Sunday, September 6, 2015

Book Review: Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder/Non Fiction-History-Adult/NETGALLEY ARC/Published in 2015

Hello dear Readers,

Below, my book review of Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder. 

Title: Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Publication Date: September 8, 2015
Genre: Non Fiction-History-Adult
Author: Timothy Snyder 
Publisher: Tim Duggan Books
Language: English
Hardcover: 480 pages
Buy Me: Amazon Barnes&Noble

Book Description

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.

My Thoughts

I have read many books about the Holocaust, Hitler, the Jews, World War II. Some of them works of Fiction that in one way or another take place in World War II, but most of them, works of Non Fiction, which have followed the same pattern, focusing on the mass killing perpetrated by Hitler, the concentration camps. However, Black Earth has been one of the most complete and fascinating books I have read on this topic.

I like how the Author not only concentrates in one aspect, the killing of Jewish people, but also we can see different perspectives, the political, social and historical view of one of the most devastating periods in history. It is always hard to read about this topic for all that it represents but Black Earth takes it to another level. A level where the Author, Timothy Snyder, gives the readers a better and deeper understanding of the events leading the Holocaust, Hitler;s motives and the impact it has had in our World. Another aspect of this book that personally it was what made reading it such a different experience is how it shows us that differently from what most people have thought (including myself), the Holocaust is far from being a thing of the past, maybe we are not seeing exactly the same things that happened back then but in so many ways all the current events are a warning that something like that can happen again. It is very interesting how something that happened a long time how can be described as something that could have been a warning of what is happening today.

Black Earth, a different, challenging, provoking and interesting book. Either you are a history teacher, a Historian, an expert on the subject, or just a  person who likes reading about the Holocaust, I totally recommend it.

Thank you Crown Publishing and Netgalley for sending the ARC copy, in exchange for an honest review.


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