Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder's picture
Richard C. Levin Professor of History
On Leave: 
Academic Year 24-25
Horchow Hall, Room 203 (55 Hillhouse)
Fields of interest: 

Modern Eastern Europe


Timothy Snyder is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He speaks five and reads ten European languages.  His chief books are Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (1998); The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (2003); Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist’s Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (2005); The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (2008); Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010), Thinking the Twentieth Century (with Tony Judt, 2012); Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (2015); On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017); and The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America (2018).  Snyder is co-editor of The Wall Around the West: State Borders and Immigration Controls in Europe and North America (2001); Stalin and Europe: Terror, War, Domination (2013); and The Balkans as Europe (2018). His essays are collected in Ukrainian History, Russian Politics, European Futures (2014), and The Politics of Life and Death (2015).  Snyder’s work has appeared in forty languages and has received about as many prizes.  He has received state orders from Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland.  He was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford, where he earned his D.Phil., and has received the Carnegie and Guggenheim fellowships.  Among other distinctions are the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, the Literature Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Foundation for Polish Science prize in the social sciences, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, the Dutch Auschwitz Committee award, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought.  He has appeared in media around the world, including major films.  His words has been quoted in political demonstrations in several countries.  He is completing a philosophical book about freedom and is at work on a family history of eastern Europe. 

Scholarly Articles

Selected Book Reviews

  • “Caught Between Hitler and Stalin” (on “Defiance,” a film directed by Edward Zwick and Defiance by Nechama Tec), New York Review of Books, 30 April 2009.
  • “Hitler’s Dialectic of Death,” on Mark Mazower, Hitler’s Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe, London: Allen Unwin, 2008, in Times Literary Supplement, 14 August 2008.
  • “The Unknown Holocaust,” on Joshua Rubernstein and llya Altman, eds., The Unknown Black Book: The Holocaust in the German-Occupied Soviet Territories, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008, in Truthdig, 15 February 2008.
  • “At the Deep End,” on Abram Brumberg, Journeys Through Vanishing Worlds, London: Scarith, in Times Literary Supplement, 4 April 2008.
  • “Betrayed on All Sides,” on Jan Gross, Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz: An essay in Historical Interpretation, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006, Times Literary Supplement, 6 October 2006, 27.
  • Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, New York: Penguin, 2005, in IWM Newsletter, Vienna, Spring 2006.
  • “Wartime Lies,” on Czeslaw Milosz, Legends of Modernity: Essays and Letters From Occupied Poland, trans. Madeline Levine, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005, The Nation, January 9/16 2006, 26-29.
  • “Revolution Without the Workers,” on David Ost, The Defeat of Solidarity: Anger and Politics in Eastern Europe, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005, for Times Literary Supplement, 23 and 30 December 2005, 39.
  • “Keys to Kiev,” on Serhii Plokhy, The Unmaking of Imperial Russia: Mykhaïlo Hrushevsky and the Writing of Ukrainian History, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005, for Times Literary Supplement, 16 December 2005, 25.
  • “The Old Country,” on Anatol Lieven, America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism, for Times Literary Supplement, 25 March 2005, 34-36.
  • “Ways of Dying,” on Kate Brown, A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004, and Karel C. Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004, Times Literary Supplement, 24 September 2004.
  • “Pity the First Ally,” on Norman Davies, Rising ‘44: The Battle for Warsaw, London: Macmillan, 2003, for Times Literary Supplement, 20 February 2004, 13.
  • “The Inevitability of the Unexpected,” review of Roman Szporluk, Russia, Ukraine, and the Breakup of the Soviet Union, Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 2000, in Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen Newsletter (Vienna), 76, Spring 2002, 25-26.

Selected Essays

  • “Holocaust: The Ignored Reality,” New York Review of Books, 16 July 2009.
  • “In the Shadow of Emperors and General Secretaries: On the origins of the nations of East Central Europe” (“W cieniu cesaerzy i sekretarzy”), Tygodnik Powszechny, 27 July 2008, 24-25.
  • “Ukraine: The Orange Revolution,” with Timothy Garton Ash, New York Review of Books, 28 April 2005, 28-32.
  • “War is Peace,” Prospect, Number 104, November 2004, 32-37.
  • “A Legend of Freedom: Solidarity,” (“Legenda o wolnosci”), Tygodnik Powszechny, special edition on Solidarity, 4 September 2005.
  • “The Ethnic Cleansing of Volhynia, 1943” (“Wolyn, rok 1943),” Tygodnik Powszechny (Cracow), 11 May 2003, 1, 7.
  • “Five Centuries and Eight Years: Operation Vistula and the homogeneity of Polish society” (Piec wieków i osiem lat: ““Akcja ‘Wisla’ a homogenicznosc polskiego spoleczenstwa”), Tygodnik Powszechny, April 2002.
  • “Poles and Czechs, Ten Years On,” Prospect, February 1999, 54-57. 

Selected Editorials



Eastern Europe
Western Europe
Empires & Colonialism
Gender & Sexuality
War & Society