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Ukraine: A History [Kindle Edition]

Orest Subtelny
5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)

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'A fine, immensely readable book that should be on the bookshelf of anyone even remotely interested in Ukrainian history.'--David R. Marples


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.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 7030 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 888 Seiten
  • Verlag: University of Toronto Press; Auflage: 4 (8. August 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B005DB7J9G
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #173.980 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

  •  Ist der Verkauf dieses Produkts für Sie nicht akzeptabel?


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5.0 von 5 Sternen
5.0 von 5 Sternen
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen First joice! 18. Mai 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Subtelny's book, which was translated into Ukrainian and also Russian, is the best selling history book in Ukraine. It's well received. It's lucid, easy to read and rather impartial ( if a history book can be that). It even includes the events just after the declaration of independence - very current.
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Extremely resourceful and detailed. 13. Januar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
I am a student of Prof. Subtelny at York University. His book on Ukraine was easy to understand, very informative, and quite revealing. Not only is he a great author, but a fine professor as well.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent, thorough, and readable history 22. März 2000
Von Ein Kunde
This is the best one-volume English language history of Ukraine. If you have to choose between Subtelny's work or Magocsi's, choose Subtelny.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.8 von 5 Sternen  17 Rezensionen
32 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A good explanation of the country in which I now live 1. August 2010
Von Graham H. Seibert - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
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.
36 von 39 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen For anyone who wants to learn about this fascinating land 14. Oktober 2001
Von Midwest Book Review - Veröffentlicht auf
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.
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Previous Praise still Pertinent:Best History, Excellent, the Standard, Highly Recommended, Required Reading, Enormously Readable 26. November 2009
Von Yaroslava Benko - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Critically acclaimed when first published in 1988 and subsequently translated into Ukrainian and Russian, this fourth (2009) edition of Dr. Orest Subtelny's Ukraine: A History is updated with forty-eight additional pages of insightful analyses, two extra photos covering Ukraine's history from 2000 through 2009, and is available on Kindle. 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.
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen I Wanna Know, Have You Ever Seen Ukraine, Coming Down on a Sunny Day 23. Mai 2011
Von Todd - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a well-written and interesting book that would have been a lot of fun to read. The problem is that Ukrainian history is brutal and not for the faint-of-heart. I had a couple nights, especially when the book was covering the 1930s and WWII, when I was only able to stomach a page or two before I had to put it down. On the plus side, if you want to understand why all your Ukrainian friends are so cynical, this book will enlighten you.

I was really happy with this book. There were lots of facts, but it was not a dry read at all. It kept my attention and was even a little exciting in places. And the chapters he wrote at the end to explain the goings-on before, during, and after the orange revolution were fantastic.

Here are the two reasons it didn't get a fifth star from me:
1) The maps could have been better. The author was definitely talking to someone who had a better idea of Ukrainian geography than I do.
2) The author uses a straightforward timeline narrative for almost the entire book. But for some reason, from about 1960 to 1990, the timeline starts jumping around. It wasn't confusing; it's just that it wasn't as clear and sharp as the rest of the book.
14 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Best Source for Ukrainian History 8. Juni 2001
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Mr. Subtelny's "Ukraine: A History" rates a notch above Mr. Magosci's. Well-written and very readable. This is the volume one reaches for when facts on the Ukrainian history are required.
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