Timothy D. Snyder

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Timothy D. Snyder
Timothy Snyder lecture 2016 2.jpg
Snyder in 2016
Born (1969-08-18) August 18, 1969 (age 51)
Residence United States
Citizenship American
Fields History of Eastern Europe
Institutions Yale University, London School of Economics and Political Science
Alma mater Brown University (B.A.)
Balliol College, Oxford (Ph.D.)
Notable awards American Historical Association's George Louis Beer Award (2003),[1] Hannah Arendt Prize (2013), The VIZE 97 Prize (2015)
Spouse Marci Shore (m. 2005)

Timothy David Snyder (born August 18, 1969)[2] is an American historian, author, and academic specializing in the history of Central and Eastern Europe, and the Holocaust. He is a professor at Yale University and is affiliated with the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna[3] and the College of Europe in Natolin, Poland. Snyder is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Education and personal life

Born in southwestern Ohio, Snyder graduated from Centerville High School, 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Dayton, where his father, a physician, and his mother reside. He received his BA from Brown University and his doctorate in 1997 from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar.[4] He has held fellowships in Paris, Vienna, Warsaw, and as an Academy Scholar at Harvard University. Since 2005, Snyder has been married to Marci Shore, a professor of European cultural and intellectual history at Yale University. Snyder and Shore have two children together.[5]


Snyder has written five books and co-edited two. One of them, Thinking the Twentieth Century (2012), with the late historian Tony Judt, was written while the latter was dying of ALS disease.

Snyder has published essays in publications such as the International Herald Tribune, The Nation, New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic, Eurozine, Tygodnik Powszechny, the Chicago Tribune, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Snyder at the Yalta European Strategy annual meeting, 2014

Snyder says that he has a reading and/or speaking knowledge of 11 European languages. This enabled him to make good use of primary and archival sources in Germany and Central Europe in researching his book, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which was published in 2010 to considerable acclaim. Reviewer Igor Lukes noted:

"A word about sources. Snyder introduces his Bibliography with an impressive list of seventeen archival collections located in six countries. Yet a closer look at the text and endnotes reveals that evidence drawn from archives represents but a small fraction of this book's evidentiary apparatus. This is a project built on secondary sources. The point is that many of Snyder's secondary sources are of the kind that even many specialists are unlikely to have seen, which is hardly surprising because Snyder can do research in ten languages, some pretty exotic. Bloodlands takes nuggets from each source, then assembles them into an original mosaic. Almost every paragraph of the book's eleven chapters is supported by one or several previously underutilized secondary sources."[6]

Snyder says that knowing other languages is very important:

"If you don't know Russian, you don't really know what you're missing. ... We can only see as much, and we can only go as far as our languages take us. I wrote this book in English, but there are very important conversations that are happening in German, Russian, Polish and so on among those historians, and the book is addressed to all of them."[7]

Bloodlands has been translated into 20 languages.[8]

Snyder is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Modern European History and East European Politics and Societies.[8]

For the academic year 2013–2014, he held the Philippe Roman Chair of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science.[9]


Several writers criticise Bloodlands,[10][11] and Black Earth.[12]


Professor Snyder teaches a popular two-part lecture course at Yale covering the history of Eastern Europe pre- and post-1914, a critical turning point in world affairs. In the past he has also taught an undergraduate seminar on communism in Eastern Europe.[13]


Selected works

  • Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (Harvard University Press, 1998).
  • Wall Around the West: State Power and Immigration Controls in Europe and North America (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000). Co-edited with Peter Andreas.
  • The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (Yale University Press, 2003).
  • Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (Yale University Press, 2005).
  • The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (Basic Books, 2008).
  • Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books, 2010).
  • Thinking the Twentieth Century With Tony Judt. (Penguin, 2012).
  • Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. 2015


  1. George Louis Beer Prize American Historical Association (homepage), Retrieved November 30, 2012
  2. "Library of Congress Authorities". LCNAF Cataloging in Publication data - LC Control Number: no 98080445. LOC. Retrieved January 22, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Ian Kershaw and Timothy Snyder to be honoured with Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding 2012 Leipzig.de, January 16, 2012 Archived March 5, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Timothy Snyder Receives 2011 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award The Phi Beta Kappa Society, December 5, 2011
  5. Marriage announcement in Lehigh Valley Morning Call, February 13, 2005
  6. Igor Lukes, Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin," Republic of Letters, May 2011.
  7. Timothy Snyder, interviewed by "Prospero", The Economist (Books), June 2011.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Best-selling author, historian Timothy Snyder to deliver W. Bruce Lincoln lecture Sept. 19, Northern Illinois University, retrieved October 3, 2012
  9. "Timothy Snyder - Individual Bios - People - IDEAS - Home". Lse.ac.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Timothy Snyder and his Critics
  11. Select reviews of Bloodlands, and related articles, focusing on issues central to DefendingHistory.com
  12. Select reviews of Black Earth
  13. http://catalog.yale.edu/ycps/subjects-of-instruction/history/#coursestext
  14. "Literatur: US-Professor Timothy Snyder erhält Hannah-Arendt-Preis - Bremen" (in Deutsch). Focus.de. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "The Truth about Holocaust & Stalinist Repression Winners". prakhin.org. 2014-01-26. Retrieved 2014-03-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links