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A classic and vivid history of Ukraine
‘A fascinating and often violent odyssey, spanning more than 1,000 years of conflict and culture’ Independent on Sunday
Centre of the first great Slav civilisation in the tenth century, then divided between warring neighbours for a millennium, Ukraine finally won independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tiring of their own corrupt governments, Ukrainians have since mounted two popular revolutions, taking to the streets to demand fair elections and closer ties to Europe. In the spring of 2014, Russia responded by invading Crimea and sponsoring a civil war in the Russian-speaking Donbass. Threatened by Moscow, misunderstood in the West, Ukraine hangs once more in the balance. Speaking to pro-democracy activists and pro-Russia militiamen, peasants and miners, survivors of Hitler’s Holocaust and Stalin’s famine, Anna Reid combines history and travel-writing to unpick the past and present of this bloody and complex borderland.
‘Beautifully written and lovingly researched’ Daily Telegraph
‘Gripping history’ The Times
Beautifully written and lovingly researched ... This book brims with colourful historical personalities ... The mixture of travelogue, history, political analysis and anecdote makes Anna Reid's account a highly digestible popular introduction to the tragic plight of a country whose very name means "Borderland". "The West ... had difficulty taking Ukraine seriously at all," she writes. Her first (and I hope not her last) book is a noble and praiseworthy attempt to correct this gross historical injustice * Daily Telegraph * Gripping history ... [Reid] writers with authority having lived for three years in Kiev as a reporter ... [she] is remarkably clear-headed about the many competing versions of Ukraine's history and its mostly invented heroes. A wise and generous government in Kiev would give her a medal * The Times * A beautifully written evocation of Ukraine's brutal past and its shaky efforts to construct a better future ... Reid succeeds in vividly conjuring up dozens of little-know heroes and villains of Ukrainian history ... Reid summons up the rogues and poets of Ukraine's past with a deft touch, but her real theme is the tragedy which has been Ukraine's lot for much of its history ... Borderland is a tapestry woven of the stories of all its inhabitants, recording their triumphs and their conflicts with the fairness of a compassionate outsider * Financial Times * This book takes the reader on a fascinating and often violent odyssey, spanning more than 1,000 years of conflict and culture. Reid covers events from the coming of the Vikings, to Stalin's purges and beyond to the independence celebrations of 19991. She translates her obvious mastery of her subject into an accessible work, which should enrich the experience of any traveller to this new country * Independent on Sunday * Anne Reid ... has sharp vision and an enquiring mind which launched her on a journey through the country's history to help her make sense of what she saw. Often controversial but never stuffy, she takes her reader at the same time on a tour of Ukraine, relating past events to a modern context ... [she] proves herself an astute observer of the Ukrainian scene * TLS * A compelling and improbably enjoyable read ... Despite its problems [Reid] says, the country has the potential to be one of Europe's greatest states * The Scotsman *
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