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Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine [Paperback]

Reid
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 May 2000
In this finely written and penetrating book, Anna Reid combines research and her own experiences to chart Ukraines tragic past. Talking to peasants and politicians, rabbis and racketeers, dissidents and paramilitaries, survivors of Stalins famine and of Nazi labor camps, she reveals the layers of myth and propaganda that wrap this divided land. From the Polish churches of Lviv to the coal mines of the Russian-speaking Donbass, from the Galician shtetlech to the Tatar shantytowns of Crimea, the book explores Ukraines struggle to build itself a national identity, and identity that faces up to a bloody past, and embraces all the peoples within its borders. } Borderland tells the story of Ukraine. A thousand years ago it was the center of the first great Slav civilization, Kievan Rus. In 1240, the Mongols invaded from the east, and for the next seven centureies, Ukraine was split between warring neighbors: Lithuanians, Poles, Russians, Austrians, and Tatars. Again and again, borderland turned into battlefield: during the Cossack risings of the seventeenth century, Russias wars with Sweden in the eighteenth, the Civil War of 19181920, and under Nazi occupation. Ukraine finally won independence in 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Bigger than France and a populous as Britain, it has the potential to become one of the most powerful states in Europe.In this finely written and penetrating book, Anna Reid combines research and her own experiences to chart Ukraines tragic past. Talking to peasants and politicians, rabbis and racketeers, dissidents and paramilitaries, survivors of Stalins famine and of Nazi labor camps, she reveals the layers of myth and propaganda that wrap this divided land. From the Polish churches of Lviv to the coal mines of the Russian-speaking Donbass, from the Galician shtetlech to the Tatar shantytowns of Crimea, the book explores Ukraines struggle to build itself a national identity, and identity that faces up to a bloody past, and embraces all the peoples within its borders. }


Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; New edition edition (12 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813337925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813337920
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.1 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 210,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
UKRAINA is literally translated as 'on the edge' or 'borderland', and that is exactly what it is. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey Through the History of Ukraine 16 April 2014
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
With the Ukraine featuring so prominently in the news in the last few months, I decided that I was woefully uninformed about this country and its history. It seemed to be quite difficult to find histories of the Ukraine region specifically. I suppose partly that may be because Ukraine itself has not existed as a separate entity for much of its history, and partly because not many works may be written on the region in English. Either way, I was glad to find this book, written by a journalist who was the Kiev correspondent for the Economist and the Daily Telegraph, and who lived in Kiev for three years. Published first in 1999, this does not have the most up-to-date activities in the region, but nevertheless I felt offered a very great introduction to a region which has a very complex history of many ethnicities, cultures and politics.

The book narrates the Ukraine history from its earliest known beginnings, and the advent of the Scandinavians who became the Rus, but does it through the eyes of a modern observer visiting Ukrainian cities and places, so the history is interwoven into the current way of life and the current state of Ukraine and its towns and peoples. We travel from Kiev to Kamyanets Podilsky, to Donetsk and Odessa, to Lviv, Chernivsti and so on. This gives a real immediacy to the narrative which made it eminently readable, as well as remarkably informed and interesting. The author's interactions with people in the towns is recorded, and their impressions of their own history adds to the narration of facts and people.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History rather than Travel 14 Dec 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book thinking it was a travel book, expecting to find descriptions of mountains, forests and adventures with bears and strange people. Instead it is a comprehensive history of an eastern European crossroads, an area that has been involved in very many political expansions, empires and revolutions. I'd never before seen this important chunk of history centred on this part of the world; I was amazed at how Anna Reid's very readable account made sense of many events about which I'd previously read as peripheral events.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 4 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After reading this book I felt very emotional. Most of the featured events are not news for me, I was their at the time the book was published and had good post USSR history teachers. But this book is different because it is written by someone from the outside who is able to see a bigger picture and not blinded by feelings. Everything described very truthfully - the pretty and the ugly. A lot happened in Ukraine since. The journalist Gongandze was murdered, The Orange Revolution, the dioxin poisoning of Victor Yushchenko, the election of the currant embarrassing president and Julia Timoshenko's trial. I have been living in the UK for the last 10 years and would love to read more from a writer like Anna Reid on what the hell is going on there? Where is it all going? The western press is very brief, I don't trust ukrainian publications. Anna, PLEASE WRITE MORE!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grim history very well told 28 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was described by the Lonely Planet Guide to Ukraine, as ‘the most readable account of Ukraine’s history …… which neatly divides events into digestible chunks’. It certainly is very readable; grim history very well told.

In roughly 230 pages and ten chapters, Anna Reid takes the reader through the history of Ukraine and it’s people from earliest times to the 1990’s, when she was there as a journalist. She cleverly introduces each chapter in time with a description of her own visits to relevant places, beginning with Kiev and the Kievan Rus and eventually reaching Chernobyl and the 1986 nuclear disaster, then independence in 1991, by way of a geographical as well as a historical tour of Ukraine.

The region’s history is a long running one of extraordinary brutality and loss of life from the Mongol invasions of the thirteenth century to Stalin’s purges and the Nazi annihilations of the twentieth century. Yet there is continued humour, fortitude, patience and hope in its people and beautiful art in its religious places.

I found the story evocative, easy to read and very informative. The author appears to treat emotive issues in a fair and balanced way.

The book is very well researched and the sources systematically recorded. There is an adequate map and a chronology at the front, plus detailed notes and a bibliography at the back. It’s an excellent read and was a valuable companion during my recent visit: five star!

Tony Howard: May 2013.
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Format:Paperback
This book is a description of Ukraine by Anna Reid when she visited the country in the winter of 1993. Anna gives a good insight into the people of Ukraine, their thoughts, ideas and the poverty they have to endure.

The content of the book is very topical at this time since there is the political problem occuring in Ukraine at this moment with no end in sight at this moment.

This is a good introduction to the history of this country, but should be read alongside other newer books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Readable Background
Very readable. Definitely an addition to the Ukrainian history collection and an easy vacation read. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Debo
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really a history
Odd sort of combination of a wander round Ukraine with bits of history thrown in. Nice and easy to read but not really the one if you are looking for a history of Ukraine.
Published 15 months ago by Chris Winter
4.0 out of 5 stars A readable introduction to a subject on which there is not a lot of...
The author traveled extensively in the Ukraine shortly after its independence from the USSR. She provides an interesting introduction to the state of the country at that time along... Read more
Published 17 months ago by G E Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Bought this as had seen the other good reviews on Amazon. Lived up to the expectations and reviews. Was a really good and impartial view of life in the Ukraine going through its... Read more
Published 17 months ago by DaveM
4.0 out of 5 stars A beginner's guide
This book makes sense of Ukraine for the uninitiated. It is thoroughly readable. The approach is to separate the different parts of Ukraine, each of which has its own history,... Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by KR
4.0 out of 5 stars Really a Borderland
One of the best books I've read in a long time. A sympathetic account that covers the good and the bad; Kievan Rus, Batu Kahn, Poland /Lithuania, Austro Hungarian Galicia, Jews,... Read more
Published on 12 Jun 2011 by Baraniecki Mark Stuart
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful popular introduction to the history of Ukraine up to 1997
This is one of those books that if you write a review to it, you are bound to get counter-reviews from someone out there that belive you should have the same opinion on this book... Read more
Published on 6 Aug 2009 by Jan Øystein Thorsnæs
1.0 out of 5 stars Decidedly Disappointing--riddled with biased, subjective personal...
Looking at the cover of this book, I immediately thought to myself that this is not Ukraine--not as I know her! Read more
Published on 20 July 2008 by Yaroslava Benko
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