• Bloodlands

  • Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
  • By: Timothy Snyder
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 19 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (964 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of On Tyranny comes the definitive history of Hitler's and Stalin's wars against the civilians of Europe in World War II.

Americans call the Second World War "The Good War." But before it even began, America's wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens - and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war's end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.

Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required listening for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.

Bloodlands won 12 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. It has been translated into more than 30 languages, was named to 12 book-of-the-year lists, and was a best seller in six countries. 

©2010, 2012, 2018 Timothy Snyder (P)2018 Hachette Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Snyder...compels us to look squarely at the full range of destruction committed first by Stalin's regime and then by Hitler's Reich.... A comprehensive and eloquent account." (New York Times Book Review)

"A superb work of scholarship, full of revealing detail, cleverly compiled...and in places beautifully written.... Snyder does justice to the horror of his subject through the power of storytelling."(The Sunday Times, London)

"Gripping and comprehensive....Mr. Snyder's book is revisionist history of the best kind: in spare, closely argued prose, with meticulous use of statistics, he makes the reader rethink some of the best-known episodes in Europe's modern history." (Economist)

What listeners say about Bloodlands

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Humanity lost

This book covers a period of time already known to be a stain on civilization but with new focus. The Bloodlands are a region that could not have been more poorly positioned between two murderous dictators at the height of their power.

The book outlines dismissal of the humanity of an estimated 14,000,000 people and their violent demise at the hands of Hitler and Stalin. In an investigation not well covered in most history books this work by Snyder is at times exceedingly difficult to get through given the visuals his words illuminate.

I listened to this book while commuting and found myself reflecting on the ease of our modern lives wondering how this could have happened as recently as the youth of my grandparents. Not for the faint of heart but a must have for any history connoisseur.

17 people found this helpful

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A very necessary book

Bloodlands is a very important book especially in it's detail of Stalin's crimes, which can often be overshadowed by Hitler. Be warned that this book does not hold back from the horror of Stalin's Ukrainian faminine or Hitler's Final Solution and all of the mass killings before, during, and after WWII. The first person accounts are often the most moving and can be utterly heartbreaking in their intensity. Snyder does an excellent job of giving voices to those long lost to these barbarous regimes. Cosham's narration is just right for this type of work. He brings an authoritative, scholarly tone that pairs naturally with such a serious work. I highly recommend this book, but I do say it is not for everyone as it does not shy away from sorrow and human misery of these events.

13 people found this helpful

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It’s Here

This is my second time through and I took it slow. Today all of this information had more pertinent meaning than it did even 3-4 years ago. It’s was on the horizon, but it’s here now. This book comes alive as much as it did the first time. One thing the reader sees is that humanity is oblivious to history and destined to repeat it without realization. We never learn. What a marvel. Perfect narration, just complete awe struck.

9 people found this helpful

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Brilliant history book about the most horrible

I have never cried so much from a book and it was very hard to read, but it is so important to read this history and get it right. This book dispells so many lies and untruths from all sides. It brings humanity and personhood to the victims and thus reverses Stalin's atempt at just making them statistics.

7 people found this helpful

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Devastatingly urgent and compelling

Snyder gives us urgent and devastating data about the mass killings instituted by Stalin and Hitler in the “Bloodlands” area consisting of Poland, western Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, and Germany. It is a staggering historical account written in clear and compelling prose. It was hard to put down.

7 people found this helpful

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a warning for the future

all Americans should read this. we Americans are blind and deaf. we are lucky and therefore stupid.

18 people found this helpful

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Emphasis on Russian surnames is off

It is not KagAnovich but KaganOvich - such mistakes in the pronunciation make it hard to listen, the narrator should have become properly familiarized with the Russian surnames in this book before attempting to pronounce them for the reader/listener

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Good read

The narrator was horrible. The material is great but it was hard to enjoy with the narration being so poorly.

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Must Read

The author does an incredible job of humanizing the horrifying atrocities of both Stalin and Hitler. Highly recommend.

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Casting Doubt 0n the whole book.

As a person who grew up under Yugoslav Tito’s harsh rules, the suppression of religion and total cultural denial to many minorities that lived north of the Danube, I listened intently with interest to the author’s knowledge.

The author completely lost me and cast a long shadow on his academic work when he revealed his own political bias by bringing in “the big lie” perspective.

The author is a typical Socialist hiding under the banner of academic research.


2 people found this helpful