Borderland: A Journey Through the History of the Ukraine
by Anna Reid
Inspired and informed by the author's own experiences in Ukraine, this is a history of a politically and culturally rich collection of borderlands. ... Show synopsis Inspired and informed by the author's own experiences in Ukraine, this is a history of a politically and culturally rich collection of borderlands. The word "Ukraine" means "borderland" and, for most of its history, the lands that make up Ukraine have been a collection of other countries' borders. Split between Russia and Poland in the 18th century, between Austria and Russia in the 19th century and between Russia, Poland, Romania and Czechoslovakia between World War I and II, before being swallowed whole by the Soviet Union in 1945, Ukrainians have never, until 1991, known anything approaching a state of their own. Until the depradations of Stalin and Naziism, Ukraine was ethnically diverse: Russians, Poles and Jews lived in the cities; Crimea belonged to Muslim tartars, Greeks and Armenians; Boyks, Lemks and Hutsuls farmed the Ukrainian Carpathians. Their ghosts linger on in literature (Gogol, Bulgakov), language and in an architecture quite distincitve from that of Russia. Combining history, her own adventures in Ukraine and personal interviews, Anna Reid charts the tragic past of this land and the troubles inflicted upon it, and considers how a country builds itself up from scratch and creates a sense of national identity.