Listen now (44 mins) | How a history begins can help us see how a war ends
Your leadership and commentary are truly inspiring
Keep them coming. You are a ray of intellectual sunshine
I'm glad you were able to go into much greater detail in this lecture on the subjects you discussed in your first lectures in your class on Ukrainian history. So interesting. I find Ukrainian history to be wonderfully complicated, c. 1917-1922 even outrageously complicated. I'm working on that one. I don't know that I'll ever be able to understand it.
Happy to learn that after you finish the book on freedom you'll be writing a "brief but global history of Ukraine." I hope it's not too brief. Ideally it should be at least 900 pages. Even that would be a bare minimum.
lots to be fascinated by in these 44 minutes: ghost-guest-host etymology / bronze age origins / iliad-agamemnon-iphigenia / poseidon-athena-olives+wheat / sythians+greeks / bosporus+kerch straits / misapprehension of renaissance / van veen amazons + female ukrainian soldiers / misapprehension of fall of rome and dark ages / constantinople+byzantium elided by west / ukraine north-south fundamental historical axis / ukraine as essential global food source / drone de-mining tractors / vikings,orcs,beowulf + tolkien / vikings as seminal european catalyst / kievan viking-byzantium hybrid as typical not exotic / polish,russian military,cultural assaults on crimea,ukraine / efforts to sanitize ua history into classical greek-russian narrative... the snyder ukrainian bias is well represented in this short lecture, though with each telling it only becomes clearer that this is the bias we would all do well to share.
ALWAYS I welcome your lectures. You put the pieces together so very well; I’m looking forward to your next books. Bravo, professor!
Another excellent whirlwind tour of history. Mind blowing and complex. Also very enticing and offered with an engaging sense of humour and depth of knowledge. Thank you!
Thank you for your plain-spoken and accessible history. We bought your books and are working our way through them.
Tim, you are yourself. You owe us nothing but your dedication which is sustaining.
I so look forward to your book of Freedom 🤗
In 44 minutes, Professor Snyder highlights some of the key themes of "The Making of Modern Ukraine" lectures. This is a great starter for the Yale lectures, available online, and probably for many of us, an incentive to watch those lectures again.
Thank you for this timely interjection about Ukraine with eyes turned on the unending disaster of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We are already reading those who are pairing our involvement in both wanting to back away from both. This is a time for being strong about the differences and the root causes. These two crises are paired and used in some quarters, linking Ukraine's battle and Israel's in ways that are perverse.
I am reading about the unsuccessful attempt by Syrians, 1918-1920, to draft a constitution which would reduce "...the monarch's power, disestablished Islam as the state religion, and granted equal rights to Muslims and non-Muslims alike." (From How The West Stole Democracy From The Arabs by Elizabeth F. Thompson) This was scuppered by Britain and France at the time. She also points out how this history contributed to the failure of the 2011 Arab Spring.
I remember feeling helpless to see how Syria could get rid of Assad when two thirds of the opposition to him were Jihadists. The opposition was as bad as the despot.
That is where Ukraine is different. They are not hobbled by religion and ethnicity. With our help they have a chance to make another thriving democracy. It would not be the same as the war in Iraq or Afghanistan where powers like Iran and Saudi Arabia can use religion to keep the people down.
I am a Substack subscriber to Tim Snyder, Jim Fallows, and Heather Cox Richardson. Heather provides a marvelous overview of events with a superb historical context. The reader commentaries are enriching.
Jim posts topical blogs and comments on responses.
I am severely disappointed that Snyder, who I first discovered and applauded with his BLOODLANDS book, is now providing a poor audible history lecture. Earlier he had simply provided a difficult-to-hear Yale student lecture series. Though his subscriber comments are first class, there has never been a comment by Snyder.
As an intensive history Yale grad (1955), I hope that Yale Professor Snyder will be more forthcoming to his paid subscribers.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I think I understand the hyper-typical links that connect Ukraine and its place in the world. In the past and now in this dangerous present and future. The concerns about keeping Ukraine top of mind while Gaza/Israel does not sort things out. I see the automatic, “we stand with Israel” which I’ve always considered a bit hypocritical as it was not so long ago that that they didn’t. But now the Christo-fascists in Congress and happy for all the Jews to return so things can move ahead. What Hamas has done is beyond the pale except history shows us it has happened before. It will happen again.
President Zelenskyy is struggling. He’s exhausted, he’s frustrated. A year ago he was feted wherever he went hat in had and the people were happy to hand over cash and guns. America still has plenty of cash and guns but it has a new Speaker who is a baby-faced soft-spoken orc in his own right. He smiles a lot, his eyes are dead, but he has purpose.
I don’t know how much more the EU can support. Nor do I know what Canada can do, I suspect less than we should. So much is riding on Biden but can he deliver?
I truly believe that if Ukraine is lost to Russia, even if a part of Ukraine is lost, Russia will become impossible to deal with. More so than at any other time before. The sanctions are slowly being felt. That Putin has to rely on NK for shells has got to dent his pride. St Putin of that new cathedral will not want a mosaic of Kim next to him. Xi maybe, but not Kim. Putin will gather his forces (how long is a valid question, he’s killed 100s of 1000s) and he will mess with other countries in the neighbourhood. Transnistria? Syria? Georgia? What does this old man see?
Ukraine is fighting for all of us. So we don’t have to. Drone footage shows strange black pockmarks across fields out to the horizon. Shattered villages look like smashed Lego blocks neatly in rows on dirt streets. Forested areas have every leaf crushed underfoot, only odd-shaped stumps and slivers are left. Until next spring, maybe.
Yesterday Putin caused the largest Russia shelling of more than 110 settlements within the last 24 hours, more than in any single day so far this year. And after a couple of weeks of less shelling. I haven’t looked at what those numbers mean. I can’t bear to today.
Ukraine needs what it will take to finish Putin and his cabal. So many countries have given but never enough to finish the job. I hear from news programs that it is better if it’s a true stalemate. But for whom? The Ukrainian people will finish Russia off as a threat to any of us. They have never shirked in their responsibility. How can we shirk from ours?
Would it be possible to create contextual framework as a visual aid illustrating your numerous deeper explorations and their significance. Often your revealing historical connections/insights are lost in the profusion if details. So an argumentative frame would be helpful.