Best Selling Books by Timothy Snyder

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release date: Feb 28, 2017
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On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
#1 New York Times Bestseller

The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism.  Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.
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release date: Oct 02, 2012
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Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
"The most important work of history for years." --Antony Beevor, Telegraph, Book of the Year

Americans think of World War II as the "Good War." But his view overlooks the horrors perpetrated by America's own ally, the Soviet Union. In deliberate killing policies carried out over twelve years, the Soviet and Nazi regimes killed 14 million people in a zone of death between Berlin and Moscow. At war's end, these bloodlands fell behind the iron curtain, leaving their history in darkness. In Bloodlands, acclaimed historian Timothy Snyder offers an assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive account of this central tragedy of modern history.
release date: Sep 06, 2016
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Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning
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.
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release date: Jul 11, 2004
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The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569–1999
Modern nationalism in northeastern Europe has often led to violence and then reconciliation between nations with bloody pasts. In this fascinating book, Timothy Snyder traces the emergence of Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Belarusian nationhood over four centuries, discusses various atrocities (including the first account of the massive Ukrainian-Polish ethnic cleansings of the 1940s), and examines Poland’s recent successful negotiations with its newly independent Eastern neighbors, as it has channeled national interest toward peace.
release date: Apr 03, 2018
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The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America
From the author of On Tyranny comes a stunning new chronicle of the rise of authoritarianism from Russia to Europe and America.

With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy was thought to be final. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. This faith was misplaced. Authoritarianism returned to Russia, as Putin found fascist ideas that could be used to justify rule by the wealthy. In the 2010s, it has spread from east to west, aided by Russian warfare in Ukraine and cyberwar and information war in Europe and the United States. 

Russia found allies among nationalists, oligarchs, and radicals everywhere, and its drive to dissolve Western institutions, states, and values found resonance within the West itself.  The rise of populism, the British vote against the EU, and the election of Donald Trump were all Russian goals, but their achievement reveals the vulnerability of Western societies and the uncertain character of Western political order.

This fundamental challenge to democracy presents an opportunity to better understand the pillars of our own political order. In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, based on vast research as well as personal reporting, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy and law. By revealing the stark choices before us--between equality or oligarchy, individuality or totality, truth and falsehood--Snyder restores our understanding of the basis of our way of life, offering a way forward in a time of terrible uncertainty.
release date: Jan 29, 2013
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Thinking the Twentieth Century
"Ideas crackle" in this triumphant final book of Tony Judt, taking readers on "a wild ride through the ideological currents and shoals of 20th century thought.” (Los Angeles Times)

One of our most brilliant historians, Tony Judt brings the past century vividly to life in this unprecedented and original history. Structured as a series of intimate conversations between Judt and his friend and fellow historian Timothy Snyder, Thinking the Twentieth Century presents the triumphs and the failures of the twentieth century's most prominent intellectuals and their ideas, guiding readers through the debates that defined our world. Spanning an era with unprecedented clarity and insight, Thinking the Twentieth Century is a tour de force: a masterful analysis of the life of the mind and an unforgettable guide to leading the mindful life.

release date: Sep 06, 2020
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Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder (2015-09-08)
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release date: Jun 02, 2008
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The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke
Wilhelm Von Habsburg wore the uniform of the Austrian officer, the court regalia of a Habsburg archduke, the simple suit of a Parisian exile, the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and, every so often, a dress. He could handle a saber, a pistol, a rudder, or a golf club; he handled women by necessity and men for pleasure. He spoke the Italian of his archduchess mother, the German of his archduke father, the English of his British royal friends, the Polish of the country his father wished to rule, and the Ukrainian of the land Wilhelm wished to rule himself. In this exhilarating narrative history, prize-winning historian Timothy D. Snyder offers an indelible portrait of an aristocrat whose life personifies the wrenching upheavals of the first half of the twentieth century, as the rule of empire gave way to the new politics of nationalism. Coming of age during the First World War, Wilhelm repudiated his family to fight alongside Ukrainian peasants in hopes that he would become their king. When this dream collapsed he became, by turns, an ally of German imperialists, a notorious French lover, an angry Austrian monarchist, a calm opponent of Hitler, and a British spy against Stalin. Played out in Europe’s glittering capitals and bloody battlefields, in extravagant ski resorts and dank prison cells, The Red Prince captures an extraordinary moment in the history of Europe, in which the old order of the past was giving way to an undefined future-and in which everything, including identity itself, seemed up for grabs.
release date: Mar 13, 2017
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That College Book: Everything Nobody Told Us About Life After High School

In high school, everyone's talking about college. What to do. Where to go. Why it's important.

Classes are given on it. Books are written about it. But details get left out.

Every year, college graduates learn this the hard way as they step into adulthood. I was one of them. After earning a four-year degree, I went through two of the worst years of my life.

Not that my situation is unique.

I am a part of a generation that was told to go to college first and sort out the details later. Most of us did. We chased the promise of a big shiny future, and we ended up being chased by the mistakes of our past.

That's not to say we completely regretted going. This book isn't a list of privileged millennial complaints.

It's a collection of wisdom gained in less than pleasant ways. It's a story of hardship, failure, victory, and perseverance. It’s all of the things we wish someone had told us. And it takes place before college, in college, after college, and without college.

This is the wild, painful, awkward, hilarious, depressing, & beautiful journey from youth to maturity.

This is the college book that no one ever gave us.

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release date: Jul 04, 2011
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Trembling in the Balance: The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal During the Civil War
Trembling in the Balance: The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal During the Civil War is the story of a canal company's struggle to operate a significant business enterprise in one of the nation's major theaters of war. Since the C&O Canal company was located on Maryland's southern border with Virginia, it experienced much of the war firsthand. Due to the proximity of the canal to so many conflicts, large and small, this book includes a great deal of military history in great detail. The canal played a role in major battles, like Antietam and Gettysburg, and in smaller conflicts, such as Ball's Bluff and Stonewall Jackson's raids on Dam Number 5 (the dam was owned by the canal company). A facinating account of this transportation artery during a time of great military upheval.
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