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1. The Jews of Lithuania: A History
2. The History of Lithuania before
3. The History of the Baltic States
4. Social and Religious History of
5. After the Deluge: Poland-Lithuania
6. History of Lithuania
7. The Litvaks: A Short History of
8. The Sword and the Cross: A History
9. Lithuania: land of heroes;: Country,
10. The Making of Modern Lithuania
11. SOUNDS OF SILENCE: Traces of Jewish
12. The Lithuanian statute of 1529
14. Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empire
15. Lithuania Awakening (Society and
16. Making a Great Ruler: Grand Duke
17. Historical Dictionary of Lithuania
18. Lithuanian fraternalism: Seventy-five
19. Executive Report on Strategies
20. The Jews of Pinsk, 1506 to 1880

1. The Jews of Lithuania: A History of a Remarkable Community 1316-1945
by Masha Greenbaum
Hardcover: 405 Pages (1995-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$25.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9652291323
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Fifth Edition.The full and fascinating history of this remarkable community, from its beginnings in the early part of the 14th century until its virtual destruction during the Holocaust.The book deals with the movements and personalities that played a role in the formation of the community. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but Not Compelling
THE JEWS OF LITHUANIA serves well as a general introduction to one of the most diverse, vibrant Jewish communities to have flourished anywhere at any time.

Unfortunately, the book is superficial, giving only a summary view of the 700 year history of Lithuanian Jewry. It fails to provide much in the way of depth or "color" in regard to the Jews who were such a vital part of Lithuanian history from it's beginnings.

Of particular note are the facts that Lithuanian Jewry had its roots in the slow dispersion of the Sephardim during the Reconquista of Iberia. It is instructive that in only two countries---Spain and Lithuania---were Jews permitted to be titled landholders. The author, Masha Greenbaum, fails to analyze these fascinating facts, or draw historical conclusions, of these, and many other elements, (though they are reported in passing), and thus fails to make an account of the earliest underpinnings of the community, or speak on its shared values as they developed.

There are better books on Lithuanian Jewish history, though this one is generally available, and is certainly readable. There are some historical errors which detract from the book's value as source material, but as a "starting point" for the investigation of Lithuanian Jewry, the book most definitely suffices.

For Jews tracing their families in Lithuania, the large number of localities named will be helpful, as will the discussion of the liquidation of those communities.

Given the vast scope of the subject, it is to be hoped that a better, more in-depth, and sensitive and sympathetic volume is in preparation somewhere.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is a general History with a lot of errors.
This is a poorly written general History.The title of the book is misleading.The book concentrates on the modern era.There is alot of imformation on the old Kehilla era of Jewish History.This is a periodfrom 1400 - 1700 at least.This book gives only the minimal description ofthis era.The authors idea of Jewish History in that pre-modern era, whichin Lithuania extended until the mid 1800's was to tell about therelationship that the ruler of that area had with the Jews.The reasonthat I gave this book such a low rating is that it is full of Historicalerrors.For example she writes that the Decembrist revolution happened in1827, it really happened in 1825.While many of her Historical errors areminor, like saying that the infamous, 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion',was written in 1928.When it comes to the History of the Orthodox and theYeshivot, the book is full of gross errors and misunderstandings. As anexampe, her attempts to explain the reason why there was a rebellion inSlobodka against the 'Alter' and his form of Mussar is so wrong that it iscomical.The 'Alter' had no official position in his own Yeshiva.A partof his form of Musar was allowing each student to develop on his own. Tight control was not part of this system.Saul Liberman, who later becamethe head of JTS - the Conservitive Seminary in the USA, learnt in Slobodka. Even though it was already known at that time that he had some liberalideas.One of the Alter's most promenant students, R. Avrohom Elya Kaplen,later became head of the Rabbinical School in Berlin and was one theRabbinical leaders of the Mizrachi movement.Another one of the Alter'sstudents was R. Aharon Kotler who founded the most promenant 'Torah' onlyYeshiva in the USA in Lakewood NJ. This is not the only gross error in thebook.Another example is that she only gives the last un-official chiefRabbi of Vilna, Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky only one comment, and it isn'ta positive one.R. Chiam Ozer was once offered the official title, butturned it down.He was one of the leaders of Lithuanian Jewry for over 40years, and a fascinating and brilliant man.You would think that hedeserves more than one negitive comment.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good introduction into the history of the Jews in Lithuani
I found this book to be a very good introduction into the history of the Jews in Lithuania.I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in the subject.

In addition to that this book represents a good example ofthe History of Lithuania through the Jewish eyes.I believe that the Jewshave the same rights on Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Russia and some othercountries to name a few, as the non-Jews do.Therefore, the books likethis one have to be written about each and every country where the Jewsused to live for any extended period of time, regardless of the fact ifthey are still living there today.That would allow the next generationsof the Jews to clearly see that some of the local `heroes', whose staturesare still standing tall in the main squares of some of the European citiesand who themselves are considered to be the liberators of the localpeoples, were in fact thugs and anti-Semitic pigs who slaughtered thousandsof Jews during their reins in power (Bogdan Hmelnitskij -- the hero of theUkrainian people whose name was mentioned by Masha Greenbaum in her bookwas one of them).That would clearly show to the Jews that some of theevents in local history of those countries, that are considered to be goodand progressive for the countries and the people that they affected, infact adversely affected the Jewish population of those countries.The mostrecent example of them all would be "The Perestroika" and thedissolution of the Soviet Union.Although considered to be a very positivedevelopment by a lot of people, both Jews and non-Jews alike, it brought tothe surface a rapid activation of the anti-Semitism all over the formerSoviet Union that made the lives of the hundreds of thousands of the Jewsthere completely unbearable.

The conventionally written (mostly by thenon-Jews) history books at best either do not usually pay much attention tothe lives of the Jews in those countries, or at worst they paint the Jewsof those countries in an untruthful and negative way.From my point ofview, that not only represents an incorrect and incomplete approach tohistory, but also denies the Jews of a big part of their cultural andhistorical heritage.The books like The Jews of Lithuania: a history of aremarkable community, 1316-1945, if written about other countries, wouldhighlight the truth about the Jews and their contribution to the countriesthey were living in.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive research on the history of Lithuanian Jewry
This book is an amazing resource for anyone wanting to learn about the history of Lithuanian Jewry. It was fascinating reading, although not light reading. Greenbaum covers the rise of the various political, religous andzionist movements within the Jewish community, and most importantly, putsthem within their historical context. The depth of her research isoutstanding. I strongly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must reading.
This book is must reading for any Jew,like myself, who had relatives that lived in one of the many small towns in Lithuania and are no more. The only thing we have to give our children that reminds them of their relatives isthis book. ... Read more

2. The History of Lithuania before 1795
 Hardcover: 402 Pages (2000)

Isbn: 9986810132
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3. The History of the Baltic States (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations)
by Kevin C. O'Connor
Hardcover: 248 Pages (2003-11-30)
list price: US$51.95 -- used & new: US$51.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0313323550
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Baltic states--Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania--are nestled in northeastern Europe, where they lie at a crossroad of European culture. This is the most recent and up-to-date narrative history of the Baltic states, providing readers with an ideal starting point for research on the area. It includes a timeline of major events, biographic sketches of noteworthy historical figures, a glossary, and a bibliographic essay. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive....
Excellent review of a complex region of the world. It's tough living next to
big and egoistic neighbors....but somehow, and it hasn't always been easy, these
plucky Baltic states have retained their identity...I'm using the books for a mini lecture
I'm preparing about this region..

4-0 out of 5 stars Good detail for a short book.
Book covers a wide time span with just the right amount of detail. Doesn't read like a textbook.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellence
The product was in excellent shape when I received it. The book looked as if it were new and bought right off the book store shelf. ... Read more

4. Social and Religious History of the Jews, Volume 16 (Late Middle Ages and Era of European Expansion, 1200-1650; Poland-Lithuania, 1500-1650) (Social & Religious History of the Jews)
by Salo Wittmayer Baron
 Hardcover: 460 Pages (1976-10-15)
list price: US$130.00 -- used & new: US$122.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0231088531
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5. After the Deluge: Poland-Lithuania and the Second Northern War, 1655-1660 (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern History)
by Robert I. Frost
Paperback: 236 Pages (2004-03-11)
list price: US$37.99 -- used & new: US$34.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521544025
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The Swedish invasion of 1655, known to Poles ever since as the 'Swedish deluge', provoked the political and military collapse of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the second-largest state in Europe. Robert Frost examines the reasons for Poland's fall and the conduct of the war by the Polish government, and addresses the crucial question of why, despite widespread recognition of the shortcomings of the political system, subsequent attempts at reform failed. War has long been seen as crucial to the development of more effective systems of government in Europe during the seventeenth century, but studies usually concentrate on states which responded successfully to the challenges. Much can be learned from those that failed, and the paucity of English-language material on this important conflict means that After the Deluge will appeal to a broad audience among historians of Poland, Germany, Scandinavia, Russia, and early modern Europe in general. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars review
Excellent book. I learned a lot about Polish history. I found it very interesting and easy to read. I highly recomend this to others.

3-0 out of 5 stars A book about XVII century diplomacy in Central Europe
I bought the book thinking it dealt with warfare in the XVII century but it is not. The main topic is how The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth tried to survive by looking for the right alliance with others powers. These outer diplomatic strategies were obstaculized by the inner political problems.

Its interesting and it has showed me the political situation in the Commonwealth, but do not look for warfare. It is not a warfare book. ... Read more

6. History of Lithuania
by Joseph B. Koncius
 Paperback: 142 Pages

Asin: B001BQ0FN4
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Helpful in some respects, but lacking in others
This book, for beginners or those just casually interested in Lithuanian history, may be helpful enough in providing a general outline of the subject. Unfortunately, this book falls into a category of Eastern European histories written during the Cold War by emigres living abroad, usually the West, which tended to be highly nationalistic. Because the subjects were often considered obscure by mainstream history departments and academic circles, they rarely received serious reviews or attention from professional historians in the West that might have corrected some of the more outlandishly nationalistic approaches taken by these kinds of regional histories. Lithuanian history is a difficult subject to come by in the West, and it is often lumped in with either Russian or Polish history, but sadly books such as Koncius' do more to perpetuate national historical mythologies than to really examine how the Lithuanians, who once played a crucial (and largely unacknowledged) role in medieval European history, came to be who they are today. ... Read more

7. The Litvaks: A Short History of the Jews in Lithuania
by Dov Levin
Hardcover: 300 Pages (2001-10)
list price: US$90.00
Isbn: 9653080849
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Litvaks...Vibrancy to Demise
The Litvaks, A Short History of the Jews in Lithuania, is a book, of not only history, but one of insight into the vibrancy and the demise of the Jews and of their geographics and culture, religion and fight for survival, within the ever-changing demographics of the country.

This is a poignant book, detailing the history of Lithuanian Jews, from the 1300s through the present, detailing the end of WWII, including the Holocaust, through the present, through survivor histories.

The author manages to detail lifestyles, from banking to education, and cultural practices, and how they apply to the governmental discrimination and restrictions imposed upon the Lithuanian Jews (and, Jews in general).

I am grateful that Dov Levin undertook the research, and the writing of this insightful and informative book.I found a lot of my own familial ties inside the pages, not only the cities, and Shtetls, but the emotional and traditional ties that bind me to the past, and in particular, bind me to Lithuania.

The Jews and their will to survive, their will to keep the past within the context of the present, their strength to overcome the adversity, yet keep the devastation of the past, in the forefront, is part of my ancestral history, an innate part of me that felt, strongly, every word on every page of this excellent book, by Levin, and I have taken the knowledge garnered and applied it to my own familial roots.I will continue to strive to keep Levin's tribute of the Litvaks a part of ancestral documentation, from mother to daughter, to son, and down through the generations.

I gratefully thank Dov Levin for this endeavor, and poignant account of a piece of history, and for giving us a compilation of the Litvak's place in history, that we must all hold dear. ... Read more

8. The Sword and the Cross: A History of the Church in Lithuania
by Saulius Suziedelis
 Paperback: 200 Pages (1988-12)
list price: US$9.95
Isbn: 0879734167
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A very thorough background...
...is provided by Dr. Suziedelis herein.He takes an in-depth look at thehistory of the singlemost pivotal institution in Lithuania today, theCatholic Church, tracing its stabilising impact throughout the history ofthe region.While the book is somewhat dated at this point, it remainsnonetheless a very useful resource in beginning to understand some portionof the Lithuanian psyche. ... Read more

9. Lithuania: land of heroes;: Country, people, history, language; Lithuania's fight against the Kremlin rule; Soviet genocidal practices in Lithuania,
by Leonard Valiukas
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1962)

Asin: B0007HLXNO
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10. The Making of Modern Lithuania (BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies)
by Tomas Balkelis
Hardcover: 208 Pages (2009-07-08)
list price: US$145.00 -- used & new: US$130.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415454700
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This book argues that – contrary to contemporary Lithuanian nationalist rhetoric – Lithuanian nationalism was modern and socially constructed in the period from the emergence of the Lithuanian national movement in the late nineteenth century to the birth of an independent state in 1918. The book brings into sharp focus those aspects of the history of Lithuania that earlier commentators had not systematically explored: it shows how, in this period, the nascent political elite fashioned its own and the emerging nation’s identity. Moreover, factors such as the elite’s social isolation, educational experience, marital strategies and narrowly based, fragmented and uncoordinated political activities were crucial factors in shaping identity and nation-building. It demonstrates how the elite was often in conflict with the peasantry, the religious establishment and other ethnic groups, and how critical considerations such as class, religion, displacement and ethnicity – rather than national ideology – were. The book’s conclusion that Lithuanian nationalism is a construct emerging from modern social forces is highly significant for understanding nationalism and contemporary political developments in Eastern Europe more generally.

... Read more

11. SOUNDS OF SILENCE: Traces of Jewish Life in Lithuania
by Isaac Zibuts
Hardcover: 204 Pages (2009-01-15)
-- used & new: US$89.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9955736275
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This is a memorial album dedicated to the annihilated Jewish communities of Lithuania. More than 150 colored photographs capture the images of Jewish cemeteries, prayer houses and other buildings and sites connected to Jewish life, or more preciselyimages of what remains many years after the golden age of Jewish Lithuania. Alongside them are the Yiddish and Lithuanian names of towns and villages whose Jewish inhabitants made up a large proportion, perhaps even the majority of the overall population from the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuryaccompanied by a number of telling figures from their history. This book not only arouses the sadness and pain of loss, it reminds us of the people who drew their sap of life from Lithuania, who created and fostered their unique culture, who, simply, lived in this land. We hear the din of the eternal silence that shrouds Jewish Lithuania.Excerpt from D. Katz' preface to the book:For visitors from near and from far, the realia whose photographs grace these pages will soon be the only visible relics of their lost civilization in its historic homeland. Books have been written about the history of the Jews of Lithuania. Books have appeared with collections of prewar photographs. You have before you a third dimension: artistic photographs of the scant remains of graveyards and prayer houses and other relics, that kindle another way to feel and to touch the Lithuanian Jewish Atlantis.Once they have quickened the pulse, these haunting images go on to inspire a further journey of discovery into the languages, literature, culture and history of the remarkable people who left us these enchanting vestiges. /.../ the last Litvaks to come to any maturity before the Holocaust face the twilight of their time on this earth...Hard cover, dust jacket. ... Read more

12. The Lithuanian statute of 1529 (Studies in East European history)
by Lithuania
 Unknown Binding: 206 Pages (1976)

Isbn: 9004045201
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13. BATTLE IN THE BALTICS 1944-45: The Fighting for Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, a Photographic History
by Ian Baxter
Hardcover: 112 Pages (2009-08)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$30.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1906033331
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Battle in the Baltics 1944 - 1945 is an exclusive insight into the last frantic months of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front 1944 - 1945. From mid-August 1944 there was nothing but a drum-beat of defeats for the German Army as it fought to the grim death to try and hold back the overwhelming might of the Russians from reaching the borders of the Reich.It was in the Baltic`s where Army Group North played a decisive role in trying to stem the rout and preventing the fragile lines from finally being smashed to pieces.

Drawing on a host of rare and unpublished photographs accompanied by in-depth captions, the book provides a revealing insight into the last desperate months of the war. It reveals in detail how the remnants of Army Group North were driven back across a scarred and devastated wasteland to the borders of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, East Prussia and Pomerania. What followed was the Battle of the Baltic`s where exhausted and undermanned German forces fought to almost near extinction against the constant hammer blows of Soviet ground and aerial bombardments.

Everywhere disintegrating German forces tried to cling onto vital ground. Eventually after many precious German Panzer and infantry divisions were encircled and annihilated the remnants of Hitler`s once vaunted force was pushed back through the Baltic states into East Prussia, and then fought to the death in the last few small pockets of land surrounding three ports: Libau in Kurland, Pillau in East Prussia and Danzig at the mouth of the River Vistula. It was here that the final battle of the Baltic`s would take place where German troops were ordered to `stand and fight` and wage an unprecedented battle of attrition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars Steer away !
The book's a sham and shamelessly uses photos taken prior to 1944, thus before the campaign supposed to be the object of the book. The so-called author going as far as picking ones that originate from the western front.
What's more, many are blurred or without any interest whatsoever, repeat without any interest. I mean blurred for most because the quality of reproduction has been bungled together with the quality of the paper which stinks on top of that.
To be thrown into one of Goebbel's bonfires without hesitation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Retreat into the Baltics
This book is exactly what the subtitle says it is, a photographic history of Army Group North from the defense of Narva til the bitter end, although it does include some photos from Barbarossa. It is packed with a lot of interesting and rare photos of this often overlooked part of the Eastern Front, mostly from Bulgarian archives. Accompanying the photos are brief summaries of the different stages of the army group's retreat, along with orders of battle. Although a serious student or aficianado of the Eastern Front might find this volume lacking in textual content ,it does give an excellent historical and photographical overview of the latter stages of the war. It is perfect for a newbie that is just getting started, and also nice for the more well read students of the Eastern Front just for the pictures alone. All in all, it is a nice addition to anyone's Eastern Front collection!

1-0 out of 5 stars Bad book with many errors
This book has numerous errors in the text, something which is unforgivable in a book of this type.The pictures are redundant and boring.For those who know nothing about the topic this may be of passing interest, but for all others it is a waste.Definately NOT worth the price.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bait and Switch
"Battle in the Baltics" purports to be a photographic history of fighting for Latvia, Lithuanian and Estonia. It is nothing of the sort. Working off what appears to be a trove of Bulgarian-held German-soldier snapshots of fellow soldiers, there are endless closeups of Germans in foxholes, Germans next to a cannon, Germans looking this way and that. The rare long view of an unrecognizable village, usually an Estonian one, is a relief, but there's no history or geography to speak of here, only the feeling, once you're done paging through this disappointing throw-away, that you've been had.

5-0 out of 5 stars Baltics - the true hour
The very difficult life of the three countries in the Baltics during the occupation of the german army in excelent photos showwing the hardness of the battle and there consequences. ... Read more

14. Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empire within East-Central Europe, 1295-1345 (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series)
by S. C. Rowell
Hardcover: 416 Pages (1994-06-24)
list price: US$130.00 -- used & new: US$104.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 052145011X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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From 1250 to 1795 Lithuania covered a vast area of eastern and central Europe. Until 1387 the country was pagan. How this huge state came to expand, defend itself against western European crusaders and play a conspicuous part in European life are the main subjects of this book. Chapters are devoted to the types of sources used, to the religion of the ancient Balts (and the discovery of a pagan temple in Vilnius in the late 1980s), and to Lithuanian relations and wars with Poland and the Germans. Under Grand Duke Gediminas, Lithuania came to control more of Russia than the prince of Moscow. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A rare subject...and in English, too!
As a Lithuanian-American, it's wonderful to finally find an account of my national history that is written in English.This is an academic book, so I find it easier to dip into it rather than read it from cover to cover, but the writing is generally clear and straightforward.For any first-generation Lithuanian-American who wants to remember what they learned long ago during Lithuanian Saturday school, this book is well worth the price.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for any historian
I heard people praise S. C. Rowell for this book, but spending $100 on a book that dealt only with 50 years of Lithuanian history seemed way too much. However, eventually I bought it -- and that's the best history book I have ever read.

Most histories are just chronological narrative of wars, battles, and other events. What Rowell did was taking extremely scanty historical sources and piecing together a full view of history: wars, diplomacy, succession disputes, religion (paganism vs Catholicism vs Eastern Orthodoxy), culture, etc. and how everything inter-relates. His scholarship is rock-solid and you just pray for a sequel.

It is very different from usual over-generalized histories that are available. This one takes down to the very core of such claims as "Gediminas arranged shrewd marriages for his children." While you can easily find a list of these marriages elsewhere, the real appreciation comes only after reading Rowell's analysis. You can actually start understand what it was like to be sent over to an enemy's son to establish Lithuanian interest in some far-away region. Amazingly, it is done using not empty rhetoric but historical facts and documents.

So go ahead any buy this book. Hopefully, you will also learn how to write histories and conduct academic research.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best English language study of the subject
This is an extraordinary scholarly work. It clarifies the obscurities and subtleties of the Lithuanian situation in the last decades of official paganism when the Lithuanian state rivaled in geographic extent and ethnicdiversity the greatest European nations ever known. The book primarilycovers the rise and reign of Gediminas, the grand duke who was mostresponsible for Lithuania's astonishing growth in the fourteenth century.The subject in English has been covered only in popular and inaccurategeneral histories by Lithuanians influenced by the politics andmythologizing of the nation's first independence period. The author wrotethe book while serving as Professor at the Centre for West Lithuanian andPrussian History at the University of Klaipeda, and it represents the firstfruit of Lithuania's second independence in this century. The chaptersinclude information on the importance of the region's peculiar landscape,the economic situation, pagan beliefs and their diplomatic usefulness, therole of Lithuanian princesses in forming marital alliances with Rus'ian andPolish principalities, the exploits of Lithuanian arms in expanding therealm, Gediminas's brilliant campaign in conquering Western Ukraine, itsRus'ian allies against the growing threat of Muscowy, and the attempt todevelope a Lithuanian Orthodox Church in Vilnius are fascinating. One canonly hope that S. C. Rowell will publish a sequel on the next sixty yearsof Lithuanian history to include the rise of Gediminas's grandson, thecontroversial Jogaila Gediminaitis, who became King of Poland-Lithuania,the first federated state in Europe and the largest in its history,Christianized his pagan people, despite their notorious (and admirable)cultural conservatism, and managed, with the help of carefully nurturedalliances first developed by Gediminas, to defeat the Teutonic Order, themilitary superpower of the day, using a NATO style army, Oriental strategyand technology, and Lithuanian ambush tactics. This book lays thegroundwork for understanding the roots of the Jagiellonian dynasty ofPoland-Lithuania and its political and philosophical accomplishments,fondly referred to by the present Pope John-Paul in the text of his speechto the UN a few years ago. The book's extensive footnotes, maps,geneological charts, and huge bibliography, to say nothing of the denselyinformative text, make the book worthwhile to anyone seriously interestedin East European history.

4-0 out of 5 stars History is written by its survivors
S. C. Rowell has written an excellent account of the rise of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a pagan empire within Europe that embraced such supposedly "modern" virtues as religious and ethnic tolerance, multiculturalism and multiconfessionalism, although Lithuania's leaders were all pagans who practiced something closer to Hinduism than Christianity, and this at a time when the rest of Europe was winding down from a series of failed cruscades in the Levant and winding up for the domestic cruscades and the Inquisition.

What Rowell fails to touch on is how the Lithuanians managed to defeat the Mongols, who ravaged almost everyone else who stood in their path. In doing so Lithuania gained an empire that stretched from Bessarabia and Bukovina in the south to Estonia and east to the suburbs of modern Moscow. Rowell claims the Lithuanian leadership played a careful and calculated, perhaps cynical game of diplomacy with her rivals in the east and west, Russia and Germany respectively. One wonders if the bane of independent small states and nations in this part of the world, "Spheres of Influence," wasn't started by the Lithuanians themselves in interaction with the Mongols.

The other thing that left me unsatisfied was the lack of clear reasons for the decline of the Lithuanian empire. Traditionally Lithuanians blame Jogaila, or Jagiello as he was known in Krakow, for selling out Lithuanian territorial gains to the Polish after he married their child queen Jadvyga. The truth may also point closer to home than is comfortable for most Lithuanians: perhaps Lithuanians simply learned early what the British and Russians learned much later (and the Americans have yet to really learn): empire costs its masters much more than it does its conquered (i.e. as in the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song, they gave it away then).

In any case, Rowell has written an excellent book with fresh and original takes on the entire subject. By actaully living among the Lithuanians of today's Lithuania (he taught at Klaipeda and may still), he has avoided errors almost always taken as gospel in the history of Lithuania as written, ultimately, by a Poland which has never forgiven Lithuania for being an independent entity after Czarist Russia fell and both nations emerged again as something like equals. Strange turn of history it be that people in the west somehow imagine Poland's independence as built of sturdier stuff than Lithuania's, while both nations have undergone almost exactly the same history of conquest, domination and reemergence since their leaders formed the joint kingdom. If the Soviet Union has fallen, does that mean that its juridical rules haven't held good, or are they still binding, if only on academia in the west? That is to ask, is it true to say Soviet Poland was less Soviet than Soviet Lithuania, or is that only a distinction the apparatchiks in Moscow and American campuses are capable of making? Rowell makes you wonder... ... Read more

15. Lithuania Awakening (Society and Culture in East-Central Europe, Vol 4)
by Alfred Erich Senn
Hardcover: 238 Pages (1990-09-10)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$22.95
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Asin: 0520071700
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Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of perestroika released new forces throughout Soviet society. In Lithuania this process resulted in a psychological-cultural revolution. Deep-rooted feelings, long suppressed, exploded, demonstrations and mass meetings ensued, and the face of the society changed. Although at the beginning of 1988 Lithuania appeared to be one of the relatively conservative republics in the Soviet Union, by the end of the year it stood among the leaders in pushing change. By 1990, Lithuania was even forcing Moscow to respond to its initiatives for independence and economic reform.Is Lithuania the prototype of a nation emerging from the collectivity of the Soviet Union? Alfred Erich Senn, who was present during most of this piece of history in the making, believes that it may be. He documents the dramatic events and changes in Lithuania during 1988 with the perspective of a historian and the immediacy of a participant.The reader will easily grasp the whole spectrum of political activity in Lithuania, and the range from right to left among Lithuanian activists. And, because the Lithuanians have emerged among the leaders of change in the Soviet Union, Senn's account provides a key to later developments, in terms of both political movements and political personalities. ... Read more

16. Making a Great Ruler: Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania
by Giedre Mickunaite
Hardcover: 337 Pages (2006-10-30)
list price: US$47.95 -- used & new: US$47.52
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Asin: 9637326588
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How does a ruler become "the Great?" Is greatness a part of authority exercised or a part of an image created? These and other questions are addressed in this volume on the life and memory of Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania (r.1392-1430). The study raises a hypothesis that Vytautas was the main engineer of his image as the great ruler, while his contemporaries and later generations developed this image and adapted it to their needs and understandings. Investigating the propaganda surrounding the grand duke, this study reveals that, in fact, there were two opposite images: that of a good ruler and that of a tyrant. The paradox is that frequently these opposites were based on the same features of the grand duke's character or episodes from his biography. The research is based on a wide array of written and visual sources as well as on records of oral tradition. Rich and diverse primary materials are analysed from the perspectives of political and social history, memorial culture, as well as iconography and rhetoric. ... Read more

17. Historical Dictionary of Lithuania
by Saulius Suziedelis
Hardcover: 424 Pages (1997-07)
list price: US$82.50 -- used & new: US$78.31
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Asin: 0810833352
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On March 11, 1990, the newly-elected Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR formally declared the restoration of the Republic of Lithuania as an independent state, ending a half-century of Russian Soviet rule. The least industrialized of the Baltic states, Lithuania's economic mainstays have long been agriculture and food processing, with the development of industries such as electronics, wood processing and petroleum refining occurring only in the 1960s and 1970s. Its political isolation during the last half-century has led many people to forget that the country is as "European" as France and Italy, and has, in fact, played a major role in the general development of Europe during its political and cultural alliances with Poland as well as its Orthodox, eastern Slavic, Russian, Ukranian, and Belarusan neighbors. Lithuania played roles in the development of major movements such as the Renaissance, the Reformation, Romanticism and democracy. These interactions with other countries have influenced Lithuanian's cultural development into one of the most multinational in Europe. The " Historical Dictionary of Lithuania" attempts to introduce the non-specialist to the most important mileposts of Lithuania's past. Present-day spellings of place names are utilized in accordance with those used by the National Geographic Society, and alternate versions which occur frequently in literature are referenced. Appendixes provide pronunciation guides, lists of Lithuanian rulers from 1251-1795, and political leaders since 1918. Four maps and a detailed chronology provide further background information. ... Read more

18. Lithuanian fraternalism: Seventy-five years of U.S. Knights of Lithuania
by William Wolkovich-Valkavicius
 Paperback: 303 Pages (1988)

Asin: B00071CQFY
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19. Executive Report on Strategies in Lithuania, 2000 edition (Strategic Planning Series)
by The Lithuania Research Group, The Lithuania Research Group
Ring-bound: 80 Pages (2000-11-02)
list price: US$800.00 -- used & new: US$800.00
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Asin: 0741829010
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Lithuania has recently come to the attention to global strategic planners.This report puts these executives on the fast track.Ten chapters provide: an overview of how to strategically access this important market, a discussion on economic fundamentals, marketing & distribution options, export and direct investment options, and full risk assessments (political, cultural, legal, human resources).Ample statistical benchmarks and comparative graphs are given. ... Read more

20. The Jews of Pinsk, 1506 to 1880 (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C)
by Mordechai Nadav
Hardcover: 656 Pages (2007-11-20)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$49.99
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Asin: 080474159X
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The Jews of Pinsk, 1506-1880 is the first part of a major scholarly project about a small city in Eastern Europe where Jews were a majority of the population from the end of the eighteenth century.Pinsk boasted both traditional rabbinic scholars and famous Hasidic figures, and over time became an international trade emporium, a center of the Jewish Enlightenment, a cradle of Zionism and the Jewish Labor movement, and a place where Orthodoxy struggled vigorously with modernity.

The two volumes of Pinsk history were originally part of a literature created by Jews who survived the Holocaust and were determined to keep in memory a vital world that flourished for half a millennium.In this case, the results are extraordinary: no town of Eastern Europe has been described in such fascinating detail, invaluable to Jewish and non-Jewish historians alike. ... Read more

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