Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning - eBook
Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning - eBook  -     By: Timothy Snyder
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Tim Duggan Books / 2015 / ePub
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Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning - eBook

Tim Duggan Books / 2015 / ePub

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Stock No: WW74610EB


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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Tim Duggan Books
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 9781101903469
ISBN-13: 9781101903469

Publisher's Description

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.

Author Bio

Timothy Snyder is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is the author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century and Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which received the literature award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hannah Arendt Prize, and the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding. Snyder is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement and a former contributing editor at The New Republic. He is a permanent fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences, serves as the faculty advisor for the Fortunoff Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, and sits on the advisory council of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Bestseller
New York Times Editors' Choice
Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by The Washington Post, The Economist, and Publishers Weekly
Finalist for the Samuel Johnson Prize
Shortlisted for the 2016 Mark Lynton History Prize and the Council on Foreign Relations' Arthur Ross Book Award

Praise for Black Earth:


"Clear-eyed . . . Arresting . . . An unorthodox and provocative account . . . Snyder is admirably relentless." The New Yorker

"Black Earth is mesmerizing . . . Remarkable . . . Gripping . . . Disturbingly vivid . . . Mr. Snyder is sometimes mordant, often shocked, always probing." —The Wall Street Journal

"Revelatory . . . Evocative . . . Most relevant today." The Atlantic

"A very fine book . . . Snyder identifies the conditions that allowed the Holocaust—conditions our society today shares . . . He certainly couldn’t be more right about our world." The New Republic

"An unflinching look at the Holocaust . . . Mr. Snyder is a rising public intellectual unafraid to make bold connections between past and present." —The New York Times

"Snyder’s historical account has a vital contemporary lesson . . . It’s a testament to his intellectual and moral resources that he can so deeply contemplate this horrific past in ways that strengthen his commitment to building a future based on law, rights, and citizenship." —The Washington Post

"Black Earth elucidates human catastrophe in regions with which a Western audience needs to become familiar." —The New York Times Book Review

"An impressive reassessment of the Holocaust, which steers an assured course [and] challenges readers to reassess what they think they know and believe . . . Black Earth will prove uncomfortable reading for many who hew to cherished but mythical elements of Holocaust history." The Economist

"Excellent in every respect . . . Although I read widely about the Holocaust, I learned something new in every chapter. The multilingual Snyder has mined contemporaneous Eastern European sources that are often overlooked." —Stephen Carter, Bloomberg

"In Black Earth, a book of the greatest importance, Snyder now forces us to look afresh at these monumental crimes. Written with searing intellectual honesty, his new study goes much deeper than Bloodlands in its analysis, showing how the two regimes fed off each other." —Antony Beevor, The Sunday Times

"Snyder is both a great historian and a lively journalist . . . If we understood the Nazi horror more clearly, we might be less susceptible to those who misremember the past to mislead us in the present. Snyder's Black Earth, like Bloodlands before it, is an indispensable contribution to that clearer understanding." —Commentary

"Snyder writes elegant, lucid, powerful prose. He has read widely in literatures not widely read. In Black Earth he has synthesized previous work into a narrative of the Holocaust that recasts the familiar in unfamiliar terms that challenge the thinking of experts and non-experts alike." —Haaretz

"No matter how many histories, biographies, and memoirs you may have already read, Black Earth will compel you to see the Holocaust in a wholly new and revelatory light." The Jewish Journal

"In this unusual and innovative book, Timothy Snyder takes a fresh look at the intellectual origins of the Holocaust, placing Hitler's genocide firmly in the politics and diplomacy of 1930s Europe. Black Earth is required reading for anyone who cares about this difficult period of history." —Anne Applebaum

"Timothy Snyder's bold new approach to the Holocaust links Hitler's racial worldview to the destruction of states and the quest for land and food. This insight leads to thought-provoking and disturbing conclusions for today's world. Black Earth uses the recent past's terrible inhumanity to underline an urgent need to rethink our own future." —Ian Kershaw

"Part history, part political theory, Black Earth is a learned and challenging reinterpretation." —Henry Kissinger

"Black Earth
is provocative, challenging, and an important addition to our understanding of the Holocaust.  As he did in Bloodlands, Timothy Snyder makes us rethink those things we were sure we already knew." —Deborah Lipstadt

"Timothy Snyder’s Black Earth is not only a powerful exposure of the horrors of the Holocaust but also a compelling dissection of the Holocaust’s continuing threat." —Zbigniew Brzezinski

"Timothy Snyder argues, eloquently and convincingly, that the world is still susceptible to the inhuman impulses that brought about the Final Solution. This book should be read as admonition by presidents, prime ministers, and in particular by anyone who believes that the past is somehow behind us." —Jeffrey Goldberg

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  1. Jessica
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    An agenda other than history
    January 10, 2016
    Jessica
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 1
    For America, and likely much of Western Europe, most of what we know about World War II and the Holocaust comes from the Western perspective, and the battles fought on Germanys western front. In Black Earth, Timothy Snyder tells of the events in Eastern Europe that led to the destruction of smaller state governments, which opened the path for the Holocaust.

    He begins with an explanation of Hitlers beliefs. Science, nature, and politics were not separate entities. They were one. Therefore, true politics was the advancement of a master race (Germans) by the natural starvation of inferior races. Jews, according to Hitler, were a non-race, and their moral belief system (such as the Ten Commandments) went against the natural order. Jews, he thought, were then the cause of all that was wrong with the world and must be destroyed.

    Snyder goes on to give amazing detail and accounts of events that most have never learned of before. From Hitlers rise to power, through the errors and corrections to strategy by the Nazis, and through to the last days of the Holocaust, we see an even larger scope to Hitlers plans.

    The book is dense, and sometimes repetitive. The amount of information in each chapter would be daunting except for occasional tiny breaks between paragraphs. I often used these as stopping points, and was thankful for them. Snyder also has a substantial notes and sources section to identify where he got his information, however there are no notations within the text to the corresponding note or source. Instead, there are page numbers to the corresponding text beside each note in the back of the book. It makes it a bit more inconvenient if theres something you want more information on to look for a note when youre not sure theres even one there.

    But for what good is in this book, it felt like a bait-and-switch when I reached the last chapter, which nearly ruined any enjoyment I had of the book. This chapter explains how we should learn from Hitlers tactics to prevent anything like this from happening again, which I definitely agree with. The problem is that Snyder spends almost the entire chapter talking about climate change. He also likens the thinking and beliefs of Evangelical Christians and the American political Right with that of Hitler.

    The one thing that stood out for me the most, in regard to error, was his representation of Christians. Do Christians believe that prophecy of the return of Christ revolves around the state of Israel? Yes. But Snyder says that some are pro-Israel because they want Jews in the Holy Land during the coming apocalypse. This is a serious misrepresentation and over-simplification of Christian support of Israel as a nation. A support which in no way implies that all Jews should go to Israel.

    Snyder goes on to say, some of [the Jews] American patrons support policies that could hasten a catastrophe that would endanger the State of Israel, whose destruction they see as a stage in the redemption of the world. This is also seriously misinformed. Christians who support the State of Israel support its right to independence and its right to defend itself. While Christians do expect end times prophecy to be centered around Israeli conflict, it does not involve Israels destruction, and Christians have no desire to see such an end.

    Before I got to this last chapter, I noticed a mild error in Biblical discussion within the text. I overlooked it as an error from an author who wasnt a theology expert, though I wished a bit more thought had been given to it. The representation of Christians (and others) in the last chapter, to me, shows a total disregard for factual representation, and more of an agenda to push his own ideology. This seems totally out of place in what, for the most part, was an historical text. In my opinion, it could easily call into question the accuracy of the entire book. Especially considering, as the book jacket says, Snyder presents a new explanation Based on untapped sources and forgotten testimonies

    It seems that Snyder, a Professor of History at Yale, would have done better to trim down on some of the historical detail, input just a bit more of his own opinions and assumptions, and present his work as speculative. Otherwise, this book becomes its own form of propaganda.

    I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books for review purposes.
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