Monday, October 26, 2015

Book review: "Black Earth" by Tim Snyder

I've never struggled so much to write a book review about a book that was so incredibly worth while and informative to read.

Tim Snyder's "Black Earth" is a slow read because there are so many things to take in. I feel like I read a higher than average amount of WWII nonfiction books and every chapter presented me with something I had never heard before, or situations that I had never thought about. I highlighted so much in my Kindle that this is going to be a weird, disjointed review as I try to share all the facts with you. Also, word of advice, if you can read this in book form. ESPECIALLY if you're of the note taking variety. I would have gotten out a highlighter for this book which is a real rarity for me.

I learned an incredible amount of Poland, which makes me want to go there even more than I already did before. (Facts: there were ten times as many Jews in Poland as there were in Germany at the start of WWII."Jews paid more than a third of the taxes in Poland, and firms owned by Jews were responsible for about half of the foreign trade".)

There was this insane plan about rounding up all of the Jews in Europe and settling them all in Madagascar. And then Hitler just decided to kill everyone instead. But it became this like, inside joke/euphemism to the higher ups about sending people to concentration camps as "sending them to Madagascar". Hitler never let logistics or feasability get in the way of his insane plans and this one was no different.

I also thought this insight was incredibly interesting, nothing went quite as the Nazi's planned: "The western allies were supposed to defend Czechoslovakia but did not; Poland was not supposed to fight but it did; France was supposed to fight longer than it did; Britain was supposed to see the logic of peace if France fell but did not".

Find out what country switched sides towards the end of the war, what army Hitler tried to get on his side, and which country lost the most Jews (even though the Jewish population was very low to being with) and more in this insightful book.

It is a long read, I'm not going to lie to you. It's not something you'll pick up and read in two days (unless you are like, the Superman of reading.) It took me and at least a few others I know, maybe 2 months to get through the whole thing. It's an investment, but one I really recommend you make. 4 stars out of 5!

I got this book in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books


  1. Agreed on all counts! I've read a ton about the Holocaust, but can't believe how much I learned while reading this book. It's definitely a slow read, but a good one.


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