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1. Ukraine: A History, 4th Edition
2. A History of Ukraine
3. The Shoah in Ukraine: History,
4. Harvest of Despair: Life and Death
5. Borderland: A Journey through
6. The History of Ukraine (The Greenwood
7. The Jews of Odessa: A Cultural
8. Ukraine, The EU and Russia: History,
9. Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust
10. Kaleidoscopic Odessa: History
11. The Road from Letichev, Vol. 1
12. Burden of Dreams: History and
13. Heroes and Villains: Creating
14. Sketches from a Secret War: A
15. Ukraine: An Illustrated History
16. War in a European Borderland:
17. Revolution in Orange: The Origins
18. Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation
19. Women in Russia and Ukraine (Volume
20. History of Ukraine - 2nd, Revised

1. Ukraine: A History, 4th Edition
by Scholarly Publishing Division University of Toronto Press
Hardcover: 784 Pages (2009-11-28)
list price: US$125.00 -- used & new: US$87.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1442640162
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

In 1988, the first edition of Orest Subtelny's Ukraine was published to international acclaim, as the definitive history of what was at that time a republic in the USSR. In the years since, the world has seen the dismantling of the Soviet bloc and the restoration of Ukraine's independence - an event celebrated by Ukrainians around the world but which also heralded a time of tumultuous change for those in the homeland.

While previous updates brought readers up to the year 2000, this new fourth edition includes an overview of Ukraine's most recent history, focusing on the dramatic political, socio-economic, and cultural changes that occurred during the Kuchma and Yushchenko presidencies. It analyzes political developments - particularly the so-called Orange Revolution - and the institutional growth of the new state. Subtelny examines Ukraine's entry into the era of globalization, looking at social and economic transformations, regional, ideological, and linguistic tensions, and describes the myriad challenges currently facing Ukrainian state and society.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good explanation of the country in which I now live
A newcomer to Kyiv is develops a number of curious observations. Some people are hypersensitive to which language I studied or spoke -- Ukrainian or Russian. There are a vast number of big black Mercedes, Lexus', Bentleys and even a few Maybachs on the streets, even though everybody I know lives in fairly modest apartments. Once again on meager budgets, the young women dressed sensationally, and look wonderful, while the older women by and large dress simply in look their age. The streets are safer than any big city in the United States, but the population has a kind of paranoia. One reads about tremendous social problems such as HIV, abandoned children, alcoholism and absolute penury, but they are not highly visible. These are some of the most attractive people on earth, to outward appearances almost uniformly heterosexual, openly affectionate with each other, but with the lowest birth rate in Europe. Lastly, the Ukrainians are as thoroughly European, and appear to have a worldview much closer to western Europe and America than Orientals, Africans, or Latin Americans, but their society is afflicted with problems such as corruption that seem more appropriate to other regions. I read Mr. Subtelny's book to learn their history in an effort to understand the people.

Ukraine's history is a litany of tragedies following one on the heels of another. The geography of the steppes offer no natural defenses. They only significant military barrier, the Dnieper River, runs right through the middle of the country.

Ukraine was surrounded by empires for most of the last millennium. In clockwise order, the Habsburgs, the third Reich, the Poles, the Lithuanians, the Russians, the Mongols, and the Ottomans. The very name of the country means "the edge." It was a desirable piece of territory, great for farming and pasturage, that excited the expansionist instincts of every despot in the region.

Agriculture has always been the most attractive way to make a living, given the fertile land. The downside is that agriculturalists are tied to the land, and tend to remain parochial in their thinking. Ukraine was slow to come to a vision of itself as a single entity. Rather, they were the peasant base of more urban civilizations such as those of the Poles and the Russians, whose nobles exploited them mercilessly.

The exploiters appear always to have had success with a divide and conquer strategy. Ukraine's institutions, political, religious, and otherwise, appear always to have been split. In tough political times they always appear to have had to choose between two evils: Poles and Russians, Nazis and Russians, and most recently, among equally corrupt candidates for political office.

Ukraine's brightest days appear to be have been those of the Cossacks, who enjoyed a brief decade of triumph in the middle of the 17th century. The Cossacks were an institution bred of necessity. Crimea was dominated by Tatars, ruthless nomadic horsemen who would descend on their farming villages, rape, pillage, and carry off slaves to be sold in the Ottoman Empire. To the north of the steppe were cruel and oppressive Polish nobleman who abused their peasants. The Cossacks were peasants who ran away from serfdom and took their chances on the open steppes fighting off the Tatars. Needless to say they became like America's pioneers -- tough fighters, and fiercely independent.

The tragedy of the Cossacks was that they were ahead of their time. They tried to live democratically, but all around them were feudal hierarchies, and they continually reverted to strongman rule. The very existence of the Cossacks threatened the feudal order in all the surrounding empires. Just as all of Europe united against a republican France, all of the empires had a vested interest in extinguishing the Cossacks. Time after time they would neutralize them politically, turn them against each other, or enlist them as mercenaries fighting their own far-off battles.

Many of my friends from Bethesda are descended of Jews from this region. According to Subtelny's history, the Jews were city dwellers, merchants and tavern owners, money lenders, and most insidiously, the overseers hired by absentee landlords belonging to the nobility to manage the estates on which the peasantry worked. The Jews and the peasants were often pitted against each other in the divide and conquer strategies. Later, the Jews would be seen as a political threat by the Czars and the Communist leadership. Hence, the less populous and obviously different Jews seemed to suffer one pogrom after another, the very word meaning "massacre" in Ukrainian.

The book is well organized, with several threads such as religion, society, economy, political organization, culture, and military activity being addressed by separate chapters and subheadings within each era, so it is possible to follow a cohesive history of each of them separately and of the nation as a whole. My use of the word nation here raises the question of what a nation is. In the context of this book, it is generally equated with populations that spoke the Ukrainian language, and the significant minorities such as Russians who lived among them.The book also has an extensive bibliography.

The book was most recently updated in 2009, and it appears to do a good job of describing the events that have taken place since I have been here. Subtelny ends the book on optimistic note, one with which I would concur. Although there are vast problems in today's Ukraine, chief among them being the great inequality in wealth, dysfunctional political and legal systems, a lack of opportunity for young people, and the demographic crisis of a rapidly shrinking population, there is a considerable bright side. The country has been at peace for 65 years, the longest such stretch in a millennium. It has had free elections and reasonably free institutions for about 20 years. It has an intelligent and highly homogeneous population, sparing at the diversity issues which now occupy the West. Lastly, the Ukrainians have a healthy suspicion of government. If they are going to make it, they will make it on their own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Previous Praise still Pertinent:Best History, Excellent, the Standard, Highly Recommended, Required Reading, Enormously Readable
Critically acclaimed when first published in 1988, this fourth (2009) edition of Dr. Orest Subtelny's Ukraine:A History is updated with forty-eight additional pages of insightful analyses and two extra photos covering Ukraine's history from 2000 through 2009. Focus is on the Kuchma and Yushchenko presidencies and the "dramatic political, socio-economic and cultural changes that occurred."

Dr. Subtelny's analyses include:"developments in the political sphere, particularly covering the Orange Revolution and the institutional growth of the new state."Discussions are on the following:Domestic Policies (the Kuchma Years, the Orange Revolution, and the Yushchenko Years); International Relations (Relations with the West, Enter NATO, Poland, Russia, Yushchenko's Policies, and the Ukrainian-Russian Gas War); State and Nation Building (State Building, Nation Building, Regionalism); Economy; and, Society (the New Middle Class, the Fading Intelligentsia, Other Urban Dwellers, the Declining Village, Corruption, Demographics, Emigration, and Religion).

Looking at the handsome cover, the color orange is outstanding and reminiscent of the Orange Revolution; and, rightly so, since the Orange Revolution is one of the topics covered and discussed in the latest addition to Part Five entitled `The Age of Globalization.'The cover illustration is Cossack Mamai, canvas, oil, early 19th century.Hradizhsk, Kremenchuk District, Poltava Oblast, Ukraine.Courtesy of the National Art Museum of Ukraine.

Thirty full-page maps enable the reader to follow events as they are chronicled.Ninety-seven black and white illustrations and photos (usually full page, sometimes as duos or panoramas) enhance the text visually and are throughout the book in groups of eight segments.

While this fourth edition is published by the University of Toronto Press in 2009 (Ukraine is independent), the first edition was published in 1988 (Ukraine was in the USSR and known as Soviet Ukraine).In his Preface to the Fourth Edition, Professor Subtelny adds a technical note:"among Ukrainians the preferred spelling of their capital's name is Kyiv.I have adopted this version.However, because this book first appeared in 1988, before the Ukrainian version was adopted, the old version, Kiev, will, unfortunately, have to be used in this publication."

A Preface to each of the four editions gives an outline of that edition's analyses.Following the main chapters are extensive Notes on each of the thirty-one chapters (pgs. 677-693); a one-page list of Abbreviations; a one-page Glossary; Illustration Credits listed on one page; Selected Readings in English (pgs. 700-734); and, an extensive Index (pgs. 735-784).

Ukraine:A History was published with the help of a grant from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences through the Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Financial assistance was also received from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP).

A brief curriculum vitae of the author follows.Orest Subtelny is a professor in the departments of History and Political Science at York University.A Canadian historian of Ukrainian ancestry, his Ph.D. is from Harvard University.Grants include the following:CBIE grant for curricular restructuring in the history faculty of University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy, Kiev, Ukraine (1996).Association of Universities and Colleges grant for organization of conference on Ukraine between NATO and Russia (1997).Faculty of Arts grant for archival research on post-World War II partisan warfare in Ukraine (1997).Professor Subtelny has recently taught classes on Modern Ukrainian History and Selected Problems in Modern Russia.

Papers and lectures by Professor Subtelny include:"The Historiography of Russian Tsarist Expansion" - Conference of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, Columbia University, 25-26 April 1996."Explaining Empire:An Overview of Recent Theories," Research Seminar, Ukrainian Free University, Munich, 15-16 July 1996."The Preconsular Phenomenon in Russian Imperial Expansion," Annual Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Boston, 15-17 November 1996."Ukrainian Population Transfers in 1944-1948," Conference on Population Transfers in Eastern Europe, Gliwice, Poland, 17-20 December 1997.

Some of Dr. Subtelny's recent publications are:"Cossacks" - The World Book Encyclopedia (1997); "Ukraine" - Encarta Encyclopedia (1997); and, "Ukraine: The Imperial Heritage" - Briefing Papers of the Canadian Bureau of International Studies, 1996.

Besides Ukraine:A History, Professor Subtelny has authored the following:Domination of Eastern Europe; The Mazepists:Ukrainian Separatism in the 18th Century; The Letters of Ivan Mazepa; Habsburgs and Zaporozhian Cossacks (with L. Wynar); and, Ukrainians in North America:An Illustrated History.Please see my review of Ukrainians in North America:An Illustrated History.

Very definitely five stars plus--Ukraine:A History is very heartily recommended for personal and public libraries worldwide!

Addendum: Readers, you're invited to visit each of my reviews--most of them have photos that I took in Ukraine (over 600)--you'll learn lots about Ukraine and Ukrainians. The image gallery shows smaller photos, which are out of sequence. The preferable way is to see each review through my profile page since photos that are germane to that particular book/VHS/DVD are posted there with notes and are in sequential order.

To visit my reviews: click on my pseudonym, Mandrivnyk, to get to my profile page; click on the tab called review; scroll to the bottom of the section, and click on see all reviews; click on each title, and on the left-hand side, click on see all images. The thumbnail images at the top of the page show whether photos have notes; roll your mouse over the image to find notes posted.

Also, you're invited to visit my Listmania lists, which have materials sorted by subject matter.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT HISTORY BOOK!
Its full of knowledge and many interesting rarely seen historical photos.I have learned much more information that I ever knew before about Ukraine.Excellent book that I would recommend to everyone.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Facts, Bad Premise
This book covers the history of "Ukraine" from time immemorial until the late 20th century, laying out all the important dates andleaders. It is without doubt the most extensive and lucid English-language account of the development of regions and peoples which constitute today's Ukraine.

Its crucial fault, however, is that it fails to overturn or even question the nationalist mythologizing of Ukrainian history. It assumes the permanent historical unity of the Ukrainian nation when in fact no such unity existed until at least the early 1900s. It marginalizes the role of Poles, Russians, and even Germans in laying rival claims to the territory and peoples now called Ukraine. It leads us to believe that Ukraine was destined to exist in its current form, when in fact the creation of Ukraine was highly contested and its current shape anything but pre-determined. This book presents the genealogy of regional figures and struggles which have been appropriated into Ukrainian nationalist mythology, but gives little sense how or when Ukraine actually came to exist, nor how its history fits into larger European narratives.

5-0 out of 5 stars For anyone who wants to learn about this fascinating land
First published in 1988, Orest Subtelny's Ukraine: A History has again been newly updated in a third edition. This 736 page volume spans from the earliest times to the modern day, covering everything from ancient Greek colonization to the recent Ukraine diaspora. Orest Subtelny (Professor of History and Political Science at York University) goes into extreme depth and detail with a text that is significantly enhanced with maps, tables, and the occasional black-and-white photograph. Highly recommended for its lucidity, meticulous attention to detail, and scholarly precision, Ukraine: A History is a "must" for anyone who wants to learn about this fascinating land and its people. ... Read more

2. A History of Ukraine
by Paul Robert Magocsi
Paperback: 880 Pages (1996-11-01)
list price: US$44.00 -- used & new: US$26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802078206
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

In 1988, the first edition of Orest Subtelny?s Ukraine was published to international acclaim, as the definitive history of what was at that time a republic in the USSR. In the years since, the world has seen the dismantling of the Soviet bloc and the restoration of Ukraine?s independence ? an event celebrated by Ukrainians around the world but which also heralded a time of tumultuous change for those in the homeland.

While previous updates brought readers up to the year 2000, this new fourth edition includes an overview of Ukraine?s most recent history, focusing on the dramatic political, socio-economic, and cultural changes that occurred during the Kuchma and Yushchenko presidencies. It analyzes political developments ? particularly the so-called Orange Revolution ? and the institutional growth of the new state. Subtelny examines Ukraine?s entry into the era of globalization, looking at social and economic transformations, regional, ideological, and linguistic tensions, and describes the myriad challenges currently facing Ukrainian state and society.

Although the new state of Ukraine came into being only in 1991 as one of many formed in the wake of the Revolution of 1989, it was hardly a new country. Yet what the world has generally known of Ukraine seems to be associated primarily with relatively recent tragedies - Chornobyl' in 1986, Babi Yar in 1941, the great famine of 1933, and the pogroms of 1919. But there is more to Ukrainian history than tragedy in the modern era and, indeed, more to Ukraine than Ukrainians.

Until now, most histories of Ukraine have been histories of the Ukrainian people alone. While this book traces in detail the evolution of the Ukrainians, Paul Robert Magocsi attempts to give judicious treatment as well to other peoples and cultures that developed within the borders of Ukraine, including the Crimean Tatars, Poles, Russians, Germans, Jews, Mennonites, Greeks, and Romanians, all of whom form an essential part of Ukraine's history.

A History of Ukraine has been designed as a textbook for use by teachers and students in areas such as history, political science, religious history, geography, and Slavic and East European Studies. Presented in ten sections of roughly five chapters each, it proceeds chronologically from the first millennium before the common era to the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991. Each section provides a balanced discussion of political, economic, and cultural developments; each chapter ends with a summary of the significant issues discussed. The whole is complemented by forty-two maps and twenty tables. Featured are sixty-seven 'text inserts' that include excerpts from important documents and contemporary descriptions as well as vivid explanations of specific events, concepts, and historiographic problems. Students will also benefit from the extensive essay on further reading that provides bibliographic direction for each of the sections in the book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterfully covers the full scope of Ukrainian history
This book covers the full breadth of Ukrainian history in a very readable and enjoyable fashion. While academic in nature, the book is written in a style that makes it accessible to the majority of readers. Buyers should be forewarned that "A History of Ukraine" is a rather lengthy text and one should be prepared to dedicate a good amount of time to reading the material.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to read for an understanding of Ukraine
From pre-history to Independence in 1991, this book surveys the history of Ukraine and its people. It is unique in not only portraying the history of the Ukrainian people but also includes the other peoples who live or have lived in the land now known as Ukraine.

The organization of the book is chronological with 49 chapters divided into ten parts. Each part covers a significant period in Ukrainian history: Pre-Kievan Times; the Kievan Period; the Lithuanian-Polish Period; the Cossack State; the Hetmanate; Ukraine in the Russian Empire; Ukraine in the Austrian Empire; World War I; the Interwar Years; and, World War II & the Postwar Years.Forty-two black-and-white maps help illustrate the concepts described in the text. Also included are thirty-six textual inserts which provide lengthy quotes of important documents. Sometimes these feel redundant because the author has described so well the events highlighted by the inserted texts.

For readers to whom 700 pages of Ukrainian history is not enough and who want to learn more about specific events or periods described in this book, Magocsi provides a forty page bibliographic essay called: For Further Reading. One of the great stumbling blocks for English-speaking readers who want to learn Ukrainian history is the fact that so many Ukrainian sources have not been translated. A great feature of this bibliography is that the vast majority of the works listed are in English.

Ukrainian history is complex. This book, although daunting to read because of its size and depth of coverage, can help the student of Ukrainian history untangle the puzzles of Ukraine and its people. It is a great reference work that belongs in the library of anyone interested in the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars A History of Ukraine--Magocsi
A beautifully written history of outstanding excellence. I have found it most helpful. Professor Magocsi is to be commended on a another success.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference on Ukrainian History
Mr. Magocsi's "History of Ukraine" often takes a second billing to Mr. Subtelny's "Ukraine: A History" - and I think, unfairly. Both have a lot to offer, and frankly, no passionate student of Ukrainain history should choose one over the other. He or she should get both. A wealth of information, and first rate scholarship are impressive. Mr. Magocsi has done a first rate job. Mychajlo Hrushevsky would approve of both, and we should too. ... Read more

3. The Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization
Paperback: 392 Pages (2010-09-24)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$16.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0253222680
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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On the eve of the Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941, Ukraine was home to the largest Jewish community in Europe. Between 1941 and 1944, some 1.4 million Jews were killed there, and one of the most important centers of Jewish life was destroyed. Yet, little is known about this chapter of Holocaust history. Drawing on archival sources from the former Soviet Union and bringing together researchers from Ukraine, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States, The Shoah in Ukraine sheds light on the critical themes of perpetration, collaboration, Jewish-Ukrainian relations, testimony, rescue, and Holocaust remembrance in Ukraine.

Contributors are Andrej Angrick, Omer Bartov, Karel C. Berkhoff, Ray Brandon, Martin Dean, Dennis Deletant, Frank Golczewski, Alexander Kruglov, Wendy Lower, Dieter Pohl, and Timothy Snyder.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Scholarship on a Difficult Subject
This is the most outstanding compilation of articles on a historical topic I have ever come across.This is all the more noteworthy in that works in English on the Holocaust of the Ukraine are relatively new.Every chapter is finely detailed, thoroughly researched and referenced, yet amazingly readable.Scholars and interested persons will find this volume packed with information on the subject, and is definitely recommended as the first book of choice to the new reader unfamiliar with the Ukrainian subject.Because considerable data is taken from Soviet sources in addition to Nazi and Jewish sources, it is also possibly the best single-volume refutation of the argument of those individuals who have again started to question the occurence or extent of the Holocaust.This book leaves no question whatsoever, the Ukraine accounting for at least 1.4 million of the 6 million murdered Jews.Several tables detail the numbers within each administrative district in the Ukraine.

5-0 out of 5 stars Functionalist Holocaust Origins; Zydokomuna; Scope of Ukrainian-Nazi Collaboration, etc.
This comprehensive work touches on many subjects, a few of which I discuss.

Are Polish complaints about pre-WWII Jews (as a foreign--even disloyal--element, and pre-occupier of economic niches) factual? Snyder writes: "By the middle of the nineteenth century, some three-quarters of merchants in Volhynia were Jews...After five generations of Russian rule, almost all Jews had lost contact with Polish traditions and the Polish language. The communities remained, impotent and quiet, representing a Jewish-Russian rather than a Jewish-Polish tradition...Volhynian Jews were indifferent, or sometimes hostile, to the Polish state established in 1918." (p. 79). "In trade and commerce, Jews continued to dominate in Volhynia. Jews were about a tenth of the population in 1937, while two of three traders in the province were Jewish, and Jews owned as many industrial enterprises as the rest of the population combined." (p. 84).

Was the Zydokomuna, believed by many Ukrainians and Poles, simply anti-Semitic imagination, or was it based on reality? Recall the fact that the hated NKVD was the very instrument of raw Communist terror. Snyder, based partly on Soviet sources, comments: "As late as 1936, 60 of 90 ranking officers (captain and above) of the NKVD in Soviet Ukraine had declared themselves to be of Jewish nationality. As late as March 1937, Jews outnumbered Russians (38 percent and 32 percent, respectively) in the highest positions of the Soviet NKVD as a whole." (p. 88). Stalin's subsequent purges and "de-Judaization" of the CP reduced the self-declared Jewish share of the entire NKVD to 4% by July 1939. Disregarding additional (undeclared) Jews, even 4% was still greater than the 1-2% Jewish share of the USSR's population.

The first systematic (as opposed to episodic) mass murders of Jews by Nazis anywhere in Europe took place in the form of Einsatzgruppen units operating on the heels of the advancing Wehrmacht in mid-1941. Using documents, Pohl demonstrates how, over a few-month period, the targets were expanded from Jewish Communists, to all Jewish military-age men, and finally to all Jews. (pp. 27-28, 32). (This tends to support the functionalist interpretation of the origins of the Holocaust over the intentionalist one. The Nazi extermination of the Jews clearly developed gradually and incrementally during 1941, not all at once in pre-planned form before the war.)

Some 12,000--24,000 (p. 150) Jews were initially murdered by Ukrainian bands, often even before the arrival of the Germans (or Hungarians). Thus, rather than being German-sponsored, or spontaneous pogroms, or retaliatory acts for the retreating-NKVD murders of 10,000 Ukrainian-including political prisoners (p. 130), they were of an independent, genocidal nature. It was the Ukrainian fascist OUN which, desirous of copying "German methods" (pp. 131-132; see also p. 303, 316) had organized and incited this network of murderous bands. (p. 132).

Later, the Germans organized the indigenous Ukrainian collaborationist police (Schutzmannschaften). It played a major indirect and direct role in the extermination of the local Jews, and had 100,000 members. (pp. 54-55). Later, as Pohl points out, "Many UPA units consisted of deserters from the indigenous police who had persecuted and killed Jews before defecting." (p. 53). They put their experience with "German methods" to use against the Poles. (e. g., p. 56).

5-0 out of 5 stars A needed anthology
This anthology is made up of chapters written by a variety of authors/specialists on either the Holocaust or Ukraine.Some of these chapters are most likely taken straight from books that these authors have previously published (i.e. Bartov's chapter is pretty much from his lastest book entitled "Erased"), which detail various aspects of the Holocaust in Ukraine before, during, and after the Second World War.Today, most of the attention has been focused on either the Holocaust in Poland or the Soviet Union in general, not so much on specifically Ukraine.This book aims to correct that missing page in western historiography on the Holocaust.

Being from Ukraine I found much of the information within the pages of this book engrossing to read about.Specifically, the history of Jews and Ukrainians in Galicia was very intriguing.I found it interesting that the Ukrainians in this area were affected by German/Austrian anti-Semitism which differed from that of other areas within Ukraine which was more affected by Polish and Russian anti-Semitism.There is an entire chapter which chronicles the destruction of Ukrainian Jewry village/town/city by village/town/city and year by year, an excellent reference.One of the chapters also notes how much more research is needed in regards to the role of Police Battalions, which in Ukraine actually killed more Jews than Einsatzgruppen C and D combined!Something that undoubtedly few know about.As with any book worth its salt this one raises as many questions as it answers, questions which hopefully will be answered in the near future as our knowledge and understanding of this event within the borders of Ukraine grows.Highly recommended for those with an interest in either the Holocaust or Ukrainian history during this time period. ... Read more

4. Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule
by Karel C. Berkhoff
Paperback: 480 Pages (2008-03-15)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674027183
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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"If I find a Ukrainian who is worthy of sitting at the same table with me, I must have him shot," declared Nazi commissar Erich Koch. To the Nazi leaders, the Ukrainians were Untermenschen—subhumans. But the rich land was deemed prime territory for Lebensraum expansion. Once the Germans rid the country of Jews, Roma, and Bolsheviks, the Ukrainians would be used to harvest the land for the master race.

Karel Berkhoff provides a searing portrait of life in the Third Reich's largest colony. Under the Nazis, a blend of German nationalism, anti-Semitism, and racist notions about the Slavs produced a reign of terror and genocide. But it is impossible to understand fully Ukraine's response to this assault without addressing the impact of decades of repressive Soviet rule. Berkhoff shows how a pervasive Soviet mentality worked against solidarity, which helps explain why the vast majority of the population did not resist the Germans. He also challenges standard views of wartime eastern Europe by treating in a more nuanced way issues of collaboration and local anti-Semitism.

Berkhoff offers a multifaceted discussion that includes the brutal nature of the Nazi administration; the genocide of the Jews and Roma; the deliberate starving of Kiev; mass deportations within and beyond Ukraine; the role of ethnic Germans; religion and national culture; partisans and the German response; and the desperate struggle to stay alive.

Harvest of Despair is a gripping depiction of ordinary people trying to survive extraordinary events.

(20040924) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ukrainians as WWII Victims and Victimizers; OUN-UPA Genocide of Poles
This Dutch historian discusses such relatively-familiar events as the Soviet famine-genocide of Ukrainians, the scorched-earth policies of both the retreating Soviets and Germans, deportations of Ukrainians for forced labor, imposed Nazi hunger (p. 45), etc. The German occupation cost the lives of at least 1 million people of all nationalities in the Reichskommissariat Ukraine alone. (p. 307).

As for Ukrainians and Jews, "Both factions of the OUN were anti-Semitic themselves, and wartime documents with regard to leading Banderites show that during the German invasion, they wanted the Jews, or at least Jewish males, killed, and that they were willing to participate in the process." (p. 83, 348; see also p. 288, 429).

Berkhoff then elaborates on the little-known OUN-UPA genocide of Poles (pp. 286-300). Soviet partisan leader Strokach said that the UPA has, "...the aim of totally destroying the Poles in Ukraine." (p. 287, 428). Berkhoff also quotes a fascinating letter, by SB-leader Vasyl Makar, who describes the "action to destroy the Poles" which had "not produced the expected results". (p. 287, 428). What further proof is needed for genocide? The fact that all Poles weren't killed wasn't from the UPA not trying!

Unfortunately, Berkhoff cites secondary sources that grossly underestimate the Polish victims. (p. 286, 427). In actuality, detailed village-by-village compilations (Siemaszko and Siemaszko for Volyn, and Komanski for the Tarnopol area) alone record over 45,000 Polish deaths. Owing to the fact that their coverage is spotty, and then only applicable to a fraction of the relevant overall geographic area, the actual number of Poles murdered by the OUN-UPA genocide is easily in the 150,000-300,000 range.Berkhoff also errs in implying that Taras Czuprynka (Roman Shukhevych) ended the killings. (pp. 298-299). To the contrary, there exists a document in which Skukhevych called for the speeding-up of the destruction of Polish villages prior to the arrival of the Red Army.

Berkhoff is perceptive in realizing that the Polish killing of Ukrainians near Zamosc-Kholm (Chelm), often used as a pretext for the OUN-UPA genocide of Poles, will not do. It was neither indiscriminate, nor remotely commensurate, nor even "initial". He writes: "Here too, the complaints of the main aggressor had some validity. Polish underground activists had been murdering Ukrainian leading figures in the Lublin district since at least May 1942, and Polish partisans (which had grown in number after a Nazi campaign to expel peasants) assaulted police stations, which were manned by Ukrainians. But Ukrainian policemen there had been killing Poles, and overall the events were more complex than the Banderites would like to admit." (p. 293). Berkhoff also understands the fact that Volhynian Poles siding with Germans against Ukrainians was a response to, not provocation of, the OUN-UPA genocide against Poles, and that it seemed much larger than it actually was because of the involvement of Germans who spoke Polish (Silesian Germans, Volksdeutsche, etc.)(p. 294).

Finally, Ukrainians also suffered from the UPA. (pp. 297-298). There were massive killings of suspected traitors, draconian terror against even minor peasant disobedience, grudge-killings, increasingly-onerous restrictions and levies of goods, etc.

4-0 out of 5 stars Harvest of Despair
Harvest of Despair; Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule
Karel Berkhoff
Belknap Press

The history of Ukraine is a tangled web of invasion, exploitation, and, despite it all, hope.As you drive through the Ukrainian countryside, you can see monuments to the "Great Patriotic War" and most major cities have more than one memorial to the Soviet citizens who defended their homeland against the Nazi invaders who planned on re-making Ukraine into a German agricultural colony.

Karel Berkhoff's Harvest of Despair is an attempt to look at the Nazi plans for the occupied Ukraine and Ukrainian reaction to them.In every sense, the Ukrainian people were caught between a rock and a hard place- the two choices left to them were Hitler's Nazis or the Stalin's Soviet Union.Berkhoff's narrative places the Ukrainian choices into context, explaining why the two choices were variously chosen, and why, in the end, both proved inadequate.

When the Nazi's first invaded Ukraine in June, 1941, many welcomed the Germans as liberators.Indeed, the treatment that the Ukrainian peasantry received under Stalin's collectivization plan and engineered famine would make almost any alternative seem attractive.Coupled with the lack of good information about Nazi rule in other parts of Europe and the almost total collapse of Soviet defenses, Germany seemed a ray of hope.That hope was soon dashed as the nature of Nazi rule manifested itself.

The Nazis planned on making Ukraine an agricultural colony to be populated by "Germanic" people. The Slavic Ukrainian people, by definition inferior according to Nazi ideology, were at best an impediment to these plans.The Ukrainians were tolerated insomuch as there were economically useful to the Nazi regime.Peasants, who produced food in abundance, were allowed to survive, albeit with the ever-present danger of forced labor in Germany or summary execution.City dwellers, especially those who were not deemed economically useful were expected to starve, which they did by the thousands.

The brutality of the Nazi regime, whether revealed in the mass execution of the local Jewish populations, the summary executions under the most flimsy of pretexts, or the conditions suffered by those in forced labor in Germany, soon soured the Ukrainians to the prospect of their "liberation."But the Ukrainians found themselves as powerless in the face of Nazi power as they did under the Soviets.That there was resistance at all, be it evading work to sheltering Jews, is remarkable in a society where resistance to authority was swiftly and severely punished, regardless of the regime.

Berkhoff organized Harvest of Despair thematically, which allows the reader to "spiral" their knowledge into a coherent whole after reading the entire work, while allowing each chapter to stand alone if necessary.One item that would have been useful to the general reader would be an explanation of the German military and civilian terms in greater detail.Comparisons with other Nazi occupied territory would have also been useful as context.Whether the Ukrainian experience was typical or not would help the general reader understand the extent in which Ukraine suffered, before, during, and after the occupation.Harvest of Despair is a well researched and written treatment of this horrible chapter of history.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ukraine under the Nazis.
The author does a good job of academically analyzing the Nazi Rule of Ukraine.He depicts the initial joy of the German invasion followed by the killing of the Jews, Roma, and POWs, forced starvation of the city dwellers, limited employment of civilians and the generally repressive rule of the German authorities.Indeed, if the Germans were on their best behavior and treated the locals correctly, the local population would have brought them over to their side.However, the Germans and their rule forced to look at the starving thirties with nostalgia.Ukrainians switched sides and fought for the Red Army, partisans, and the nationalists.This arrogance by the Germans and their thoughts of the master race just may have cost them the war.

This is an OK book.I think the author tried to appeal to the academic audience for this book and sacrificed the general readership.The book sheds light on why the Germans lost the support of the Ukrainian population through their tactics and inhumanity.When a population bloodied by Stalin preferred his leadership to that of the Nazis, a small part of the war in the East was decided.For this reason, WWII historians should read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sheds light, and spares no one
This beautifully researched book should help substitute some well-documented scholarship for the acrimonious debates that have raged since the conclusion of World War II.Some of these debates upon which the book sheds light: Was Ukraine victim of Nazi aggression or its collaborator?Did Eastern and Western Ukraine experience cardinally different occupation policies?Did Eastern and Western Ukrainians both welcome the German invasion of 1941 and for what reasons?Did the two parts of the country develop different defense mechanisms against German policies?How did the common people react to initial promises, and how did they react later to the actual policies of exploitation and starvation of Ukrainian urban centers? Did the two factions of the OUN develop different strategies of dealing with the occupation? Did Eastern Ukrainians welcome OUN workers to mitigate Nazi excesses? Did the differing schools of thought among the Nazi hierarchy itself - that is, Koch versus Rosenberg, et al - in dealing with Ukrainians have much impact?Did the de facto on-the-ground changes in policy come too late?

Much in the book is especially relevant today - as the debates flare up again - and could, for example, help explain the radically different views Western Ukrainians and Eastern Ukrainians take toward the OUN and the UPA.I highly recommend this fair and objective book, and I must admit that as Ukrainian myself, this book spares no sensibilities and at times the truth hurts - all the more reason, I believe, to read the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Chilling work
I don't know why this book did not get good reviews from our esteemed Amazon customers. This book details the immense hardship in the Reichkommisariat Ukraine ruled by the "brutal dog" Erich Koch. It gives many examples of Ukrainians being executed for the smallest reasons like having a knife or looking like a 'bandit'. The chapter of starvation in Kiev is eye opening as most people don't know the starvation that effected occupied Soviet cities and large towns due to economic exploitation and stealing by the German occupiers. The chapters dealing with the elimination of the Jews, Roma, and POW's are poignant. Another reason why this book is great is the author's great sympathy for the Ukrainian people who in the west are all regarded as Nazis. The truth of the fact is that 20% of Ukrainians died as a result of Nazi rule or at the front fighting in the Red Army. Also few books deal with the sufferings of the Slavic peoples of the Soviet Union who were considered Untermenschen (subhumans) by the Germans. This book is well worth it if you want to know the tremendous suffering of the Soviet peoples in their Great Patriotic War.
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5. Borderland: A Journey through the History ofUkraine
by Anna Reid
Paperback: 272 Pages (2000-06-02)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$9.83
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Asin: 0813337925
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Borderland tells the story of Ukraine. A thousand years ago it was the center of the first great Slav civilization, Kievan Rus. In 1240, the Mongols invaded from the east, and for the next seven centureies, Ukraine was split between warring neighbors: Lithuanians, Poles, Russians, Austrians, and Tatars. Again and again, borderland turned into battlefield: during the Cossack risings of the seventeenth century, Russia’s wars with Sweden in the eighteenth, the Civil War of 1918–1920, and under Nazi occupation. Ukraine finally won independence in 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Bigger than France and a populous as Britain, it has the potential to become one of the most powerful states in Europe.In this finely written and penetrating book, Anna Reid combines research and her own experiences to chart Ukraine’s tragic past. Talking to peasants and politicians, rabbis and racketeers, dissidents and paramilitaries, survivors of Stalin’s famine and of Nazi labor camps, she reveals the layers of myth and propaganda that wrap this divided land. From the Polish churches of Lviv to the coal mines of the Russian-speaking Donbass, from the Galician shtetlech to the Tatar shantytowns of Crimea, the book explores Ukraine’s struggle to build itself a national identity, and identity that faces up to a bloody past, and embraces all the peoples within its borders.
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Customer Reviews (36)

3-0 out of 5 stars Solid Introduction to Ukraine
The author uses a narrative approach which makes this history easy and enjoyable to digest. Having said that, it is not an exhaustive history and should be treated as an introduction to a land and people deserving of more attention. Ukraine is historically fascinating and represents unrealized promise and potential. As Reid points out in her last chapter, is Ukraine its own country possessing a unique and defendable identity or is it 'Little Russia'? I am a Ukrainian Canadian and my father was fond of saying, "Put two Ukrainians in a room and they will form three associations." That, in effect, may be the country's biggest problem in the 21st century.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting History but Antiquated Commentary
After reading many history books including this one, I have come to the conclusion that I am part of the "Ukrainian Diaspora". I say this up front so that the reader of this review can determine my 'bias' on the subject. My credentials are impeccable: Grandparents born in Ukraine towns, ending up in Germany after the war, displaced persons camps, eventually the U.S., etc.

A few quick impressions of this book:

* I have not read a book in recent times that was in such dire need of an addendum or afterward... something. I was in Ukraine in 2008 and can barely relate to what Anna Reid experienced. Don't get me wrong, I can visualize it. But her experiences were definitely not my experiences by any stretch. I was in many cities including Kiev, Sevastopol, Simferopol, Melitipol, and smaller villages as well. Orange Revolution anyone?

* It is amazing to read a book where I kept waiting for the crescendo of some fantastic point but only to find the chapter ending. Seriously. Is this something they teach in Journalism School? I was left to make my own conclusions, which based on her facts always seem to be: "Oh you silly Uke's. You don't have any real history, what are you getting so uptight about?"

With that being said, I really think Anna Reid did a fantastic job discussing Communism: the Kulak purges, the political famine, etc. If she is giving the 'Russian' version of events she doesn't seem to have a problem throwing the commies under the bus. At times it was hard to read because it churned my stomach. I feel fortunate to be able to trace my family tree and not find it ending in some Siberian gulag or a mass grave in a forest.

The World War II section was illuminating as well. Ms. Reid has some interesting historical stuff regarding the German attitudes towards the peasantry. As the Grandson of an 'Ostarbeiter' I felt like she was talking about my Grandma; anti-semitism and all.

She does seem to gloss over the Cossacks. After just finishing The Black Sea: A History it is hard to believe that this book doesn't give them short shrift.

Here is my bottom line: I would not give this book to a friend travelling to the Ukraine for the first time. I would rather they experience the hustle and bustle of Kiev. The warm breezes of Sevastopol along the Black Sea. Picking cherries near the sea of Azov. Upon returning they can read this book and compare it to their own experiences and flesh out their understanding of the region.

Certain parts of this book serve as a decent historical reference. Ms. Reid's commentary on the other hand... well it seems to be stuck in the past while Ukraine moves forward.

3-0 out of 5 stars Don't blame Anna Reid for the book's cover...
...the choice of graphic material for book covers is the publisher's, not the author, and this is a prerogative which publishers guard jealously. Needless to say, the publisher is probably not pursuing some sort of Russophile strategy -- just looking for striking images which it hopes will move books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Amazingly thorough sweep, for such a relatively short book. Vivid history interwoven with anecdotes ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. A great way to wade into the often puzzling culture of Ukraine.

4-0 out of 5 stars An outsider's history
This book is written by an outsider.Many of the negative reviews here are from aggrieved people looking for their version of Ukraine history.The author is not trying to promote one aggrieved party version of history.As an outsider like Anna Reid, I liked her approach.Its a small book covering a big topic, but the author does manage to paint a detailed picture of the sad 20th century in Ukrainian history.I read this book during my recent six weeks in the Ukraine.Ukrainians are digging out from the ashes of the last 100 years.The future looks bright.I found myself thinking if the Ukraine can stay free and avoid a repeat of the disastrous wars of the last century, they could be a first-world nation in a generation or less. ... Read more

6. The History of Ukraine (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations)
by Paul Kubicek
Hardcover: 220 Pages (2008-09-30)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$45.00
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Asin: 0313349207
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Ukraine's struggle for a national identity plagued this former Soviet Union state long before the Cold War shook the world. Its central location between Eastern Europe and Western Asia invited many different cultures to settle the land, ultimately populating a powerful early medieval society known as Kievan Rus. However, readers will learn how Kievan Rus's Golden Age quickly crumbled with decades of Mongol invasions, Polish-Lithuanian occupation, and Russian empirical ruling.Explore how Ukraine flirted with independence in the early 20th century, only to be quickly taken over by harsh Soviet rule in 1922. Despite its independence from the USSR in 1991, devastating consequences of the socialist rule have allowed the world to witness Ukraine's ceaseless efforts to attain a stable government, struggling through the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko, rigged elections, and the Orange Revolution. Kubicek's survey is comprehensive and concise-a perfect resource for high school students and undergrads, as well as general readers looking to further their knowledge of this up-and-coming nation.

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7. The Jews of Odessa: A Cultural History, 1794-1881
by Steven Zipperstein
Paperback: 228 Pages (1991-11-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$21.00
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Asin: 0804719624
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars I recommend it
Great book. In a small volume - lots of information and insightful analysis. One of the most interesting themes - development of Jewish political thought, and development of the Zionist idea. And a personal note. I am a Jew from Odessa myself. Reading the book brought me back to my beautiful city, and I couldn't help but recognized many familiar characters, and thought about my family origins. Thank you, Steven!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent choice for your first look at Russian Jewry.
Easy to read and well-researched, this is an excellent book to add to your layperson's repertoire on Ukrainian/Russian Jewish history.I learned a lot about how Jewish people lived, what they did, what they thoughtabout... and how political events shaped their lives. ... Read more

8. Ukraine, The EU and Russia: History, Culture and International Relations (Studies in Central and Eastern Europe)
Hardcover: 208 Pages (2007-11-15)
list price: US$90.00 -- used & new: US$35.85
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Asin: 0230517994
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Ukrainians reemerged on Europe's political map in 1991 after more than 200 years of direct Russian rule. As there was no "liberation war" and "old regime" elites were not exiled or executed, the legacies of the past weigh-down particularly heavily. Political independence is not matched by economic, cultural and psychological independence. This book surveys the Ukrainian-EU relationship in light of the legacies of Russian rule.It examines interrelationships between identities, loyalties and political/cultural orientations, reviews policies, and identifies salient forces and trends.
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9. Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine
by Wendy Lower
Paperback: 328 Pages (2007-08-27)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$24.01
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Asin: 0807858633
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Lower provides the most complete assessment available of German colonization and the Holocaust in Ukraine, the "jewel" of the Nazi empire. In this unprecedented attempt at Nazi empire building, violence, racism, antisemitism, and militarism pervaded all aspects of everyday life. Lower argues that it was in the eastern outposts of the Reich, such as Ukraine, that the regime's core beliefs, aims, and practices were revealed. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars All New Information
The book does not have much of a narrative flow but it presents almost all new information. The Nazis wanted an eastern empire they just had no idea how to establish or run one. The book underlines how Hitler wanted a system of competitors not cooperation. All the security, intelligence and military forces were operating on their own. Even without their useless brutality they would have had a hard time ruling their subjects. The US started assembling the military occupation government for Japan in 1942 which was wild optimism. The Nazis started assembling theirs after the invasion and it showed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good history
Totalitarian regimes are usually funny, but it's hard to laugh when thousands and millions of people suffer because of them.

Germany (Third Reich) in Ukraine in WW II was like a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.For instance, one of Hitler's cohorts had a title of leader to promote Germanness -- or something to that effect.But these clowns also victimized millions of Ukrainians.

And the ideas these thugs had: building a string of all-German towns east all the way to the Urals.Hitler's dream of expanding the "thousand-year-old Empire."As it turned out he was off by 988 years.

Yes, the book is fun read.It is also a product of good scholarship.I keep it on a shelf in my bedroom and occasionally just reread a few pages for enjoyment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nazi Arcadia and eco-engineering
Combine racial genocide and an obsession with pantheistic worship of the land--blood and soil--and you get a twisted version of the "Greening" of Europe.The myth of returning to an agrarain utopia devoid of urban industrial crowding is still with us.The Nazis simply cast it all in a racial light.The subraces would work in the dirty factories and the master race would labor and play in the sun and bracing air of the countryside. Himmler's view of Southern Ukraine and the Crimea as a virtual Garden of Eden and core of a medievalist lebensraum for the SS knights is both intriguing and terrifying.The simple folk of the Ukraine enslaved as bead-loving peasants or slave laborers--to be treated as the "Red man of the American Plains"--plied with simple bolts of colored cloth like the Africans of the Congo and old German East Africa--have we really made much progress as humanity(?) when you consider the genocide and eugenics that remains amongst us in the modern era.Himmler certainly had the breadth of imagination to put his schemes forward--a perverse and twisted romantic who took a back seat to Hitler but is now being "appreciated" as the mystical technocrat of the Nazi version of a pantheistic New Age of a perfected humanity dwelling in harmony with a harsh Nordic Social Darwinism.But getting back to earth, it is also an expression of a pragmatic German desire to feed itself and not repeat the famine conditions of the World War I blockade.I would like to see more on the role of agriculture and surplus of grain or lack thereof in the Reich. Finally, the picture of Himmler with the cotton boll on the cover is priceless--shades of the Mississippi Delta or the Antebellum South bereft of its hospitality and gentility with the slave culture laid bare. ... Read more

10. Kaleidoscopic Odessa: History and Place in Contemporary Ukraine (Anthropological Horizons)
by Tanya Richardson
Hardcover: 240 Pages (2008-08-23)
list price: US$72.00 -- used & new: US$62.99
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Asin: 0802098371
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The recent tumult of Ukraine's Orange Revolution and its aftermath has exposed some of the deep political, social, and cultural divisions that run through the former Soviet republic. Examining Odessa, the Black Sea port that was once the Russian Empire's southern window onto Europe, Kaleidoscopic Odessa provides an ethnographic portrait of these overlapping divisions in a city where many residents consider themselves separate and distinct from Ukraine.

Exploring the tensions between local and national identities in a post-Soviet setting from the point of view of everyday life, Tanya Richardson argues that Odessans's sense of distinctiveness is both unique and typical of borderland countries such as Ukraine. Kaleidoscopic Odessa provides a detailed account of how local conceptions of imperial cosmopolitanism shaped the city's identity in a newly formed state. Richardson draws on her participation in history lessons, markets, and walking groups to produce an exemplary study of urban ethnography.

Ethnographically sophisticated and methodologically innovative, Kaleidoscopic Odessa will interest anthropologists, Slavists, sociologists, historians, and scholars of urban studies.

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11. The Road from Letichev, Vol. 1 : The History and Culture of a Forgotten Jewish Community in Eastern Europe
by David Chapin, David A. Chapin, Ben Weinstock
Paperback: 476 Pages (2000-08)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$28.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0595006663
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The Road from Letichev presents the history of the area through the eyes of individuals who lived there. The Letichev District (Podolia) of Ukraine was a microcosm of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. It was the home of the Baal Shem Tov and the cradle of the Chasidic movement. This book is, in part, dedicated to the 300th anniversary of his birth.

The book’s purpose is to document what was destroyed in the Holocaust. Although the Soviet experience in the Holocaust is relatively rare in modern literature, no understanding of the Holocaust is truly complete without an understanding of what the Nazis took away from the world. Through the testimonials from survivors of the Holocaust we learn new information about the horrors of the Nazi occupation on Soviet soil.

Richly illustrated, more than 8300 individuals are indexed, including more than 600 unique Jewish surnames from Letichev District. The first of its kind, it provides a complete encyclopedia of the rabbis who traveled The Road from Letichev, plus a detailed description of synagogues--most of which are now destroyed.

Interwoven into the fabric of Jewish life are songs, food, folklore, health, education and crime. The best description of a Jewish agricultural colony to date is detailed. On a tragic note, new information is provided on the 1648 Khmelnitsky massacres, as well as the pogroms of 1882, 1903-7, and 1919-21.

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12. Burden of Dreams: History and Identity in Post-Soviet Ukraine (Post-Communist Cultural Studies)
by Catherine Wanner
Paperback: 255 Pages (1998-10-01)
list price: US$33.95 -- used & new: US$27.50
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Asin: 0271017937
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This text examines daily life in Soviet and post-Soviet Ukraine, showing why Ukrainian nationalism and its programme of "Ukrainization" have appealed to the largest Russian diaspora and to millions of Russified Ukrainians. Focusing on schools, festivals, commemorative ceremonies and monuments, Catherine Wanner shows how Soviet-created narratives have been recast to reflect a post-Soviet Ukrainocentric perspective. In the process, the book aims to show how new histories are understood and acted upon. This reveals regional cleavages and the resilience of cultural differences produced by the Soviet regime. For some people, the system they criticized yesterday is the one they long for today. ... Read more

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4-0 out of 5 stars Burden of Dreams
"Burden of Dreams" brings the human element in the midst of historical events. The author shows how the fundamental changes in Ukraine has and is effecting the lives of its people, something that cannot beforgotten in any study of this kind. Too often an author focuses on oneelement, such as politics or economics, and forgets that these changeseffect far more than national policies. ... Read more

13. Heroes and Villains: Creating National History in Contemporary Ukraine
by David R. Marples
Hardcover: 385 Pages (2007-11-01)
list price: US$47.95 -- used & new: US$47.95
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Asin: 9637326987
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In 2004, world attention was focused on Ukraine's 'Orange Revolution', which appeared to herald a new and promising era for independent Ukraine. Though such hopes proved over-optimistic there is no question that Ukraine has embarked on the process of nation building. But a new nation needs a national history and in this sphere, there has been sustained debate over the interpretations of the recent past. David R. Marples examines these narratives through a wide variety of books, scholarly and newspaper articles, and school textbooks, focusing on some of the most difficult events of the Stalin years in narratives from 1988 to 2005. His focus is on some of the most tragic events of the 20th century: the Famine of 1932 33, the consequences of the Nazi Soviet Pact, integral nationalism and the war roles of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the Ukrainian Polish conflict of 1943 47. How has this new history been formed? To what extent have the villains of yesterday become the heroes of today? And how does the modern state view these events and to what extent to they define the national outlook of contemporary Ukraine? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Courageous and Innovative Study of Post-Communist Ukraine Rewriting Its Stalinist and Wartime Past--For Digestion & Deliberation
The full title of this monograph is Heroes and Villains: Creating National History in Contemporary Ukraine.Author David R. Marples is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta, Canada, and a Director of the Stasiuk Program for the Study of Contemporary Ukraine, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, since 1996.

Professor Marple's numerous awards include:SSHRC Major Research Grant, 2009-2012 (History, Memory, and World War II in Belarus); University of Alberta Senate, Beyond These Halls Award, Individual-Faculty, 2009; Delta Khi Teaching Excellence Appreciation, 2009; University Cup, 2008; Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2008; The Philip Lawson Award for Excellence in Teaching, June 2007; Promoted to University Professor, September 2006; Killam Annual Professorship, 2005-06; Alberta Centennial Medal, 2005; Appointed Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, 6th Intelligence Division, Canadian Armed Forces, April 2005-2008, 2009-2012; Recipient of the 2003 J. Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research; SSHRC major research grant, 2003-2005; SSHRC major research grant, 1996-1999; McCalla Research Professorship, 1998-99; Faculty of Arts Research Prize for Full Professors, 1999; Shevchenko Gold Medal, Ukrainian Canadian Committee (national), 1999; and, Listed in Canadian Who's Who and The Dictionary of International Biography.

Heroes and Villains is the twelfth book that Professor Marples has authored; it was published by Central European University Press in 2007.The cover design is by Sebastian Stachowski; the cover photography is by Lubomyr Markevych.

The cover depicts a monument in Kyiv (made in 1947 by sculptor Vuchetich) to Russian General Nikolai Vatutin, a Soviet military commander during World War II who was born near Kursk, Russia in 1901 and who died near Kyiv, Ukraine in 1944.The inscription is in Ukrainian:'To General Vatutin from the Ukrainian people.'Since other Soviet heroes all have inscriptions in Russian, Bohdan Fik, in his 1997 article, posits that the reason for the Ukrainian inscription may have been that he was killed by nationalist Ukrainians.Panteleimon Vasylevs'kyi, in a related article, agrees with the reason behind the assassination of Vatutin.According to the nationalist version of events that slowly took shape after Ukraine became independent, the hero of the war became regarded as an enemy of Ukrainians.

Fik wrote in 1997 about what he perceived to be Vatutin's crimes against Ukrainian youth born from 1924 to 1926.According to Fik, Vatutin (at the time, a commander in the Red Army in charge of liberating Kyiv) dispatched 250,000 Ukrainian young men from the Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Kyiv, and Poltava regions to certain deaths in the cold waters of the Dnipro River.In the 1980s, some Moscow newspapers reported that those who could not swim were shot so that they "did not instinctively drown others when crossing the river at Kyiv."As a result, writes Fik, UPA sentenced Vatutin to death for crimes against the Ukrainian people--his cortege was attacked on the border of Rivne and Zhytomyr oblasts.Vatutin was wounded, had his leg amputated, and later died of gangrene in a hospital.

Professor Marples writes that Vatutin's case is interesting because of the juxtaposition of two heroic narratives during the war:that of the Ukrainian nationalists and that of the Soviets.Apropos is the selection of that particular photo, too, since the narratives within are complemented throughout with not only heroes and villains, but also with contradictory characters, with evincing evidence, with viewpoints at variance, and with the manifest and the masked competing--opposite sides of a spectrum presented on a platter for digestion and deliberation.

Heroes and Villains is, as Professor Serhy Yekelchyk (University of Victoria) states: "an innovative and courageous study of how postcommunist Ukraine is rewriting its Stalinist and wartime past by gradually but inconsistently substituting Soviet models with nationalist interpretations."This study is grounded in journalism and reading of Ukrainian scholarship from the last two decades and delves into issues such as the Great Famine of 1932-33 (the Holodomor), the role of the Ukrainian nationalist insurgents (OUN-UPA) during World War II, UPA's conflict with the Red Army and Soviet Security Forces, and the Ukrainian-Polish conflict.

Dr. Yekelchyk is a Ukrainian-Canadian historian of Ukrainian and Russian history.He received his B.A. from the University of Kyiv and his M.A. from the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.In the early 1990s, he did research in Australia, then moved to Edmonton to complete his Ph.D. at the University of Alberta in 2000.He was a postdoctoral fellow and visiting assistant professor at the University of Michigan the following year.Since 2001, Dr. Yekelchyk has taught at the University of Victoria at both the Department of History, and is now Chair of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies.Much of Dr. Yekelchyk's recent wok focuses on Stalinist culture and political life.

As Professor Marples states:"The efforts to reinterpret the events of the Second World War in order to create heroes out of 'villains' and to reexamine former heroes accordingly are incomplete.Many of the versions of the past are unclear and subjected frequently to new interpretations.Moreover, the war years are the most difficult in terms of historical memory because new narratives often coincide and clash with the results of new archival research.To date, despite a plethora of articles that seek to reshape the image of the OUN and the UPA, the impact of Soviet propaganda has still not been entirely eradicated."

In the opening of the Preface, Professor Marples states that albeit independent Ukraine emerged in August, 1991 and was ratified by a national referendum in December, 1991, the roots of the modern state are to be found under Mikhail Gorbachev in the period of Perestroika with the emergence of civil society.It was at that time that Ukraine beganthe process of building a new nation:accepting existing borders and eventually agreeing to be a non-nuclear state with its own currency and constitution.

As the title states and as Professor Marples expounds, Heroes and Villains examines the construction of a national history.Several interpretations of the past and several national histories are, arguably, existent.In Ukraine's case, the Soviet narrative is the one in place--albeit it's clearly obsolete and has been superseded.Nonetheless, that Soviet interpretation has remained influential in certain regions of Ukraine, particularly those of the south and the east--and, that Soviet interpretation continues to influence the way the residents of Ukraine perceive their state.

The focus of this volume is limited to the 20th century and what Professor Marples considers to be the most formative period: 1928-1953 (the years under the leadership of Stalin and their impact on the Ukrainian SSR [as Ukraine was then termed] and independent Ukraine).That period of Ukraine's history represents it's most tragic and one of the most profoundly influential in forming contemporary thinking about the modern nation and its relationship to the past for it's during this period that the most tragic and dramatic experiences took place:the Holodomor (the Famine of 1932-33), the impact of the Nazi-Soviet Pact wherein Ukraine's western territories were incorporated into the USSR, the Purges; the German invasion; the national insurgency in the western regions during which bitter fighting resulted as conflicts between several players occurred:"the retreating Germans, the advancing Red Army, the local Polish population, and the local Ukrainians."

Dr. Marples readily admits that a monograph concentrating on discourse and narratives about events, rather than the 'reality' of what actually occurred will face some criticism, and he address those concerns in the Preface.

The backbone to this monograph is the question:'how are these events portrayed in contemporary Ukraine?'Since the modern state seems predicated on the way it views its past, this is the raison d'être.Two common elements of Ukraine's association with her past are introduced:victimization and glorification.Professor Marples elaborates and articulates both sides, saying explicitly:'one could argue, however.'Defining moments for modern Ukraine are postulated by Professor Marples as those which may have occurred in the Stalin period, but he also states that there were other events which could be fitted into the general pattern.

In the Contents are included:a map of Ukraine; a 12-page Preface; two-pages ofAcknowledgements; Chapter 1:Independent Ukraine Reviews the Past; Chapter 2:The Famine of1932-33; Chapter 3:The OUN, 1929-43; Chapter 4:Making Heroes:the Early Days of OUN-UPA; Chapter 5:UPA's Conflict with the Red Army and Soviet Security Forces; Chapter 6:The Ukrainian-Polish Conflict; Chapter 7:Writing New History in Ukraine; Chapter 8:Assessments; Conclusion; a 22-page Bibliography (newspapers, journals, and periodicals); and, a 27-page Index.

The Acknowledgements chapter recognizes that research was funded by a major grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.Special thanks are given to the librarians and the staff of the Central Scientific Library, Kharkiv V.N. Karazin National University; the Kherson Honchar Oblast Archives; and the European Reading Room at the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C.Materials and references were supplied by author and Professor Terry Martin (currently the Loeb associate professor of the social sciences at Harvard University, also affiliated with the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, his grandmother grew up in the Russian empire...lived through the revolution in 1917-19) and author and Professor Mark Von Hagen (formerly of Columbia University, he teaches Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian history at Arizona State University).

Heroes and Villains is a meticulously prepared, objective observation of Ukraine's past in which opposing sides are presented in an unbiased manner utilizing scores of sources as the heroes and villains who created a national history in Ukraine are examined and discussed.Five stars plus for riveting reportage in an impartial, courageous study, which monitors journals, monographs, and the media, and offers a survey of school textbooks from 1987-88, while conveying both sides and providing analyses.

5-0 out of 5 stars The OUN-UPA in Contemporary Ukrainian Thought; Genocide of Poles
This detailed work uses many mostly-Ukrainian sources.

The LITOPYS UPA series is said to select documents in a favorably-tendentious manner. (p. 162). (This finds corroboration from Dr. Edward Prus, who professed familiarity with German documents, and once informed me of selectively-quoted German documents).

Many writings on UPA exploits, such as those of Lew Shankowsky, make implausible claims, and are probably pseudo-histories. (pp. 137-on). Marples, based on the paucity of evidence from German documents, doubts if the UPA ever engaged the Germans in significant combat (pp. 146-147), and concludes: "The notion, widely disseminated today, that the army turned its forces on the two totalitarian enemies simultaneously, is far-fetched. The UPA had two enemies [one being the Soviets] but the other one was the Polish population in Volhynia and Galicia...the UPA initiated an ethnic cleansing of the Polish population of Volhynia which, as we have seen, took up to 60,000 lives. It was conducted with a brutality not seen again in Europe until the civil war in former Yugoslavia in the early 1990's." (p. 310).

There do exist a few indirect German allusions to UPA attacks on Germans, which it promised to stop in return for such favors as non-interference in the killing of Poles. (p. 147). Obviously, to the extent that the UPA itself didn't collaborate with the Germans, it wasn't for lack of trying.

Among Ukrainians, serious consideration of the OUN-UPA's crimes has been hindered by their decades of misuse by the hated Soviet Communist authorities. Defenders of the OUN-UPA continue to use "Ukrainians killed Poles and vice-versa" relativizations. Nevertheless, some contemporary Ukrainian authors (Maksym Strikha, Bohdan Oleksyuk; pp. 225-228) are willing to examine the OUN-UPA genocide of Poles without denials or blame-the-victim tactics. Ukrainian historian Mykhailo Koval' points out that the OUN security force, the SB, was modeled and organized by the Gestapo, and: "Almost all of its leaders were graduates of the German military school in Zakopane, Poland, in 1939-40." (p. 149). Some Ukrainian historians question the genuineness of the OUN's post-Stalingrad (August 1943) abandonment of fascism in favor of democracy. (p. 142, pp. 195-196). Author Marples, unlike some OUN-UPA apologists, recognizes UPA-analyst Wiktor Polishchuk as a historian. (p. 131).

The magisterial work of Siemaszko and Siemaszko, on the genocide in Volyn, has been criticized by Ukrainian historian Il'yushyn, who used ad hominems, even implying that Polish authors shouldn't be believed. (pp. 212-214). The only specific error he could find was a trivial one: An entry which listed the deaths of nine Poles as the deed of the UPA when, according to NKVD archives, the latter was responsible.

There is no moral or tactical symmetry between past Polish injustices to Ukrainians and the OUN-UPA genocide, and Marples rejects any such rationalization: "One could hardly find a better example of a victimization complex being used to justify a wholesale massacre." (p. 237). AK actions followed, not preceded, the genocide. (p. 213).Marples also realizes that the Polish killings of Ukrainians in the Zamosc region, often cited as a provocation of the OUN-UPA genocide, was actually directed at collaborationist Ukrainian police and settlers taking part in Odilo Globocnik's de-Polonization project. (p. 227). Unfortunately, Marples repeats Snyder's rather silly "UPA led by immature, angry young men" exculpation (p. 150), which, taken seriously, insults ethical young men everywhere.

After the second Soviet occupation of the area, the UPA was almost eliminated by mid-1945 (p. 169) before undergoing a major revival owing to Soviet repression. According to NKVD documents, in the period 2/1944-12/1945, 50,000 UPA and allies surrendered, 103,000 were killed, and 127,000 were captured. (pp. 131-132). In 1944-1953, there were 153,000 UPA deaths and 203,000 deportations. (p. 297). Of the 31,000 Soviet-side losses, 5,750 were NKVD, soldiers, and militia; 2,590 were "Strebki'; while over 15,000 are identified only as "members of collective farms". About 790,000 Poles were expelled from the western Ukraine in 1944-1946 (p. 216), of which most came from Ternopil' (234,000) and L'viv (219,000).
... Read more

14. Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine
by Mr. Timothy Snyder
Paperback: 384 Pages (2007-10-10)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300125992
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The forgotten protagonist of this true account aspired to be a cubist painter in his native Kyïv. In a Europe remade by the First World War, his talents led him to different roles—intelligence operative, powerful statesman, underground activist, lifelong conspirator. Henryk Józewski directed Polish intelligence in Ukraine, governed the borderland region of Volhynia in the interwar years, worked in the anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet underground during the Second World War, and conspired against Poland’s Stalinists until his arrest in 1953. His personal story, important in its own right, sheds new light on the foundations of Soviet power and on the ideals of those who resisted it. By following the arc of Józewski’s life, this book demonstrates that his tolerant policies toward Ukrainians in Volhynia were part of Poland’s plans to roll back the communist threat.

The book mines archival materials, many available only since the fall of communism, to rescue Józewski, his Polish milieu, and his Ukrainian dream from oblivion. An epilogue connects his legacy to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the democratic revolution in Ukraine in 2004.

(20060715) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars minimal results
Perhaps it was only the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union that made possible the research that produced this book. Snyder shows the ethnic and political complexity of the Ukraine under communism. With the uneasy and tangled relationships with Poland and Russia.

The efforts by Jozewski were basically minimal. But their account is interesting, in showing that eastern Europe was scarcely a monolithic. There is not much of a sense that Poland invested many resources in Jozewski or others like him. Certainly not to the level of actually realistically prising Ukraine loose from Russia. Though, for intelligence gathering, he seemed to have garnered modest successes. ... Read more

15. Ukraine: An Illustrated History
by Paul Robert Magocsi
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2007-09-30)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$74.97
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Asin: 0295987235
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Ukraine is Europe's second-largest state. Roughly the size of Germany and Great Britain or the states of Arizona and New Mexico combined, it shares borders with seven countries and in 2001 had a population of more than 48 million. This lavishly illustrated volume provides a concise and easy-to-read historical survey of the country from earliest times to the present. Each of the book's forty-six chapters is framed by a historical map, which graphically depicts the key elements of the chronological period or theme addressed within. In addition, over 300 historic photographs, line drawings, portraits, and reproductions of books and works of art bring the rich past of Ukraine to life.

Rather than limiting his study to an examination of the country's numerically largest population - ethnic Ukrainians - acclaimed scholar Paul Robert Magocsi emphasizes the multicultural nature of Ukraine throughout its history. While ethnic Ukrainians figure prominently, Magocsi also deals with all the other peoples who live or who have lived within the borders of present-day Ukraine: Russians, Poles, Jews, Crimean Tatars, Germans (including Mennonites), and Greeks, among others. This book is an indispensable resource for European area and Slavic studies specialists and is sure to appeal to people interested in having easy access to information about political, economic, and cultural developments in Ukraine. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Pictorial Rendition of Ukraine's History with Generally Balanced Information--a Superb Supplement to Subtelny's Book!
Author Paul Robert Magocsi, Ph.D., an acclaimed scholar, emphasizes the multicultural nature of Ukraine throughout her history rather than limiting his study to an examination of Ukraine's numerically largest population--ethnic Ukrainians. All other peoples who've lived or who live within the borders of present-day Ukraine are also analyzed: Russians, Poles, Crimean Tatars, Jews, Germans (including Mennonites), and Greeks, among others. Political, economic, and cultural developments in Ukraine are examined, which makes Ukraine: An Illustrated History not only a reference resource for European area and Slavic studies specialists, but also makes it one which will appeal to people wishing an easy-to read/easy-to-understand informational reference.

Paul Robert Magocsi, Ph.D., is Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Toronto (since 1980), permanent Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (since 1996), and member of the Canadian Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences. Professor Magocsi is the President of the World Congress of Rusyns and author of many books on Rusyn history. He holds the chair of Ukrainian studies at the University of Toronto. Born in New Jersey, Dr. Magocsi completed his undergraduate studies at Rutgers University (B.A., 1966; M.A., 1967) and graduate studies at Princeton University (M.A., 1969; Ph.D., 1972). He then went to Harvard University, where he was a member of the Society of Fellows between 1973 and 1976. Professor Magocsi has taught at Harvard University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The dust jacket illustration is a monument to the legendary founders of Kyiv along the shores of the Dnipro River. According to a widely known legend, Kyiv was founded by three brothers, Kyy, Shchek, Khorev, and their sister, Lybid, in 482. Kyy, the prince of the Slavic tribes of Polians, is considered the city founder, and it's for him that the city is named. Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine, and 'was the capital city of the mighty state of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine and the seat of the Ukrainian Orthodox Metopolitanate.' The apropos jacket design is by Katherine Patton. University of Toronto Press printed and bound this volume in Toronto, Buffalo, and London in 2007. This volume was published in the United States by University of Washington Press in Seattle.

The back of the dust jacket provides two endorsements. Dr. Serhy Yekelchyk, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of Victoria, provides one endorsement: "This is a magisterial introduction to the history of Ukraine. Combining excellent maps with an erudite historical narrative, Professor Magocsi's new work is a tour de force. He offers a wealth of data, makes sound judgments on controversial issues, and guides the reader through almost two millennia in the space of 350 (sic, 336) pages."

Another endorsement is from a colleague, Dr. Serhii Plokhii, Department of History, Harvard University, who writes: "There is a strong need in the English-speaking world for a short history of Ukraine--something that visitors could take along on a trip, or that high school and university students could use in their classes. Professor Magocsi has fulfilled that need with this well-written, generally balanced, and informative survey of Ukrainian history."

Wholeheartedly I concur with both Professors Yekelchyk and Plokhii. Additionally, this large-sized illustrated history is easy to read and digest; the placement of photos and illustrations (which are a decent size) enhance the generally balanced history of Ukraine, which is presented in an engaging, engrossing style.

Heartily recommended, each page of Ukraine: An Illustrated History has at least one or two, sometimes an entire page of black-and-white illustrations, images, line drawings, maps, portraits, and reproductions of books and art works. Many of the images are unique to this book; all of them are captioned with informative details.Indeed, this volume is an illustrated history of Ukraine, and the title and contents complement each other.Since all of the illustrations and images are in black-and-white, there is a continuity throughout the book; it would have been nice, however, to have had some of the photos appear in color.

For those wishing to see Ukraine's history depicted via color images, outstanding supplements to Professor Magocsi's Ukraine:An Illustrated History and also to Professor Subtelny's Ukraine:A History, are books by Peter Kardash, Ukrainian-Australian activist and author of Ukraine: Its History and Its Arts (see my review)and Ukraine and Ukrainians (see my review).In his 1988 book, Ukraine and Ukrainians, Kardash states that: "Soviet authorities did not take kindly to photographs being made of buildings and monuments with a history rooted in the Ukrainian national consciousness, so some were taken at great risk." Both books contains a treasure trove of color photos that are rarely encountered in other books--and all are captioned with informative details.My Listmania list entitled "Guaranteed Outstanding--Fortuna Company" has links to books mentioned above.Additionally, outstanding color photography is showcased in Simply Ukraine (see my review)by Ukrainian-American photographer Tania D'Avignon, who has worked for National Geographic Magazine.

The Contents page of Dr. Magocsi's monograph includes: a List of 16 Tables, List of 46 full-page Historical Maps, a one-page Introduction, 46 chapters, a 23-page Index, and a four-page Illustration Sources and Credits section.

Financial assistance was received from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. The book was published with the help of grants from the Chair of Ukrainian Studies Foundation in Toronto, and from the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Also, the University of Toronto Press acknowledges the financial support for its publishing activities of the Government of Canada, through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP).

Five stars plus for an informative pictorial history of Ukraine with over 300 large, captioned images and informative, easy-to-read historical references, which put Ukraine's history into clear context. Undoubtedly, this book will be referenced often not only for its illustrations, but also for its succinct, objective text. For a more detailed text, refer to Professor Orest Subtelny's monograph, Ukraine: A History. The author of this book, Dr. Magocsi, described Dr. Subtelny's book (please see my review) in the Journal of Ukrainian Studies as "an excellent history of Ukrainians." Both books superbly supplement each other, both deserve to be on your library shelves, and both books together will fulfill your quest for an impartial history of Ukraine.

As a supplement to the historic photos in Professor Magocsi's excellent book, Ukraine: An Illustrated History, you're invited to view some of my photos of Ukraine; as an example, I've posted 92 images from my trips to Ukraine on the product detail page of A History of Ukraine by Hrushevsky, which is another excellent reference (please see my review).

Visit each of my reviews--most of them have photos that I took in Ukraine (over 600)--you'll learn lots about Ukraine and Ukrainians. The image gallery shows smaller photos, which are out of sequence. The preferable way is to see each review through my profile page since photos that are germane to that particular book/VHS/DVD are posted there with notes and are in sequential order.

To visit my reviews: click on my pseudonym, Mandrivnyk, to get to my profile page; click on the tab called review; scroll to the bottom of the section, and click on see all reviews; click on each title, and on the left-hand side, click on see all images. The thumbnail images at the top of the page show whether photos have notes; roll your mouse over the image to find notes posted.

Also, you're invited to visit my Listmania lists, which have materials sorted by subject matter. ... Read more

16. War in a European Borderland: Occupations and Occupation Plans in Galicia and Ukraine 1914-1918 (Donald W. Treadgold Studies on Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia)
by Mark Von Hagen
Paperback: 122 Pages (2007-12)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$18.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0295987537
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War in a European Borderland examines the many regime changes that took place in occupied Ukraine during World War I. The decimation of people living between Austria-Hungary and the Russian empire - specifically Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Belorussians, and the population of the Baltic states - extended to the destruction of their homeland as well, where most of the fighting occurred. Russian, German, and Austrian occupiers all worked to shape regimes in these borderland territories and the wartime policies and discriminatory legislation enacted upon this region exacerbated ethnic tensions.

Mark von Hagen looks at the main occupations of Galicia and Bukovyna between 1914 and 1918, particularly the Austrian rule of 1914; the Russian occupation between 1914 and 1915; the German- Austrian reoccupation of Galicia, Bukovyna, and the Russian provinces of Volynia and Kholm in 1915 and 1916; the second Russian occupation in 1916 and 1918; and, finally, the second German-Austrian occupation of most of Russian Ukraine in 1918. He traces the similarities among the various occupying forces as well as the important differences that shaped the individual regimes.

War in a European Borderland provides vital historical background to current events in Ukraine, and offers lessons on the problems faced by occupying powers. Further, the problems of the past remain sadly relevant for occupied civilian populations today. ... Read more

17. Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine’s Democratic Breakthrough
Paperback: 216 Pages (2006-03-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.32
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Asin: 0870032216
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The dramatic series of protests and political events that unfolded in Ukraine in the fall of 2004--the "Orange Revolution"--were seminal both for Ukrainian history and the history of democratization.Its effects have already been felt from Kyrgyzstan to Lebanon and are likely to travel even further.Yet few anticipated such a dramatic democratic breakthrough in Ukraine.Revolution in Orange is a pioneering effort to describe and explain the events leading up to and through December 2004 from authors who had on-the-ground experience interacting with the various Ukrainian, Western, and Russian dramatis personae of the Orange Revolution.The result is a highly readable, deeply informed, and insightful volume with lasting value as an explicator of this remarkable episode in the history of Ukraine and Eastern Europe. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A divide steeped in history
This book goes a long way towards explaining the complexity of Ukraine, a nation that is divided in accepting or rejecting the different identities the world knows of it. Is it the cradle of Russian civilization that includes present day Ukraine, Russia and Belarus or is it the frontier(eastern Ukraine in particular) where eastern Slavs (progenitors of Ukrainians, Russians and Belarussians) escaped to from suppressive powers of overlords (Poland and Russian princes, or is it the center where a new set of Russians-western Ukriane (Ukrainians or Ruthenians or Little Russians) came into being from the amalgamation of foreign influences (Polish, Lithuanian, Slovakian, Austria,Hungarian etc)?

From Gogol's work-Taras Bulba, one can get a picture of how easterners view themselves as Ukrainians (orthodox,eastern slavonic who fraternalise with their other eastern slavonic brothers) and who have been prominent in Russian or east slavic history(Yermak, Krushchev, Breshnev etc). Union Moujik as a story gives a clearer picture of the divide. Two brothers in the same house with one brother stressing on their roots and those they share common roots with(east), and the other brother attaching importance to the influences picked up in the past(west)

4-0 out of 5 stars Competent Academic Study
'Revolution in Orange' is the first book on the subject written for an academic audience.Particular interesting were the chapters on Russian and American influence on the events in 2004.

However, the chapter on the famous youth group 'Pora' was disappointing. The online history posted on Pora's website is at least as helpful.

Though this book will be of interest to researchers and academics, I would recommend Andrew Wilson's, 'Ukraine's Orange Revolution' for those looking for a more readable introduction. ... Read more

18. Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation
by Serhy Yekelchyk
Paperback: 320 Pages (2007-03-22)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$17.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195305469
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In 2004 and 2005, striking images from the Ukraine made their way around the world, among them boisterous, orange-clad crowds protesting electoral fraud and the hideously scarred face of a poisoned opposition candidate. Europe's second-largest country but still an immature state only recently independent, Ukraine has become a test case of post-communist democracy, as millions of people in other countries celebrated the protesters' eventual victory.
Any attempt to truly understand current events in this vibrant and unsettled land, however, must begin with the Ukraines dramatic history.Ukraine's strategic location between Russia and the West, the country's pronounced cultural regionalism, and the ugly face of post-communist politics are all anchored in Ukraine's complex past.
The first Western survey of Ukrainian history to include coverage of the Orange Revolution and its aftermath, this book narrates the deliberate construction of a modern Ukrainian nation, incorporating new Ukrainian scholarship and archival revelations of the post-communist period.
Here then is a history of the land where the strategic interests of Russia and the West have long clashed, with reverberations that resonate to this day. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to Ukrainian history in English
With Ukraine - Birth of a modern nation, Serhy Yekelchyk has written an up to date, balanced, complete and yet compact history of Ukraine for the English speaking reader. If you want an up to date introduction to Ukrainian history and society, this is a good choice. Unlike the other standard works on Ukrainian history in English, it includes the period leading up to and following the 2004 orange revelution. It also gives the full picture in a compact manner - a feature that many who needs an introduction to Ukrainian history will appreciate.

That said, I will compare Yekelchyk's book, with other available history books on Ukraine avaiable in English, to explain why I have given it 4 instead of 5 stars.

Except for the period leading up to and following the orange revelution, that is not included in The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation, Second edition (2002) by Andrew Wilson; Borderland: A Journey through the History of Ukraine (1997) by Anna Reid and Ukraine: A History by Orest Subtelny (2000), there is not much new in Yekelchyk's book. If you haveallready read any of those books, I therefore recommend a book on the Orange revelution, rather than more or less repeating what you have allready read.

Andrew Wilson's approach of digging a bit deeper into curtain subjects, makes theese books more alive and interesting to read than Yekelchyk's approach that strictly sticks to the timeline. In addition to give more information about central subjects you want to learn more about, Wilson's appraoch makes it easier to skip a subject that is not necesary to you. Ukrainian religion and mytologies of early Ukrainian civilization are good examples of such subjects that is great to choose if you want to dig into or not. Anna Reid's anechdotical introductions to the different periods and areas of Ukraine, curtainly makes better litterature than Yekechyk not very colorful style. If a traditional history book is what you seek though, Wilson and Yevchuk will be more in accordance with what you seek than Reid. If you want more information than Wilson or Yevchuk provides - check out Subtelny's 800 pages Ukraine: a history.

One imperative question Yevchuk in my view fails to adress and answer, is why the economic perfomance of Ukraine has been so poor, compared to other former Soviet republics - both authorian and democratic (for instance Lithaunia and Belarus) and how it can be that you have to look to former Republics hit by war, collapse or both (for instance Georgia and Moldova) to find as poor economic measures as in Ukraine. Look to Verena Fritz' Statebuilding, in order to get a better understandning on how Ukrainian politics has created this mainly self-indulged pain.

As Wilson, Yevchuk includes a lot of notes, both in English and Ukrainian/Russian as well as a comprehensive suggested further reading mainly in English.

One final pice of advice. If you on this or other books of Ukrainian history finds single reviewers who has totally different views than the other reviewers - views that you find it difficult to fit with other reviews, you might want to check if the reviewer is a member of the Ukrainian Diaspora, especially Nothern American Diaspora. They often tend to have very unbalanced views on Ukrainian history and I would not give their views to much weight when it comes to how non-diaspora readers will experience the book. ... Read more

19. Women in Russia and Ukraine (Volume 0)
Paperback: 372 Pages (1996-03-29)
list price: US$58.00 -- used & new: US$49.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521498724
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This book by leading Western specialists and Russian and Ukrainian feminists contains the latest research in the field of Russian women's studies. Historical chapters trace the role of gender in Russian and Ukrainian society from the twelfth century to the present day. Chapters focusing on contemporary Russia analyze the current backlash against women's emancipation, and discuss issues such as women's health, sexuality, reproduction and identity, women's work and employment, women and nationalism, and the development of the women's movement. ... Read more

20. History of Ukraine - 2nd, Revised Edition: The Land and Its Peoples
by Paul Robert Magocsi
Hardcover: 896 Pages (2010-06-19)
list price: US$120.00 -- used & new: US$113.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1442640855
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First published in 1996, A History of Ukraine quickly became the authoritative account of the evolution of Europe's second largest country. In this fully revised and expanded second edition, Paul Robert Magocsi examines recent developments in the country's history and uses new scholarship in order to expand our conception of the Ukrainian historical narrative.

New chapters deal with the Crimean Khanate in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and new research on the pre-historic Trypillians, the Italians of the Crimea and the Black Death, the Karaites, Ottoman and Crimean slavery, Soviet-era ethnic cleansing, and the Orange Revolution is incorporated. Magocsi has also thoroughly updated the many maps that appear throughout.

Maintaining his depiction of the multicultural reality of past and present Ukraine, Magocsi has added new information on Ukraine's peoples and discusses Ukraine's diasporas. Comprehensive, innovative, and geared towards teaching, the second edition of A History of Ukraine is ideal for both teachers and students.

... Read more

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