Books & Study Life

Timothy Snyder: The Making of Modern Ukraine

Today I am going to talk about Timothy Snyder: The Making of Modern Ukraine course on YouTube. I didn’t think I will blog about this course because it is a 23 lectures long Yale Course, you can find here. I imagine it will be a focused course which due to its length and topic might be too specific for a wide audience. I was wrong because the course is very interesting and many of the lectures only touch on the subject of Ukraine.

Timothy Snyder The Making of Modern Ukraine

The lectures are about 50 minutes each, so they might be great for listening while commuting to work, for example. The course starts with a presentation of what it means to have a nation and how nations and nationality develop. The course starts in the 700s with a lot of coverage of the Viking age. It’s so interesting and, of course, this covers all of Europe and a bit further. Snyder also talks about the history of Europe in the wider sense, which also touches a bit on US history, obviously. There is a lecture on how the russian state – moscovy – started its life, there is another lecture on Jews, another on the Habsburg monarchy. Difficult subjects, like the Nazi views on Jews and world order and also the soviet views are very well explained, and interestingly too.

I started watching the course last month and I also read one of the books recommended, because I was interested in the history of Ukraine. But, for most, just watching the course will be enough. Now my husband and I are watching the course together and he is enjoying it much more than he imagined. He is not a historian, but he is watching the course, so this is the best advertisement for this course. We are now at the 15th lecture, out of 23.

I suggest watching at least a few lectures to see if these catch your interest. My view is that they will, because there are so many links to popular subjects like the Vikings (there is a connection between Kyiv and England in 1066!), the Mongols with their Golden Horde, religion and how it changed and evolved in the eastern parts, and quite a few lectures on the 20th century, which is even relevant today. On top of that, it’s not like there are a lot of opportunities to listen to a course taught at Yale, just free to access from everywhere in the world.

3 Comment

  1. In my August book wrap, I wrote about Snyder’s “On Tyranny,” which is brief and so outstanding. Everyone who supports a free democracy should read it and take note. Unfortunately, those who need to read it most won’t. He pretty much pulls together — ever so succinctly — just how democracies fail and autocracies/dictatorships begin in spots you think they might not. I will definitely check this series out.

    1. It’s a shame you don’t have a good connection. I am listening on stuff on youtube quite often, mostly about Ukraine.

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