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Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grim history very well told, 28 May 2013
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This review is from: Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine (Paperback)
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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