The Near Abroad: Socialist Eastern Europe and Soviet Patriotism in Ukraine, 1956-1985

By Zbigniew Wojnowski

© 2017

From the Soviet perspective, Eastern Europe was the near abroad – more accessible than the capitalist West, yet also unambiguously foreign. Observing their western neighbours, citizens of the USSR developed new ideas about the role of states, borders, and national identities in the Soviet empire.

In The Near Abroad, Zbigniew Wojnowski traces how Soviet Ukrainian identities developed in dialogue and confrontation with the USSR’s neighbours in Eastern Europe. The author aptly challenges the dominant chronologies of late Soviet history by arguing that patriotism framed heated debates about the future of the Soviet state even amongst the rising tide of cynicism and disengagement from public life. Wojnowski’s insightful analysis illuminates the mental geographies that continue to shape relations and conflicts between Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe to this very day. Unlike most other histories of Ukraine, The Near Abroad does not reduce Ukrainian nationalism to anti-Soviet views and behaviours.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 344 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.0in x 9.3in
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Quick Overview

In The Near Abroad, Zbigniew Wojnowski traces how Soviet Ukrainian identities developed in dialogue and confrontation with the USSR’s neighbours in Eastern Europe.

The Near Abroad: Socialist Eastern Europe and Soviet Patriotism in Ukraine, 1956-1985

By Zbigniew Wojnowski

© 2017

From the Soviet perspective, Eastern Europe was the near abroad – more accessible than the capitalist West, yet also unambiguously foreign. Observing their western neighbours, citizens of the USSR developed new ideas about the role of states, borders, and national identities in the Soviet empire.

In The Near Abroad, Zbigniew Wojnowski traces how Soviet Ukrainian identities developed in dialogue and confrontation with the USSR’s neighbours in Eastern Europe. The author aptly challenges the dominant chronologies of late Soviet history by arguing that patriotism framed heated debates about the future of the Soviet state even amongst the rising tide of cynicism and disengagement from public life. Wojnowski’s insightful analysis illuminates the mental geographies that continue to shape relations and conflicts between Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe to this very day. Unlike most other histories of Ukraine, The Near Abroad does not reduce Ukrainian nationalism to anti-Soviet views and behaviours.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 344 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.0in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘Wojnowski’s book is an excellent tool for better understanding recent (post-1989) historical and political relations between Ukraine and Poland.’


    T.R. Weeks
    Choice Magazine vol 55:05:2018

    "Behind the filter of Soviet rhetoric…Wojnowski restores voices, representing a spectrum of attitudes, often complex and ambiguous. The result is an original, balanced, and well-organized work, a significant contribution to our understanding of the late Soviet period and the field of Ukrainian studies."


    Per Anders Rudling, Lund University
    Slavic Review, vol 78 no 2

    "Wojnowski frames his monograph in a way that encourages scholars to see Soviet Ukraine the way politically savvy Soviet Ukrainians saw it, as a bulwark of Sovietness confronting a sea of suspicious Central Europeans on its borders. This perspective is important not only because it persists in today’s Ukraine but also because it has been largely overlooked by scholars who, like many in the Soviet center, could never quite take Ukraine’s proclamations of Soviet loyalty at face value. Wojnowski’s study forces scholars to examine their own stereotypes about Soviet Ukraine by seeing it through the eyes of its not at all silent Soviet loyal majority."


    Kathryn David
    Ab Imperio

    "The Near Abroad is a brave book that makes bold claims. Marshalling and triangulating a wide range of sources, Zbigniew Wojnowski provides an informed and honest analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of those sources and how he works with them. The Near Abroad will be useful to those students, scholars, and members of the public alike, who want to understand the forces that forged today’s Ukraine, its relations with its neighbours, and its relationship with the West.


    Tracy McDonald, Associate Professor of History, McMaster University

    "In The Near Abroad, Zbigniew Wojnowski traces today’s crisis in Ukraine to late Soviet policies and politics, including an original use of the now familiar term ‘near abroad’ and the mobilization of World War II-era political labels like fascism. His conscious insistence not to treat Soviet Ukraine within the paradigm of Soviet nationality policies is a testament to the author’s originality."


    Mark von Hagen, Professor of History, Arizona State University
  • Author Information

    Zbigniew Wojnowski is an associate professor in the Department of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Nazarbayev University.

  • Table of contents

    Illustrations

    Acknowledgements

    Abbreviations

    Note on Spelling and Transliteration

    Introduction

    One: De-Stalinisation and Soviet Patriotism: Ukrainian Reactions to East European Unrest in 1956

    Two: Friendship in the Soviet Empire: Salvaging International Socialism in Eastern Europe after 1956

    Three: The Limits of de-Stalinisation: The Prague Spring and the End of the Thaw in 1968

    Four: Making Enemies: Historical Memory and the Ethnic Foundations of Soviet Patriotism in Ukraine, 1968-1980

    Chapter Five: A prelude to perestroika: Solidarity and Soviet Patriotism, 1980-1985

    Epilogue: Legacies of Soviet Patriotism in Ukraine

    Bibliography

    Index

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