“Ukraine. Overcoming the past: the global history of Ukraine”

A remarkable history of Ukraine, because it was written with the future in mind.
It tells the country’s history from the baptism of Kiev’s Prince Vladimir in 988 until Russia’s full-scale aggression in 2022. It was created for young people; for Ukrainians gaining their civic shilling in the Maydanes and for their peers abroad, on whom the future of Europe and the world depends.

Translation:  Katarzyna Kotyńska, Joanna Majewska – Grabowska
Type of publication: book
Date of issue 2023
Pages: 600
Language: polish
Binding: hardcover
Dimensions: 18 x 21,5 cm
ISBN: 978-83-66419-52-0
Shipping Time: 48 hours

49,00 75,00 


Product description

Hrytsak’s history of Ukraine is based on the local history of Europe, on the country’s relations with Poland, Belarus, and Russia, but it is also global in its scope, with the author referring to political and social processes in other corners of the globe: Argentina, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Germany, United States. Although Hrytsak wrote the final pages of this book in the early months of the 2022 war, he focused as much on the political, economic, social, and linguistic developments of the last 200 years. That is why his history of Ukraine is strikingly modern, combining entirely new perspectives with those that are presently well known in Poland: Hrytsak critically addresses the legacy of serfdom, examines the roots of Ukrainian anti-Semitism, studies all shades of nationalism, separates the language, the nation, and the land. He confronts other researchers and theories, and their final verifier becomes the reality of war as the ultimate context of the writing process.

Between the chapters, addressing the history of Ukraine, from the baptism of the Kiev prince Vladimir in 988 to the beginning of the Russian aggression in 2022, Hrytsak inserts shorter essays focused on selected topics that cut across history, developed in accordance with the perspective of the longue durée: grain, songs, borderland, violence, language. They intertwine into dramatic, engaging narratives, micro-histories where – in keeping with Albert Camus’s imperative – Hrytsak is always against the perpetrators, and on the side of the victims and the heroes. The front lines intersect here extremely often, notions become ambiguous, the spiral of violence winds up like in no other place in the world, Ukraine repeatedly becomes the site of ethnic, political, economic, and nuclear experiments – this moral imperative derived from the words of the author of “The Fall” thus marks the horizon of Hrytsak’s account.

Unlike other researchers, Hrytsak does not turn to the past, but directs his gaze towards the future, writing for people who gained their civic skills during Maidan or Euromaidan. He poses questions not so much about the identity and formation of the nation, but about the chances and ways of modernising Ukraine.

He avoids historical memory, believing that going beyond stereotypes only allows one to look at the facts – no matter how painful they may be. In his story, the wide perspective makes various events, treated as local and specific only to Ukraine, suddenly become part of a larger whole: the processes of globalisation and modernisation that have shaped the world at least since the discovery of America.
This is a book that speaks openly about certain complex phenomena, here Yanukovych is an ex-criminal and Putin is an ex-Kagievist who does not believe in the sincerity of any grassroots political movement.


The twenty-first volume of the Library of Central Europe series.

Release date: September 2023

The book is also available in e-book: https://ksiegarniamck.pl/en/produkt/ukraine-overcoming-the-past-the-global-history-of-ukraine-e-book/

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