Ukraine and Russia: Representations of the Past

By Serhii Plokhy

© 2008

The question of where Russian history ends and Ukrainian history begins has not yet received a satisfactory answer. Generations of historians referred to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, as the starting point of the Muscovite dynasty, the Russian state, and, ultimately, the Russian nation. However, the history of Kyiv and that of the Scythians of the Northern Black Sea region have also been claimed by Ukrainian historians, and are now regarded as integral parts of the history of Ukraine. If these are actually the beginnings of Ukrainian history, when does Russian history start?

In Ukraine and Russia, Serhii Plokhy discusses many questions fundamental to the formation of modern Russian and Ukrainian historical identity. He investigates the critical role of history in the development of modern national identities and offers historical and cultural insight into the current state of relations between the two nations. Plokhy shows how history has been constructed, used, and misused in order to justify the existence of imperial and modern national projects, and how those projects have influenced the interpretation of history in Russia and Ukraine. This book makes important assertions not only about the conflicts and negotiations inherent to opposing historiographic traditions, but about ways of overcoming the limitations imposed by those traditions.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 412 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 1.1in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED AUG 2014

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    ISBN 9781442628458
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    ISBN 9780802093271
  • PUBLISHED APR 2008

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Quick Overview

This book makes important assertions not only about the conflicts and negotiations inherent to opposing historiographic traditions, but about ways of overcoming the limitations imposed by those traditions.

Ukraine and Russia: Representations of the Past

By Serhii Plokhy

© 2008

The question of where Russian history ends and Ukrainian history begins has not yet received a satisfactory answer. Generations of historians referred to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, as the starting point of the Muscovite dynasty, the Russian state, and, ultimately, the Russian nation. However, the history of Kyiv and that of the Scythians of the Northern Black Sea region have also been claimed by Ukrainian historians, and are now regarded as integral parts of the history of Ukraine. If these are actually the beginnings of Ukrainian history, when does Russian history start?

In Ukraine and Russia, Serhii Plokhy discusses many questions fundamental to the formation of modern Russian and Ukrainian historical identity. He investigates the critical role of history in the development of modern national identities and offers historical and cultural insight into the current state of relations between the two nations. Plokhy shows how history has been constructed, used, and misused in order to justify the existence of imperial and modern national projects, and how those projects have influenced the interpretation of history in Russia and Ukraine. This book makes important assertions not only about the conflicts and negotiations inherent to opposing historiographic traditions, but about ways of overcoming the limitations imposed by those traditions.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 412 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 1.1in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    “Plokhy moves seamlessly across the centuries with great erudition ... This is a rich and rewarding work.”
    Andrew Wilson
    Journal of Modern History

    “[Ukraine and Russia] provides not only sharp insights into the historiography but profound evidence of the interplay between identity and historical imagination.”
    Barbara Skinner
    Slavic Review

    Ukraine and Russia presents itself not only as a rich and meticulously argued work of scholarship, but also as an excitingly topical book likely to fascinate not only historians intent upon refining their models of the past, but general readers seeking to understand one of Europe’s most complex, and most uncertain, international relationships.”
    Marko Pavlyshyn
    Australian Slavonic and East European Studies

    “A priceless exploration of mythology’s role in historiography ... Plokhy tackles the sore issue of overlapping national narratives with commendable balance, discipline, and insight.”


    Anton Fedyashin
    European History Quarterly

    ‘This attractive and well written book deserves to be read attentively by historians, political scientists, and opinion formers in Ukraine, Russia, and the West.’
    Richard Abraham
    Russian Journal of Communication, vol. 3:1-2:2010

    ‘Only a senior scholar who has an easy familiarity with broad range of writings could have written this excellent book. Plokhy provides a sophisticated analysis of how Ukrainian and Russian historians have produced both similar and different histories and historiographies; of Ukrainian and Russian history.’
    Alexander J. Motyl
    Journal of Ukrainian Studies 33-34: 2008-2009
  • Author Information

    Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University.

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