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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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 Ea…

Overall Book Review:

My eyes were opened even further to what happened during the Holocaust after reading this book. For one thing, I didn’t realize how involved different areas of the world were. It wasn’t just Jews in Germany that were being persecuted; it was much more than that. I was also unaware of how many deaths occurred even before the “death camps” were introduced. According to this book, many Jews did die in the camps, but so many more died outside of them, in their own homes, and in the streets.

When we think of the Holocaust, what comes to mind? For me, it is the death camps. Hitler. Sadness. Stick thin people. But what was it really? It was a tragedy, one that we should be careful not to forget, but what was the reason behind it? In this book, I learned a lot about who Hitler was, and why he thought Jews needed to be eradicated. I learned that he and his followers probably felt like America was a role model, and they wanted to be like us here, so they looked for ways to become more like us. But most of all, what happened was about power, greed, and the human desire to survive.

This book was very educational, but also a bit wordy. If I were to pick one chapter out of this book that I would say you must read, if you read nothing else, is the chapter titled “Auschwitz”. If you think you can handle the rest of this book, all at one go like I did, or even in little bits and pieces, you won’t be disappointed though. Just realize that it is not a chronicle of the most pleasant period of history.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Tim Duggan Books

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: None

Violence/Gore:  Jews are mentioned to be shot at and murdered en masse; an execution of innocent poples is mentioned to occur several time; books are burned; death by starvation is mentioned to occur; corpses are mentioned to be seen several times; persecution of a race is depicted and recorded; seeing tortured bodies is mentioned; a man is mentioned to shoot and kill another man, no description is given; people are mentioned to have had “brains blown from their skulls”; robbing and killing are mentioned to occur; beatings mentioned; killing mentioned; humiliation mentioned; a brief description of a gory mass killing is given with some mention of how it was done, and the bodies; burning of religious places occurs; soldiers are mentioned to shoot at citizens, and take some women aside to be raped first, no description is given; a brief description is given of how a man was forced to shoot women, children, and babies and how the babies were killed; carbon monoxide is mentioned to be used as a form of murder.

Sex/Nudity:  Women are mentioned to view sex as a duty; women are mentioned to be seductresses; a married man is mentioned to take a “young lover”; young women are given unwanted sexual attention by men, this is just a mention.

Mature Subject Matter:

Murder, war, persecution, racism, death, personal crises, moral issues, Holocaust.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults are mentioned to drink at a party.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.