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Johannes Remy’s new book is the most exhaustive study of nineteenth-century Ukrainian nation building in the Russian Empire currently available in English. It is also the most original and thoroughly researched monograph on the topic published in the past ten years in any language. As such it is destined to become an indispensable element of university curricula and a reference work for anyone wishing to understand the vicissitudes of Ukrainian experience beyond the twentieth century.
Readers who simply enjoy Oksana Zabuzhko’s work will be grateful for tales about her childhood and adolescence, stages of intellectual biography, as well as for a “guidebook” to her writings: it includes everything, from research on Ivan Franko to miscellanea of correspondence with Yurii Shevelov (he is one of the main heroes of this “book of conversations,” too). Some discussions branch off not from her large works, but often from her essays. This conversation is thus double-edged: some of the annotations are needless for Ukrainians, but useful for Poles.
This is an intellectual biography written from the perspective of the authors’ main thesis - Saul Borovyi as a “historian in the background of scholarship”. Such an approach allows to elucidate a number of new contexts. An erudite scholar, an “aristocrat from Brody” (where Borovyi’s mother came from), endowed with a high research culture, outstanding culturological, archival and bibliological knowledge, as well as with a certain multicultural atmosphere of someone from a southern imperial borderland, Borovyi was certainly a figure outside the rigid canon of the Soviet intellectual norm.
Sas’ emphasis on the role of intellectuals in nation-building makes an important theoretical contribution to Ukrainian historiography: “the emergence of conditions for the transition of an ethnos to the nation-building stage presupposes the existence of certain qualitative changes in its spiritual culture, worldview, mentality and identity, spearheaded by intellectuals”. Progress in the cultural sphere in the 16th century - especially in education and book printing - engaged a wider circle of educated people and accelerated the nation-building process.
In this elucidation of the history of Slobozhanshchyna (Slobidska Ukraine) and Kharkiv, Volodymyr Kravchenko offers Ukrainian historians new perspectives on regional history writing. The book is comparative and employs the notions of borderland and the great frontier, as well as regional and national identity, with methodologies from urban studies and cultural geography, backed by substantial theoretical explanations. Many of its passages are inherently controversial, however this is likely what makes the monograph such a compelling read, bound to attract public interest and discussion.
Journey Through Illusion, published in the US in 1994 by Kurt Lewin—son of Lviv rabbi Ezekiel Lewin, witness to the Holocaust, colonel of the General Staff of the Israel Defence Forces and successful Wall Street financier—summarizes the author’s life journey, extending from intimate personal memory to collective memory and, therefore, to history. Of particular importance in Lewin's account are the sections on Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky and how the author writes of international relations and reflections of the memory of the Holocaust in the post-war Israeli, European and American worlds.
Passion Over Bandera is best characterized as ‘postmodern’. It not only unites texts of very different genres (academic articles, essays and letters to the editor), but also contains the work of very different authors—from historians with varying degrees of intimacy with the issues, to public intellectuals, journalists and the OUN leader’s own grandson.
This book, by young Kharkiv historian Bohdan Ivchenko, contributes to a topic in Soviet Studies that has not yet received due attention. The categories of nation and class, by which intellectuals and politicians characterized the population, were of little use with regard to the Don Cossackdom. The author constructs his own narrative, emphasizing the plurality of means through which the Bolsheviks and the Cossacks interacted. At first, the Bolshevik leaders were inclined to think they had the support of the “revolutionary” worker Cossacks, opposing their military elite. However, after
Ukraine is the European present. We have now reached a point where Ukrainian history and European history are very much the same thing, for good or for evil. The European Union is no longer alone in the world. The European Union can no longer delude itself that it has no enemies.
During the II World war something happened in Yugoslavia that was not mentioned later very much in our schoolbooks. And this was the civil war. There was an antifascist war, there also was a communist revolution with Tito, but there was also the civil was between Serbs and Croats, which had enormous consequences for the war to come in Balkans in former Yugoslavia.
International conference Ukraine: Thinking Together
Panel Seven: Can memory save us from history? Can history save us from memory? Monday May 19, 2014 (Diplomatic Academy,Kyiv)
Participants: Timothy Snyder, chair, Slavenka Drakulić, Olga Filippova, Frank Foer, Yaroslav Hrytsak, Martin Šimečka, Andrey Kurkov.