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Best-selling author, historian Timothy Snyder to deliver W. Bruce Lincoln lecture Sept. 19

August 29, 2012
Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder

Best-selling author Timothy Snyder, an award-winning historian of Europe and genocide, will visit NIU to deliver the ninth annual installment of the W. Bruce Lincoln Endowed Lecture Series.

Snyder, the Housum Professor of History at Yale University, will begin his talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, in the Altgeld Hall Auditorium. His presentation is titled, “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin,and is based on his recent best-selling book of the same title.

Free and open to the public, the lecture is sponsored by the NIU Department of History and the W. Bruce Lincoln Endowment.

Snyder’s “Bloodlands” is a history of Nazi and Soviet mass killing on the lands between Berlin and Moscow. The book has received a number of honors, including the Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award in the Humanities. It was named a book of the year by some dozen publications, has been translated into more than 20 languages and was a bestseller in four countries.

“Over the last decade, Tim Snyder’s ground-breaking work, informed by assiduous archival research and broad reading of secondary sources in some 10 languages, has changed the way historians look at Europe in the 20th century,” NIU history professor Nancy Wingfield says. “Elegantly written and clearly argued, his books are accessible to the wider public. Moreover, his numerous contributions to popular journals and his public lectures and interviews make him one of the most visible public intellectuals not only in the U.S., but also throughout Europe.”

Snyder received his doctorate in 1997 from the University of Oxford, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. Before joining the faculty at Yale in 2001, he held fellowships in Paris and Vienna, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard.

Book cover of Timothy Snyder’s“Bloodlands”In addition to “Bloodlands,” Snyder has penned four other award-winning books, including “The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (Yale Press, 2003); “Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist’s Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (Yale Press, 2005); and “The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (Basic Books, 2008).

He is also the co-editor of two books, “Wall around the West: State Power and Immigration Controls in Europe and North American (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001) and “Stalin and Europe: War, Terror, Domination” (forthcoming).

Most recently, he helped the late Tony Judt write a thematic history of political ideas and intellectuals in politics, “Thinking the Twentieth Century,” published by Penguin in February. He is currently completing a book titled “Why Don’t We Understand the Holocaust?”

Professor Snyder has written for the New York Review of Books, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Times Literary Supplement, Foreign Affairs, New Republic, Prospect, The Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune and Wilson Quarterly. He is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; sits on the advisory councils of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies; and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Modern European History and East European Politics and Societies.

The W. Bruce Lincoln Endowed Lecture Series brings to campus distinguished scholars who address topics of interest to both the academic community and the general public. The lectures engage key issues and are often interdisciplinary, in the spirit of Professor Lincoln’s research, writing and teaching.

Bruce Lincoln taught Russian history at NIU from 1967 to 1999, while earning recognition as one of America’s leading experts on Russia. The recipient of many national grants and awards, he published 12 widely acclaimed books on Russia, several of them skillfully crafted for general readers.