The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine
by Serhii Plokhy (Author)
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Allen Lane (1 Dec. 2015)
Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.8 x 24 cm
From award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy, The Gates of Europe is the definitive history of Ukraine that helps us understand the country's past and the current crisis
At the western edge of the Eurasian steppe, caught between Central Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, Ukraine has long been the meeting place of empires - Roman to Ottoman, Habsburg to Russian - that left their imprint on the landscape, the language and the people. The frontier between Islam and Christianity created a class of ferocious warriors known as the Cossacks, while the encounter between the Catholic and Orthodox churches led to a religious tradition that bridges Western and Eastern Christianity. Ukraine has been a home to millions of Jews, serving as the birthplace of Hassidism - and as one of the killing fields of the Holocaust.
In The Gates of Europe, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy examines the history of Ukraine's search for its identity, bringing together some of the major figures in Ukrainian history: Prince Yaroslav the Wise of Kyiv, whose daughter Anna became queen of France; the Cossack ruler Ivan Mazepa, who was immortalized in the poems of Byron and Pushkin; Nikita Khrushchev and his protégé-turned-nemesis Leonid Brezhnev; and the heroes of the Maidan protests of 2013 and 2014, who embody the current struggle over Ukraine's future.
As Plokhy explains, the recent conflict with Russia is a tragic case of history repeating itself, as Ukraine once again finds itself in the centre of a battle of global proportions. Fascinating and multilayered, The Gates of Europe is the essential guide to understanding not just Ukraine's past but also its future.
Finally: a compelling and concise history of a country leading the news but which too many know embarrassingly little about. There are no more excuses for ignorance (Peter Pomerantsev, author of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible)
Complex and nuanced, refreshingly revisionist and lucid, this is a compelling and outstanding short history of the blood-soaked land that has so often been the battlefield and breadbasket of Europe. The Gates of Europe combines scholarly authority with narrative flair -- essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Russia and Ukraine today (Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar)
Serhii Plokhy had produced a perfect new history of Ukraine for these troubled times -- authoritative and innovative, but always clear and accessible, and a delight to read (Andrew Wilson, Professor of Ukrainian Studies at University College London)
For a comprehensive, engaging, and up-to-date history of Ukraine one could do no better than Serhii Plokhy's aptly titled The Gates of Europe. Plokhy's authoritative study will be of great value to scholars, students, policy-makers, and the informed public alike in making sense of the contemporary Ukrainian imbroglio (Norman M. Naimark, Stanford University)
A masterly surveyor of Ukrainian history (Marcus Tanner Independent)
Plokhy's careful, engaging history is a series of stories about a spectral nation, one that has appeared and disappeared down the ages... If sense ever prevails, Plokhy's fine book should find its way to Vladimir Putin's desk, if only to show the imperialist that Ukraine itself is far from done, and will not be extinguished (Ian Bell Herald Scotland)
An assured and authoritative survey that spans ancient Greek times to the present day (Tony Barber Financial Times)
No one can understand today's sad, tangled confrontation over Ukraine without some knowledge of the complex, crosscutting influences that have shaped eastern Europe over the millennia. For that history, readers can find no better place to turn than Plokhy's new book... Ukraine's history has always been contested, and never more intensely than now. Plokhy navigates the subject with grace and aplomb (Foreign Affairs)
About the Author
Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University and a leading authority on Eastern Europe. His previous books include The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union, Yalta: The Price of Peace and The Cossack Myth: History and Nationhood in the Age of Empires.