“Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin” by Timothy Snyder (Basic Books, 2010)
Timothy Snyder, a professor of history at Yale, writes about mass killings committed by Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. The two regimes left 14 million people murdered. Snyder outlines the history of Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and the Baltic states. The author offers a fresh account of the civilian victims of famine, Holocaust, and war.
The book was awarded by numerous prizes: the 2013 Hannah Arendt prize for political thought, the Leipzig book prize for European understanding, the Phi Beta Kappa Society Emerson Book Award; the Gustav Ranis International History Prize.
Price at Amazon.com: $13.78
“Yalta: The Price of Peace” by Serhii Plokhy (Penguin Books, 2011)
Serhii Plokhy, history professor at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University, writes about the Yalta conference of 1945 when Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin met in Crimea to negotiate about Europe’s postwar future. It was the pivotal meeting that planned the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Plokhy gives an overall view of what happened in Yalta. He describes the eight-day-long meeting, using data from all three sides, including the fresh information he discovered researching archives in Russia.
Price at Amazon.com: $14.49
“The Living and the Dead: the Rise and the Fall of the Cult of the World War II in Russia” by Nina Turmakin (Basic Books, 1995)
Nina Turmakin, history professor at Wellesley College, examines the cult of the Great Patriotic War in Russia. She writes about the way the Soviet regime played with people’s patriotic feelings, transforming the tragedy of war into a heroic story.
Turmakin was an adviser to U.S. President Ronald Reagan. She served as one of six “Soviet experts” who briefed the president, vice president, and key officials before Reagan’s historic first meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 at the Geneva Summit. President Bill Clinton read “The Living and the Dead,” preparing for his visit to Moscow for the Victory Day in 1995.
Price at Amazon.com: $20.82
“The Soviet History of World War II. Myth, Memories, and Realities” by Matthew P. Gallagher (Greenwood Press Reprint, 1963)
Like Turmakin, Matthew P. Gallagher also researches the interpretation of war in the Soviet Union and the distortion of historical facts. The authorities created the postwar official line of Soviet belief: magnifying the role of the Stalin and the Party.
The author pointed up that an exact story of the WWII can’t be read from Soviet historical books because of the USSR historical policy.
“Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule” by Karel Berkhoff (Belknap Press, 2004)
Karel Berkhoff is an associate professor at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also teaches at the University of Amsterdam. In the book, Berkhoff researches the reality of life under the German occupation regime in Reichskommissariat Ukraine.
The historian shows the Nazi policies in Ukraine and local reaction to it. Ukraine was meant to become a source of cheap labor, agricultural products, and empty lands for expansion. The author analyzes the impact of Soviet repressive practices onto the Ukrainians which sometimes leaded to little resistance to invaders.
The book is based on the research paper that won Berkhoff the 2001 Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History.
Price at Amazon.com: $26.36
Kyiv Post staff writer Oksana Torhan can be reached at [email protected]
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