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The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine (2015)

by Serhii Plokhy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1522140,296 (4.04)10
"From one of the foremost experts on Ukraine and the former USSR, a concise, authoritative history of Ukraine. Ukraine is currently embroiled in a tense battle with Russia to preserve its economic and political independence. But today's conflict is only the latest in a long history of battles over Ukraine's existence as a sovereign nation. As award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy argues in The Gates of Europe, we must examine Ukraine's past in order to understand its fraught present and likely future. Situated between Europe, Russia, and the Asian East, Ukraine was shaped by the empires that have used it as a strategic gateway between East and West--from the Romans and Ottomans to the Third Reich and the Soviet Union, all have engaged in global fights for supremacy on Ukrainian soil. Each invading army left a lasting mark on the landscape and on the population, making modern Ukraine an amalgam of competing cultures. Authoritative and vividly written, The Gates of Europe will be the definitive history of Ukraine for years to come"--… (more)
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Ця книга оригінально вийшла англійською мовою і спрямована передусім на читачів які мало що знають про Україну, але прагнуть дізнатись більше. Тому вона чудово підійде усім, хто хоче освіжити своє знання історії України або вчив її кільканадцять років тому і цікавиться як змінилася історія за цей час :)
Дуже добре, що автор не проводить героїзацію або ж очорніння жодної зі сторін. Він піднімає болючі питання, про які в Україні деякі воліють не говорити – від масових вбивств євреїв за часів Хмельниччини, Коліївщини, Громадянської війни; про те, що навіть на початку ХХ століття саме на цих теренах був потужний монархістський рух, а не «усі єдиним поривом» прагнули незалежності; про роль українців у розбудові російського імперського проекту тощо.
Остання частина книги, що описує події від помаранчевої революції до сьогодення – найслабкіша і мабуть єдина, де автор замість бути на процесом займає певну сторону.
Ще один недолік – практично відсутня бібліографія та посилання. Це зрозуміло, бо більшість робіт не перекладено англійською.
Раджу усім як відправну точку на шляху вивчення історії українських земель
( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
The Gates of Europe is a history of Ukraine from the very dawn of written history through 2015. The very name "Ukraine" means borderland, and the one constant throughout the thousands of years of history documented here is the constant shifting of borders—whether it is Greek and Barbarian, Russian and Polish, Catholic and Orthodox, or simply East and West, Ukraine is where they met. Therefore, the history of Ukraine is a history of turmoil, which at least guarantees that it is never boring. And luckily, Plokhy has a very readable English style, which makes it accessible as well.

The only downside is that because he is dealing with so much time, the author has to dedicate a small space to everything, so nothing gets covered in complete and total detail. I personally would have liked more about Western Ukraine and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, because my little Catholic Austrophile heart finds those topics interesting, but I'm sure others will say the same about other parts or aspects of the country as well. But everything that needs to get cover gets covered, from the Cossacks to Panslavism to the Holodomor to the Russian Proxy Wars of today. So if you're at all interested in Ukraine, you'll want to pick this one up. It's probably the best general book on the topic in print right now.

Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in Ukraine, Eastern European history, or good history books. ( )
  inge87 | Mar 31, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Serhii Plokhyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wilkinson, TrishDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the people of Ukraine
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The first historian of Ukraine was Herodotus, the father of history himself.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"From one of the foremost experts on Ukraine and the former USSR, a concise, authoritative history of Ukraine. Ukraine is currently embroiled in a tense battle with Russia to preserve its economic and political independence. But today's conflict is only the latest in a long history of battles over Ukraine's existence as a sovereign nation. As award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy argues in The Gates of Europe, we must examine Ukraine's past in order to understand its fraught present and likely future. Situated between Europe, Russia, and the Asian East, Ukraine was shaped by the empires that have used it as a strategic gateway between East and West--from the Romans and Ottomans to the Third Reich and the Soviet Union, all have engaged in global fights for supremacy on Ukrainian soil. Each invading army left a lasting mark on the landscape and on the population, making modern Ukraine an amalgam of competing cultures. Authoritative and vividly written, The Gates of Europe will be the definitive history of Ukraine for years to come"--

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