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Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,101 ratings  ·  384 reviews
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 Jewis
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Published September 8th 2015 by Random House Audio (first published September 2015)
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Gene Mierzejewski If anything, Snyder underestimates the death toll of the Holocaust. He deeply researched this book using many previously neglected sources and…moreIf anything, Snyder underestimates the death toll of the Holocaust. He deeply researched this book using many previously neglected sources and presents the results in a dispassionate manner. He doesn't have to exaggerate the brutality and lets the facts alone spin a tale of horror.(less)
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4.23  · 
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 ·  2,101 ratings  ·  384 reviews


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BlackOxford
The Continuing Struggle Against Civilisation

Black Earth is a remarkable re-interpretation of the Holocaust. Snyder goes beyond the statistical and sociological facts of mass murder in order to understand the underlying evil of the disaster. And he succeeds. His acute insights and narrative skills in the introductory chapter alone are worth the entire price of admission.

According to Snyder, Hitler's attempt to annihilate the Jews was not racially motivated nor was it concerned with religion as s
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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I picked this book because in the sixth grade I had one of the most amazing teacher that I can remember. She spent 9 weeks teaching us the history of the Holocaust. My son is in the sixth grade so I thought I would brush up with the history of that tragedy with this book.
This book is almost over my head. It did not work for what I had intended it for.
But does that mean it's a bad book? Of course not.

Snyder gives a detailed. (Sometimes almost mind numbingly so) recounting of Hitler's maniacal ri
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Hadrian
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii, war, nonfiction, history
I often feel a vague disconnect in reading academic studies about the Holocaust. How could this most momentous of crimes be reduced to a single cause or even explained? Could it ever be compared to another genocide or a mass death or is it still unique? It is this study of the purpose of history which underlies Snyder's work. He has interpreted the Holocaust through a transnational lens in his other work, Bloodlands, and this volume further expands upon Hitler's obsessive reasoning.

The title of
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Paul Bryant

Turgid, tiresome, tedious and inelegant, hammering metronomically away at three fundamental ideas, this book nevertheless gives the patient reader (you have to be very patient) some great perspectives on the Holocaust.

BIOLOGICAL ANARCHY

Prof Snyder kicks off with maybe the best part of the whole dense book which is an analysis of Mein Kampf and Hitler’s mental universe. Hitler was “a warmongering biological anarchist” and it’s a great mistake to think he was a German nationalist. He was way beyo
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Elyse Walters
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is a challenging book to comprehend entirely.
"Black Earth" is much-in part-about the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust. The author explains how in Hitler's mind, the thought of elimination of Jews – – all of them – – would restore balance in our world. Germany would then be able to have the resources they needed.
The author also says it was the National States- soviets and Nazis-Who took the protection away from people, leaving millions to die.
Timothy Synder also talks about the fa
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Ilse
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, 2016
In the end, then, the working farm was a sort of institution, both economic and moral, in which Jewish children could find a place. Like the bond between mothers and children, or fathers and children, or nannies and children, a farmstead provided a relationship where some Jewish children could fit. Like marriage, the prospect of marriage, or sexual desire, labor could generate an image of the present or the future where someone was missing, where someone was needed, where someone could be added. ...more
Jay Green
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starts very promisingly, with some fascinating insights into Hitler's worldview and philosophy, as well as a novel (to me) holistic approach to European international relations that enables Snyder to explain why the Holocaust took the precise shape that it did, a shape that we tend to think of as fully formed from the beginning but which in fact appears to have occurred the way it did because of numerous errors of judgement, policymaking on the fly, and developments on the ground. Snyder's proce ...more
Matthew Barlow
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This may well be one of the single most impressive books that I have ever read about the Holocaust. Snyder approaches the subject from multiple angles and completely reinvents how we think about this period of history. Unlike many Holocaust books, Black Earth does not focus directly on mass murder, but instead on the political and institutional ideologies that made it possible.

Snyder examines Hitler in his earliest political form in order to understand his thinking and rational so that it is pos
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Lobstergirl

You can think of this as a kind of sequel to Snyder's 2010 book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. He continues the story of how misemphases of parts of the Holocaust have led us to place the camps as the primary locales of death (they weren't, most of the killing was done outside of them) and German borders as the ones our imaginations take us to, when very little killing, in relative terms, was actually done inside those borders. Snyder has shifted the Holocaust east. He has also em
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David M
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greatest book I've read this year

The conclusion, which purports to give the 'warning' of the title, is probably the weakest part. I don't want to focus on that now. Frankly I don't much want to attempt an intellectual evaluation at all. Black Earth leaves me very nearly speechless. More than an impressive piece of scholarship, truly a work of art. Utterly devastating. Aside from a few old favorites I revisited, the greatest book I've read so far this year.

*
No one knows more about this subject
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Conor
I decided to read this one because Timothy Snyder, a history professor at Yale, has been making a lot of high-profile, baleful predictions about Trumpian autocracy. I kind of wanted to see how sensationalist he was in one of his books, and I'm always eager to try to use history as a way to understand the present.

The thesis of the book comes most succinctly in its final pages:

Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski, . . . wrote that 'a man can be human only under human conditions.' The purpose of the state is
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Paul
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Black Earth – A Warning from History

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning is the latest book from the excellent historian Timothy Snyder, which we should sit up and take notice of. Like the famous statement that if we fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, is never more apt than now with the current situation in the middle east. The lessons from this book can be used time and time again especially when we allow civilisations to collapse.

In what has to be one of the best
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Ionia
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rarely do I give any book having to do with the Holocaust more than three or four stars, as I usually feel like the information has just been recycled. This book, however, deserves all five stars.

Whether you are an historian or simply have an interest in this subject, 'Black Earth' will be very eye opening. In this detailed account, the author offers a broader look at the events leading up to the more commonly discussed and recounted Holocaust.

Instead of starting at the height of the Nazi regi
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 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Not an easy book to read but an incredibly interesting one. Focusing on Hitlers attempted extermination of the Jews and the fact that it represented the political climate at the time and there are signs we are in the middle of a resurgence. A real eye opener that drags you kicking and screaming into the shit that is currently happening in this world of ours.
Jennifer Coppolo Holsing
Not an easy book, by any stretch, but a compelling and important one. I don't know if I *enjoyed* it, per se, but I'm very glad that I stuck with it.
Roksolana Sviato
Написала тут розлого про укр.видання "Чорної землі".
my link text
Англійською читала ще минулого року, але цього разу було декілька свіжих вражень (усе-таки електронні книжки читаю інакше, ніж паперові; сам процес сприйняття для мене завжди відрізняється, не кажучи про те, що від мови теж багато залежить).
"Криваві землі", як на мене, однозачно сильніші, але за "Чорну землю", не вагаючись, також ставлю "5": за актуальність; за вміння говорити одним текстом одночасно до кількох аудиторій (професійн
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Shannon (Mrsreadsbooks)
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 accessi
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Whitney Milam
Staggering and stunning. I want to give the conclusion alone a standing ovation. Everyone should be reading this book (and all of Timothy Snyder's essays) right now.
Kristin
Does it ever feel like the right time to read a book about the history of the Holocaust? I mean, unless you are taking a class or writing a paper, this is some pretty serious leisure reading. When it came in the mail I was like, "Yay, I won a free book from Goodreads....oh." I entered to win this?

But having just finished the last page I must say it's one of the best books I've read this year, and turned out to be so much more than just gazing into an abyss of suffering and violence for the sake
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Edwin Stratton-Mackay
Snyder is at the cutting edge of Holocaust historiography today for good reason. Snyder has presented possibly the first coherent causal explanation of the Holocaust. Laurence Rees told us the Holocaust can only be a warning from history, and not a lesson about how to prevent it. But Snyder is extracting the lessons with a powerful new analysis of how the Holocaust was implemented as a process of innovation, stage by stage, contingency by contingency.

Most importantly Snyder teaches us an entire
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Peter Mcloughlin
History besides being a search for an interesting narrative should be instructive. This book on the Holocaust is a lesson on the perils of a political pathology namely genocide. It explores the heart of Nazi ideology and its nihilistic vision at its core that lead to the extermination of the Jewish people in their reach. Nazi ideology at its heart had no political ideals to speak of. It was a nihilistic animal struggle of races that was the center of its content. It was a mix of misinterpretati ...more
Nancy
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Noteworthy View of the Political and Social Background of the Holocaust

Many books have been written about the political factors leading up to WWII and the Holocaust, but The Black Earth is remarkable in the way it pulls history, social conditions, and political theory together to create a picture of the factors allowing the Holocaust to happen.

One factor was Hitler's severe racial hatred. His plan was always to exterminate the Jews. Another was the destruction of the identity of the state in
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David Boyd
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder

The author has created a small masterpiece in this cogent examination of one of the world’s greatest sorrows. The book is, chapter-upon-chapter, eminently valuable in its handling of the multiple perspectives required to find the “logic” and “reason” within Adolf Hitler’s determination to create the Holocaust. The book is deftly written, boldly negating long-held beliefs by offering simple, clear solutions based on facts, many o
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Ivana
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, war
Snyder sa do toho opäť raz oprel.
Máte načítané knihy o holokauste? Spovede, memoáry, romány, správy dojemné i faktické? Ovládate menoslov koncentračných táborov, viete ich nájsť na mape, poznáte známych preživších, viete odkiaľ šli transporty kam a kedy, ovládate počty obetí?
Zabudnite - alebo radšej nezabudnite, ale nečakajte, že vám v tejto historickej analýze Snyder urobí prehľadný sumár všetkého, čo už viete. Pretože autor kope hlbšie a vracia sa k počiatkom celej myšlienky. Rozoberá ju, uk
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Josh
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seems like a good time to learn more about the European far right and its roots. I learned from this book that Hitler saw the world in zero-sum terms. In the world before agricultural productivity exploded, Aryan Germans needed and deserved enough land, lebensraum, to grow enough food for the good life. They needed to take it from their neighbors. For them to win, others had to lose. Any win-win thinking, including Communism, was overly-intellectual Jewish nonsense that had to be defeated.

Readi
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Vitalii Riznyk
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Дивно вийшло дочитати цю книгу саме у Міжнародний день пам'яті жертв Голокосту. Саме в цей день (27 січня) 1945 року Радянська армія визволила в'язнів найбільшого нацистського табору смерті Аушвіц. Парадоксально, але багато хто вважає саме концентраційні табори та газові камери - головними інструментами Голокосту. Т.Снайдер у своїй книзі нагадує, що коли запрацював Аушвітц, більшість євреїв на схід від нього вже були "вбиті кулями", тобто розстріляні перед ямами, які викопали заздалегідь.

Також
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Philipp
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, ww2
A history, and the psychology, and what we should learn from the Holocaust. The central thesis is that statelessness is a prerequisite for murder on such a scale, evidenced by the fact that Jews as citizens of functioning states (even of Germany) survived in greater numbers than Jews of destroyed states, such as Poland.


If Jews were to be removed from the planet, they first had to be separated from the state. As she [Hannah Arendt] wrote later, “one could do as one pleased only with stateless peo
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Neil Fox
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The holocaust, as well as being one of the most evil crimes in history committed by Mankind against its fellow human beings, is also the most unfathomable. The sheer scale of the slaughter and frenzied killing is hard to conceptualize today. In a World of the 24 hour news cycle where a train crash or motorway pile-up involving the loss of a few lives can make news on the far side of the Globe, it is impossible for the contemporary mind to process how tens of thousands of men, women and children ...more
Lauren Hopkins
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really hate to say that this dragged but it took me a hundred years to get through the first half. Just facts on facts on facts, names and numbers, nothing that made this anything more than a textbook. But then when it became more anecdotal and the author's theories were made clear, it was incredibly interesting and actually a pretty vital read. If you know everything about WWII and the Holocaust, you're probably not going to learn anything new factually, but what Snyder does differently is th ...more
Darcia Helle
History, particularly as it is taught in our public schools, comes to us filtered down through the perspectives of those involved. Nations want to see themselves in the best light, and we, as citizens, want to accept that what we're taught is the unbiased truth. The whole truth; not just the bits and pieces considered relevant by those in charge of textbooks and curriculum. Often only time and distance allows us to see clearly the entire picture, exactly as it played out, without distorting the ...more
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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, p
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“The history of the Holocaust is not over. Its precedent is eternal, and its lessons have not yet been learned.” 17 likes
“Hitler the thinker was wrong that politics and science are the same thing. Hitler the politician was right that conflating them creates a rapturous sense of catastrophic time and thus the potential for radical action. When an apocalypse is on the horizon, waiting for scientific solutions seems senseless, struggle seems natural, an demagogues of blood and soil come to the fore. A sound policy for our world, then, would be one that keeps the fear of planetary catastrophe as far away as possible. This means accepting the autonomy of science from politics, and making the political choice to support the pertinent kinds of science that will allow conventional politics to proceed.” 4 likes
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