Although present-day Ukraine has only been in existence for something over two decades, its recorded history reaches much further back for more than a thousand years to Kyivan Rus’. Over that time, it has usually been under control of invaders like the Turks and Tatars, or neighbors like Russia and Poland, and indeed it was part of the Soviet Union until it gained its independence in 1991. Today it is drawn between its huge neighbor to the east and the European Union, and is still struggling to choose its own ...
Although present-day Ukraine has only been in existence for something over two decades, its recorded history reaches much further back for more than a thousand years to Kyivan Rus’. Over that time, it has usually been under control of invaders like the Turks and Tatars, or neighbors like Russia and Poland, and indeed it was part of the Soviet Union until it gained its independence in 1991. Today it is drawn between its huge neighbor to the east and the European Union, and is still struggling to choose its own path… although it remains uncertain of which way to turn. Nonetheless, as one of the largest European states, with considerable economic potential, it is not a place that can be readily overlooked.
The problem is, or at least was, where to find information on this huge modern Ukraine, and since 2005 the answer has been the Historical Dictionary of Ukraine in its first edition, and now even more so with this second edition. It now boasts a dictionary section of about 725 entries, these covering the thousand years of history but particularly the recent past, and focusing on significant persons, places and events, political parties and institutions as well as more broadly international relations, the economy, society and culture. The chronology permits readers to follow this history and the introduction is there to make sense of it. It also features the most extensive and up-to-date bibliography of English-language writing on Ukraine.
This second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Ukraine has been eight years in the making. Katchanovski (Univ. of Ottawa) updates the first edition, published just after the Orange Revolution, to include events from this period. This new edition expands articles on people, places, and events of post-1991 Ukraine. Aside from these much-needed updates, the original text by the highly qualified team of Zenon Kohut (Univ. of Alberta), Bohdan Nebesio (Brock Univ.), and Myroslav Yurkevich (Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press) is mostly intact. The 700-plus entries are brief, but provide basic definitions and indicate the subjects' relevance to Ukrainian history. The excellent supplemental material includes maps, a list of abbreviations, a detailed but succinct chronology, an extensive bibliography, and a series of appendixes on post-1991 Ukraine (new to this edition). Boldface type indicates that a concept is mentioned elsewhere in the text, but sparse cross-referencing may make finding some topics confusing. For example, some topics often referred to by their Ukrainian names—Holodomor, Batkyvshchina, OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists)—are listed only under English headings. This dictionary will prove useful to a wide range of scholars interested in eastern Europe, European history, and modern European politics. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers.
American Reference Books Annual
This is the 2d edition of this work on Ukrainian history in English. It has more than 725 entries that cover biographies, places, historical events, institutions, economics, and social and cultural aspects of Ukraine. The book has a list of acronyms and abbreviations, nine maps, a chronology, and an introduction that summarizes the history of Ukraine. Then it goes into the entries, which are in the traditional A-to-Z format. The entries vary in length. Cross-references are indicated by having the topic or term in bold print. The authors use the modified Library of Congress system to transliterate Ukrainian and other East Slavic words and names. The authors are associated with the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) at the University of Alberta. The book ends with an extensive bibliography that has its own introduction. The bibliography is subdivided into various subjects. Books, articles, and Internet sites are included. . . .This is a great one-volume reference on Ukrainian history that belongs in academic and larger public libraries with a Ukrainian or Eastern European reference section.
IVAN KATCHANOVSKI teaches at the School of Political Studies and the Conflict Studies and Human Rights Program at the University of Ottawa. His publications on Ukraine politics include Cleft Countries: Regional Political Divisions and Cultures in Post-Soviet Ukraine and Moldova.
Zenon E. Kohut is director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta. His many works on early modern Ukraine, historiography, and the development of Ukrainian identity include Russian Centralism and Ukrainian Autonomy: Imperial Absorption of the Hetmanate, 1760s-1830s and Making Ukraine: Studies on Political Culture, Historical Narrative, and Identity.
Bohdan Y. Nebesio associate professor of film studies in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University. His publications focus on the films of Alexander Dovzhenko, East European cinema, and the history of film theory.
Myroslav Yurkevich is senior editor of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press and has participated in the CIUS project to translate Mykhailo Hrushevsky's ten-volume History of Ukraine-Rus' since its inception.