Although the new state of Ukraine came into being as one of many formed in the wake of the Revolution of 1989, it is hardly a new country. Paul Robert Magocsi tells its story from the first millennium before the common era to the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, with a balanced discussion of political, economic, and cultural affairs. Tracing in detail the expAlthough the new state of Ukraine came into being as one of many formed in the wake of the Revolution of 1989, it is hardly a new country. Paul Robert Magocsi tells its story from the first millennium before the common era to the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, with a balanced discussion of political, economic, and cultural affairs. Tracing in detail the experiences of the Ukrainian people, he gives judicious treatment as well to the other peoples and cultures that developed within the borders of Ukraine, including the Greeks of the Bosporan Kingdom, the Crimean Tatars, and the Poles, Russians, Germans, Jews, and Mennonites all of whom form an essential part of Ukrainian history....
|Title||:||A History of Ukraine|
|Number of Pages||:||784 Pages|
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A History of Ukraine Reviews
The Ukraine under normal conditions is a highly esoteric topic for North Americans and Western Europeans. The country has never been on the Grand Tour, is expensive to get to and hard to travel in without an automobile. Nonetheless, it is September 2014. The Ukraine is at war again with Russia and this would be a good time to learn a little of the history of this country.Magosci is nothing less than masterful in tying together the political, military, economic and cultural events of the Ukraine which for most of its history has had foreign rules and highly fluid borders. He explains the complex relations between Poland and Russia which for several centuries vied for control of the Ukraine. He also explains the complex religious history involving primarily the Greek Catholics and Orthodox churches but also including Judaism, Islam, and Armenian Catholicism. He provides an excellent overview of the Ukraine's major writers and composers. At the end, the reader thus has acquired a solid, introductory knowledge of all aspects of Ukrainian society.Magosci has thus given us a very sold overview. What is now needed are more monographs examining the many issues and time periods in greater detail.
A geographical area that has seen many very different people arrive, pass through, and stay has that many opinions as to actual fact of its origins, rightful ownership, and history. There are a few major historical perspectives on Ukraine (Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, and Soviet, which is a modified version of the Russian), but Magosci does a fine job at presenting the facts as to what happened in that geographical area without holding to a particular theory, including differing perspectives so the reader can see the entire picture. The pre-Kyivan information is really good at showing all the cultural influences that exsisted along with the slavs in that area. Who knew there Goths in Ukraine? I mean then. Not now. Totally tons of goths in Ukraine, I'm sure.
Домучал! У-упорство!Книга определенно нарративна, так что читать следует не ослабляя критического отношения к интерпретациям событий автором.
The author has fifteen hundred years of history packed into 750 pages with lots of maps. He writes from a distinctly Ukrainian perspective but very neutral in tone. For most of the histories of Ukraine and Ukrainians have been written from the point of view of either Poland or Russia. The latter, especially, has badly influenced the world view of Ukraine, as they try to claim all Ukrainian history for their own, and treat Ukrainians and Ukrainian language as second class.This book is for anyone trying to understand how Ukrainians and Ukraine became the people and country they have. Kyivian-Rus disintegrated as a state after the Mongol destruction of Kyiv in 1240. Shifting back and forth under various empires and rulers for centuries, Ukrainians were at times recognized and encouraged as a people with a unique culture and language and at times subjected to extreme Polonization and/or Russification. The people of Galicia (Western Ukraine), under the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, were the most free develop as Ukrainians for the longest period of time time.There were always those who dreamed of a united and free Ukraine, including the Zaporizhzhia Cossacks in the 17th century, however their efforts were in vain. It was not until the 19th century that the idea of a Ukrainian people, culture and language really took hold. The Tsars tried to stamp it out; Lenin brought it back (Putin refered to Lenin's nationalities policy as a time bomb). Then in 1928, Stalin, having consolidated his power, set out to destroy all things Ukrainian. He could not succeed. The current Russian propaganda that Ukraine is not a country, Ukrainians are not a people, and Ukrainian is not a language, has been disproven many times by their own actions over the centuries, as outlined in this history. Ukraine was never an integrated part of Russia, always treated as a colony from the very beginning. Ukrainians were not considered Russians, but Little Russians. The Ukrainian language is as distinct from Russian as it is from Polish, though both claimed it was merely a dialect. The current borders (including Crimea and Donbas) contain most of the ethnic Ukrainian population and right or wrong, are the internationally recognized borders. Historic precedent is irrelevant. The borders of every European country have been drawn and redrawn many times over the centuries.
I just wish that in my post-Soviet-era education had covered even a fraction of the information in this book.
A History of UkraineAuthor: Paul Robert MagocsiPublisher: University of Washington PressPublished In: Seattle, WA,USADate: 1997Pgs: 784REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERSSummary:The state of Ukraine came into existence in the wake of the 1989 dissolution of the Soviet Union, but this wasn’t the first Ukrainian state. Little Russia, as she is sometimes known, has been in conflict, immigrational flux, and cultural evolution for many, many years. Cultures and peoples have marched across her settling and sweeping through: Russians, Greeks, Tatars, Poles, Lithuanians, Germans, Jews, Mennonites. She is all these and more. Her common Slavic ancestry with the Russia and Belarus aside, she has a rich history all her own. Previous histories were too much Russian history...Soviet history...Polish history...Lithuanian history with Ukraine thrown in because she was part and parcel to those. This is Mother Ukraine.Genre:HistoryNon-fictionWhy this book:In light of current events, when I saw the spine of this book as I wandered the library, it had to come home with me.This Story is About:courage, working hard, greed, sadness, the sweep of historyFavorite Character:I kept thinking that I was going to find a hero in Ukrainian history that would be my favorite character. One never presented themselves.Least Favorite Character: Stalin, Hitler...take your pick.Character I Most Identified With:N/AThe Feel:Those poor bastards.Favorite Scene:The mental image of the continuous march of “barbarian” tribes sweeping in, settling down, absorbing the local populace, before being pushed out by the next wave of population. Funny how many of these tribes names appear on the list of “barbarians” who swept into the Roman Empire, sacked Rome, and settled down there too: Vikings, Scythians, Goths, the Huns.Pacing:The pace, for a history text, was good.Plot Holes/Out of Character:The history is very focused on the administrative elements of each of the rulers of the Ukraine. The book is more admin driven as opposed to event driven.Hmm Moments:I like how it gives a look at the historical viewpoints and political overtones of other histories as it tells its own story, ie: Russian, Soviet, Polish, Ukrainian. And the evolution of the Slavic peoples The idea of Pan-Slavism pushed by some other historians won’t survive a true study of the diversity of the peoples.The Russian view has dominated Ukrainian history with Ukraine being seen as Little Russia, part and parcel of their larger Slavic brother. The Tsars used the idea of continuity from the Kievan principalities to give their rule more legitimacy and history. As a result, Ukrainian history in many texts has been seen as a parcel and part of Russia. This gives short or non-existent shrift to the Ukraine that existed prior to Russia and that is existing now beyond Russia. The Russian view of Ukraine as part of Russia, indeed, Little Russia, is apparent in recent current events.Scholars in the West fell into the trap presented by the Russian/Soviet perspective on the history of Ukraine. They bought the lineage Kievan Rus-Muscovy-Russian Empire-Soviet Union. Many today, more properly, believe that the Kievan Rus is Ukrainian history and was adopted/co-opted by Russian and Soviet scholars and their rulers as a means of providing a longer lineage and the aura of stability to their studies and dynasties.Interesting how many of the entities that conquered/subsumed the populations of the Ukraine would eventually go on to sack Rome and bring about the downfall of the Roman Empire.World War One seems like just one more chapter of many masters walking across Ukraine and claiming it for their own for a brief moment before the next master of the land sweeps in.The modern conflict in Ukraine seems to mirror the 1917 struggles between the Kharkiv Soviet Congress and the Central Rada, based in Kiev. In some aspects, they are still fighting the battles of the Russian Revolution that eventually birthed the Soviet Union. Though in that era, many didn’t consider the Crimea part of the Ukraine. In the 1917-1921 time frame, Ukraine had so many masters and nationalist movements, that by the time the Soviets finally truly grabbed power, they were probably relieved before realizing the horror that was to be visited upon them through Stalin’s forced resettlements, pogroms, purges, and urbanizations.Why isn’t there a screenplay?Could be a History Channel show, for sure.Casting call:N/ALast Page Sound:Damn.Author Assessment:The history is long and dry as any truly comprehensive history will be.Very scholarly. Dry. But well done.Editorial Assessment:Well edited. Could have done with the section on the historical perspectives that have guided the scholarship on the history of Ukraine being shorter, but it did provide a guidepost for what is in print publicly.Knee Jerk Reaction:glad I read itDisposition of Book:LibraryWould recommend to:students of history, those interested in current events
To be fair, I only read the last two chapters, since I really need to get this research paper going. This is a book that I fully intent to go back and read cover to cover, though. The writing of the last two chapters is brilliant and clear and I very much look forward to learning about pre-Soviet Ukraine as soon as I have a minute :)