Book Review: The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine by Serhii Plokhy (five stars)
Vladimir Lenin himself spelled out the “lesson of 1919” for his followers. According to Lenin, the Bolsheviks had neglected the nationality question.
Probably has ten times the detail most first-time readers desire, but enough depth to satisfy those seeking to really understand who, what, where and why Ukraine is headline news. Detailed history of a people many Americans knew only as part of the Evil Empire that tried to break free. Good Job.
The more Rus’ became Christian, the more it turned Slavic as well.
Starts at the beginning and keeps going. Warts and all. First published in 2015 and updated in 2020. Plokhy is Ukrainian, a historian, and a teacher. He ought to know what he’s talking about and how to communicate it. And does.
Ukrainians probably have just as much right to brag about their role in changing the world as Scots and other nationalities about which books have been written asserting their claim to have shaped the course of human history.
The reader will feel time and again, the Ukrainians just can’t get a break. Though released prior to Putin’s latest invasion, Plokhy is not surprised. Readers should be either.
Whatever the outcome of the current Ukraine Crisis, on its resolution depends not only the future of Ukraine but also that of relations between Europe’s east and west—Russia and the European Union—and thus the future of Europe as a whole.
This will be a great read. Thanks!