The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.
June’s Book of the month is a ten-volume history of Ukraine by its first President, Mikhailo Hrushevsky (1866 – 1934), and translated into English during the 1990s.
History of Ukraine-Rus’
Mykhailo Hrushevsky ; translated by Marta Skorupsky ; edited by Andrzej Poppe, and Frank E. Sysyn ; with the assistance of Uliana M. Pasicznyk.
All 10 volumes are available to order from the Bodleian Closed Stacks to the SSL, to consult in the library.
It was chosen because Hrushevsky’s inspired and meticulous work demonstrates the power of rigorous scholarship to counteract attempts at cultural erasure.
Hrushevsky set out to write the history of the Ukrainian people during the 1890s, at a time when the Russian Imperial state forbade the publication of Ukrainian-language texts, and even the use of the word ‘Ukraine’. He concentrated on the history of ordinary people, rather than the Imperial elites – and he used every source and methodology he could find, including the new discipline of Sociology. His writing was so careful and detailed that his ten volumes reach only to the seventeenth century – while his lifelong dedication to his project was such that he continued working on it despite arrest, exile and illness.
The History of Ukraine-Rus’ charts the formation and ongoing history of the Ukrainian people, rebutting claims from a succession of Tsarist, Soviet and Russian historians and politicians that the Ukrainian people never really existed prior to the Soviet Union. Hrushevsky’s meticulous scholarship demonstrates the inaccuracy of these accounts, as it also presents sources that are now unavailable, after the destructions of the twentieth century. This book stands as testament both to the continuity of Ukrainian history, and to the political power of detailed, accurate academic work.
‘Hrushevsky’s combination of objectivity and optimism motivated his impressive scholarly productivity. His History stands as a lasting monument both to his scholarship and to his devotion to Ukraine. One can only applaud its wider dissemination…’
Charles J. Halperin, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Bloomington Indiana.
How can I access it?
All 10 volumes of this title are available to order up from the Bodleian Closed Stacks to consult in our library.
What would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.