: $30
Publisher: Tim Duggan
First entered: 12th, Sep 2015
Number of weeks: 2
A brilliant, haunting, and profoundly original portrait of the defining tragedy of our time.
In this epic history of extermination and survival, Timothy Snyder presents a new explanation of the great atrocity of the twentieth century, and reveals the risks that we face in the twenty-first. Based on new sources from eastern Europe and forgotten testimonies from Jewish survivors, Black Earth recounts the mass murder of the Jews as an event that is still close to us, more comprehensible than we would like to think, and thus all the more terrifying.
The Holocaust began in a dark but accessible place, in Hitler's mind, with the thought that the elimination of Jews would restore balance to the planet and allow Germans to win the resources they desperately needed. Such a worldview could be realized only if Germany destroyed other states, so Hitler's aim was a colonial war in Europe itself. In the zones of statelessness, almost all Jews died. A few people, the righteous few, aided them, without support from institutions. Much of the new research in this book is devoted to understanding these extraordinary individuals. The almost insurmountable difficulties they faced only confirm the dangers of state destruction and ecological panic. These men and women should be emulated, but in similar circumstances few of us would do so.
By overlooking the lessons of the Holocaust, Snyder concludes, we have misunderstood modernity and endangered the future. The early twenty-first century is coming to resemble the early twentieth, as growing preoccupations with food and water accompany ideological challenges to global order. Our world is closer to Hitler's than we like to admit, and saving it requires us to see the Holocaust as it was -- and ourselves as we are. Groundbreaking, authoritative, and utterly absorbing, Black Earth reveals a Holocaust that is not only history but warning.
Name: Timothy Snyder
About the author:
Timothy Snyder is Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. He has held fellowships in Paris, Vienna, and Warsaw, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard.
His most recent book is Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning, published in September 2015 by Crown Books. He is author also of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010), a history of Nazi and Soviet mass killing on the lands between Berlin and Moscow. A New York Times bestseller and a book of the year according to The Atlantic, The Independent, The Financial Times, the Telegraph, and the New Statesman, it has won twelve awards including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought.
His other award-winning publications include Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (1998); The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (2003); Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (2005); The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of A Habsburg Archduke (2008), and Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010).
Snyder helped Tony Judt to compose a thematic history of political ideas and intellectuals in politics, Thinking the Twentieth Century (2012). He is also the co-editor of Stalin and Europe: Terror, War, Domination and Wall Around the West: State Power and Immigration Controls in Europe and North America (2001).
Snyder was the recipient of an inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellowship in 2015. He is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and sits on the advisory council of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research Research.
He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in modern East European political history.