“MUST-READ” books about the past hundred years in the eastern half of Europe are a hotly contested category. I would put CzesÃ…â€šaw MiÃ…â€šosz’s Captive Mind in the top ten, with a Kundera novel, Akhmatova’s poetry, Mandelstam’s memoirs, Solzhenitsyn’s Ivan Denisovich and Djilas’s New Class. Venclova and Brodsky need to be there too. So squeezing in someone from outside the region is hard. Anne Applebaum’s Gulag is a strong contender. So is Norman Davies’s history of Poland, or, going back a bit, Seton-Watson’s history of Central Europe. Yet my clearest candidate would be a book that was published only a couple of months ago: Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands.