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The Gates of Europe


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About the Author

Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard and the director of the university's Ukrainian Research Institute. The author of numerous books, including the award-winning The Last Empire, for which he received the Lionel Gelber Prize, and Chernobyl, the recipient of the Baillie Gifford Prize, Plokhy lives in Burlington, Massachusetts.


Wall Street Journal "[An] exemplary account of Europe's least-known large country... one of the joys of reading the 'The Gates of Europe' is that what might seem a dense account of distant events involving unfamiliar places and people is leavened by aphorism and anecdote." Financial Times "An assured and authoritative survey that spans ancient Greek times to the present day." The Economist "[An] admirable new history... belief in Ukraine's history of tolerance and legality, rooted in European Christian civilisation, keeps hope alive. In his elegant and careful exposition of Ukraine's past, Mr Plokhy has also provided some signposts to the future." Foreign Affairs "No one can understand today's sad, tangled confrontation over Ukraine without some knowledge of the complex, crosscutting influences that have shaped eastern Europe over the millennia. For that history, readers can find no better place to turn than Plokhy's new book... Plokhy navigates the subject with grace and aplomb." Washington Post "A vigorous polemic in the classical sense of that word -- a sharply focused argument in support of a debatable point of view. Washington Times "[A] concise, highly readable history of Ukraine... a lively narrative peopled with a colorful cast of Norse and Mongol marauders, free-booting Cossacks, kings, conquerors and dictators, and conflicted 19th century intellectuals who believed fervently in a Ukrainian cultural identity but were fatally divided as to how that cultural identity could evolve into national entity." New York Review of Books "Elegantly written." Publishers Weekly "Injecting appropriate nuance and complexity into a single-volume overview of 2,000 years of Ukrainian history is no small task, but Plokhy approaches this charge with dexterity and skill... Plokhy's work serves as a welcome introduction to Ukraine's ethnic and national history." Library Journal "The timeframe and subjects covered here are extraordinary...students, academics, and readers with a general knowledge of Ukraine will appreciate. Alternatively, chapters can be read independently, allowing those with a strong interest in the subject to focus on a specific era of Ukraine's history." Independent, UK "A masterly surveyor of Ukrainian history." Winnipeg Free Press, CAN "A comprehensive, unbiased history." Ukrainian Weekly "Buy this book...Give copies to your children and grandchildren. Buy copies for your friends. Make sure they read it." Kirkus Reviews "A sympathetic survey of the history of Ukraine along the East-West divide, from ancient divisions to present turmoil... A straightforward, useful work that looks frankly at Ukraine's ongoing "price of freedom" against the rapacious, destabilizing force of Russia." Norman M. Naimark, Stanford University "For a comprehensive, engaging, and up-to-date history of Ukraine one could do no better than Serhii Plokhy's aptly titled The Gates of Europe. Plokhy's authoritative study will be of great value to scholars, students, policy-makers, and the informed public alike in making sense of the contemporary Ukrainian imbroglio." Michael Ignatieff, Harvard Kennedy School of Government "This is present-minded history at its most urgent. Anyone wanting to understand why Russia and the West confront each other over the future of Ukraine will want to read Serhii Plokhy's reasoned, measured yet passionate account of Ukraine's historic role at the gates of Europe." Peter Pomerantsev, author of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible "Finally: a compelling and concise history of a country leading the news but which too many know embarrassingly little about. There are no more excuses for ignorance." Andrew Wilson, Professor of Ukrainian Studies at University College London "Serhii Plokhy has produced a perfect new history of Ukraine for these troubled times--authoritative and innovative, but always clear and accessible, and a delight to read."

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