Timothy D. Snyder

American author and historian
Snyder in Lviv, Ukraine, September 2014

Timothy David Snyder (born August 18, 1969) is an American author, historian and academic specializing in the history of Central and Eastern Europe, and the Holocaust. He is a professor at Yale University and is affiliated with the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna and the College of Europe in Natolin, Warsaw, Poland. Snyder is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


  • The Belarusian failure therefore provides a useful test. Here we have an “ethnic group” which is the largest by far in the area in question. According to the Russian imperial census of 1897, more people spoke Belarusian in Vil’na province than all other languages combined. In Vil’na, Minsk, Grodno, Mogilev, and Vitebsk provinces, contiguous territories of historic Lithuania, speakers of Belarusian were three quarters of the population. In the twentieth century, this “ethnic group” did not become a modern nation. In combination with Lithuanian and Polish successes, this Belarusian failure helps us to perceive what national movements actually need.
    • The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (Yale University Press, 2003)

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