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Ranking Author Anne Applebaum’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

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“What are Anne Applebaum Best Books?” We looked at all of Applebaum’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Anne Applebaum and looked at her Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page. We will update the article if/when a new book by Anne Applebaum is released. Although it probably won’t be immediate so the scores on each site have time to settle and aren’t overly influenced by the early, usually much more opinionated, users.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Anne Applebaum



6 ) Gulag Voices : An Anthology

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 6

“Anne Applebaum wields her considerable knowledge of a dark chapter in human history and presents a collection of the writings of survivors of the Gulag, the Soviet concentration camps. Although the opening of the Soviet archives to scholars has made it possible to write the history of this notorious concentration camp system, documents tell only one side of the story. Gulag Voices now fills in the other half.

The backgrounds of the writers reflect the extraordinary diversity of the Gulag itself. Here are the personal stories of such figures as Dmitri Likhachev, a renowned literary scholar; Anatoly Marchenko, the son of illiterate laborers; and Alexander Dolgun, an American citizen. These remembrances—many of them appearing in English for the first time, each chosen for both literary and historical value—collectively spotlight the strange moral universe of the camps, as well as the relationships that prisoners had with one another, with their guards, and with professional criminals who lived beside them.

A vital addition to the literature of this era,annotated for a generation that no longer remembers the Soviet Union, Gulag Voices will inform, interest, and inspire, offering a source for reflection on human nature itself.”

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5 ) From a Polish Country House Kitchen

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 2

With more than 150 splendid photographs, headnotes that illuminate Poland’s vibrant food culture, and more than 90 recipes for classic and contemporary Polish food, this unique and fascinating cookbook brings an ignored cuisine to light. Pulitzer Prize-winner Anne Applebaum has lived in Poland since before the fall of communism, and this cookbook—nourished by her engagement with the culture and food of her adopted country—offers a tantalizing look into the turbulent history of this beautiful region. In a Polish Country House Kitchen celebrates long-distance friendships with a love of food at the core, bringing the good, sustaining foods of Anne’s Polish country home into kitchens the world over.

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4 ) Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 4

“In the long-awaited follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag, acclaimed journalist Anne Applebaum delivers a groundbreaking history of how Communism took over Eastern Europe after World War II and transformed in frightening fashion the individuals who came under its sway.

At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union to its surprise and delight found itself in control of a huge swath of territory in Eastern Europe. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to Communism, a completely new political and moral system. In Iron Curtain, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete. She draws on newly opened East European archives, interviews, and personal accounts translated for the first time to portray in devastating detail the dilemmas faced by millions of individuals trying to adjust to a way of life that challenged their every belief and took away everything they had accumulated. Today the Soviet Bloc is a lost civilization, one whose cruelty, paranoia, bizarre morality, and strange aesthetics Applebaum captures in the electrifying pages of Iron Curtain.”

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3 ) Between East and West : across the borderlands of Europe

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 5

“In the summer and fall of 1991, Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag and Iron Curtain, took a three month road trip through the freshly independent borderlands of Eastern Europe. She deftly weaves the harrowing history of the region and captures the effects of political upheaval on a personal level.

An extraordinary journey into the past and present of the lands east of Poland and west of Russia—an area defined throughout its history by colliding empires. Traveling from the former Soviet naval center of Kaliningrad on the Baltic to the Black Sea port of Odessa, Anne Applebaum encounters a rich range of competing cultures, religions, and national aspirations. “

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2 ) Gulag: A History

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 3

“In this magisterial and acclaimed history, Anne Applebaum offers the first fully documented portrait of the Gulag, from its origins in the Russian Revolution, through its expansion under Stalin, to its collapse in the era of glasnost.

The Gulag–a vast array of Soviet concentration camps that held millions of political and criminal prisoners–was a system of repression and punishment that terrorized the entire society, embodying the worst tendencies of Soviet communism. Applebaum intimately re-creates what life was like in the camps and links them to the larger history of the Soviet Union. Immediately recognized as a landmark and long-overdue work of scholarship, Gulag is an essential book for anyone who wishes to understand the history of the twentieth century.”

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1 ) Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 1

In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization—in effect a second Russian revolution—which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than three million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them.

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Anne Applebaum’s Best Books



Anne Applebaum Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine 141 1
Gulag: A History 223 2
Between East and West : across the borderlands of Europe 415 3
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956 524 4
From a Polish Country House Kitchen 652 5
Gulag Voices : An Anthology 366 6