February 13, 2011 12:00 AM

Killing grounds

The unraveling of the Soviet Empire, the unchaining of Eastern Europe, and the rise of independent-minded countries on the dung heap of formerly communist territory, have all contributed to a new historiography focusing on a wealth of material previously unavailable to scholars and researchers who study World War II. Timothy Snyder, a professor of history at Yale, a prizewinning writer and expert on Polish history and culture, has written a sweeping and detailed account of what constitutes the worst mass murder of that war, a war that saw many mass murders. His account, using monographs, articles and archives in German, Russian and Polish, is a unique chance for English-language readers to achieve new levels of historical understanding.

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