Recordings in history

The European Union lacks a sense of its own history

Timothy Snyder

The European Union is among the largest economies in the history of the world and the most important zones of contiguous democracies today. What it lacks is a sense of its own history, which creates a surprisingly important opportunity for those who wish it ill, above all in Moscow. Here, a historical perspective is employed to explain what has made the European Union possible, and what will be necessary to defend its future.

Timothy Snyder is a historian at Yale University, specializing in Eastern Europe, totalitarianism, and the holocaust. In his most recent book, “The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America,” he reveals the big picture on how the rise of populism, the British vote against the EU, and the election of Donald Trump were all Russian goals, and how these achievements reveal the vulnerability of Western societies. He is also the author of “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century,” which explores the everyday ways a citizen can resist the authoritarianism of today. His other works include “Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning” and “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.”

This video is part of an ongoing series called ‘Timothy Snyder Speaks’ published online.