Ukraine’s Orange Revolution


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Andrew Wilson

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A close-up account of the 2004 popular revolution in Ukraine, and what it means

The remarkable popular protest in Kiev and across Ukraine following the cooked presidential election of November 2004 has transformed the politics of eastern Europe. Andrew Wilson witnessed the events firsthand and here looks behind the headlines to ascertain what really happened and how it will affect the future of the region.

It is a dramatic story: an outgoing president implicated via secret tape-recordings in corruption and murder; a shadowy world of political cheats and manipulators; the massive covert involvement of Putin’s Russia; the poisoning of the opposition challenger; and finally the mass protest of half a million Ukrainians that forced a second poll and the victory of Viktor Yushchenko.

As well as giving an account of the election and its aftermath, the book examines the broader implications of the Orange Revolution and of Russia’s serious miscalculation of its level of influence. It explores the likely chain reaction in Moldova, Belarus, and the nervous autocracies of the Caucasus, and points to a historical transformation of the geopolitics of Eurasia.

Andrew Wilson is senior lecturer in Russian and Ukrainian studies at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies, University of London. He is author of The Ukrainians and Virtual Politics: Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World, both published by Yale University Press. 

“Wilson has a rare ability to penetrate beneath the often misleading surface of politics and discover the deeper patterns and processes at work.”—Anatol Lieven, author of America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism and Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power

"[A] first-class scholarly and educational achievement. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice

"...[a] well-researched book... Wilson's detailed presentation of the darker side of Kuchmism offers a valuable sense of perspective." - Stuart Hensel, Literary Review

"It gives the reader a thrilling ride through the rough and tumble of the Ukraine's dirty, chaotic, sometimes bizarre but never dull Ukrainian political landscape... Andrew Wilson is not afraid to be direct - which will increase this book's appeal to the non-specialist reader."---The Tablet

"There is a clear need for an instant history of the Orange Revolution, and Andrew Wilson's detailed and comprehensive study fills the gap admirably." - Iain Elliot, Times Literary Supplement

“The book captures the drama of the events…and gets under the surface… The book does not simplify things – the reader will certainly see events in the Ukraine in all their hues and tints, certainly not in black and white. Such a multi-coloured vision is particularly important… Ukraine’s Orange Revolution is not a dry read – true, it is a history book, with lots of sources, references and illustrations, but parts of it read like a detective story. This may ruffle some purists, but with his new book on Ukraine, Andrew Wilson again demonstrates a deep knowledge and insight into the country’s politics and history. He succeeds in explaining why the ‘Orange Revolution’ and Ukraine as a country matter, in both the regional context and for Europe as a wider entity.” - Olexiy Solohubenko, International Affairs

"An excellent book . . . likely to become the standard source for what actually happened in the Orange Revolution. . . . This is an outstanding analysis of the Orange Revolution and a wonderful presentation and sound critical scrutiny of its many underlying facts. It is also an exciting read."—Slavic Review

"A densely packed yet easily digested narrative of the Orange Revolution which will be of interest to political scientists, historians, and Slavic literary scholars alike. . . . Wilson's mastery of the intricacies of Ukrainian politics and knowledge of the language and cultural geography of the Ukraine is apparent in every passage."—Daniel C. Villanueva, Rocky Mountain Review

Winner of the 2005 Alec Nove Prize awarded by the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies

Selected as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2006 by Choice Magazine
ISBN: 9780300112900
Publication Date: January 12, 2006
256 pages, 6.125 x 9.25
12 b/w illus.
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