Timothy Snyder’s Black Earth The Holocaust as History and Warning (2014) is a follow-up to his Bloodlands (my short review here). It looks at the Holocaust (and its driving ideology) as a reaction to the end of the first wave of Globalization (ca. 1880-1910). The upcoming crisis of a finite food supply (fertilizers weren’t widely used yet) stimulated a search for the roots of and solutions to the environmental crisis. It’s overall message (for me, at least) is hard to pin down, but Snyder stresses the importance of understanding that the Nazis thought globally (as opposed to within the confines of Europe), in addition to the dangers of searching for solutions to our upcoming environmental catastrophe.
With the controversy surrounding Bloodlands, I wanted to see what else he had to write (perhaps it’s good marketing). As I just finished reading it, I am still unsure what I took away from it.
Read this book if: You liked Boodlands; You disliked Bloodlands.