The Ukrainians


You are viewing an older version of the Yalebooks website. Please visit out new website with more updated information and a better user experience:

Unexpected Nation
Fifth Edition, New Edition

Andrew Wilson

View Inside Format: Paper
Price: $20.00
Our shopping cart only supports Mozilla Firefox. Please ensure you're using that browser before attempting to purchase.

Also Available in:

As in many postcommunist states, politics in Ukraine revolves around the issue of national identity. Ukrainian nationalists see themselves as one of the world’s oldest and most civilized peoples, as “older brothers” to the younger Russian culture.Yet Ukraine became independent only in 1991, and Ukrainians often feel like a minority in their own country, where Russian is still the main language heard on the streets of the capital, Kiev. This book is a comprehensive guide to modern Ukraine and to the versions of its past propagated by both Russians and Ukrainians. Andrew Wilson provides the most acute, informed, and up-to-date account available of the Ukrainians and their country.

Concentrating on the complex relation between Ukraine and Russia, the book begins with the myth of common origin in the early medieval era, then looks closely at the Ukrainian experience under the tsars and Soviets, the experience of minorities in the country, and the path to independence in 1991. Wilson also considers the history of Ukraine since 1991 and the continuing disputes over identity, culture, and religion. He examines the economic collapse under the first president, Leonid Kravchuk, and the attempts at recovery under his successor, Leonid Kuchma. Wilson explores the conflicts in Ukrainian society between the country’s Eurasian roots and its Western aspirations, as well as the significance of the presidential election of November 1999.

Andrew Wilson is lecturer in Ukrainian studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College, London.

"A very readable, well-organized study. . . . An informative introduction to a complex subject."—Bohdan Klid, Canadian Journal of History

“Wilson calls his own approach deconstructivist but, unlike some deconstructivist works, this one is very readable and avoids overusing deconstructivist jargon. His approach results in a fresh, objective look at Ukrainian identity, which explores the many past and present possibilities that continue to confront this ‘unexpected nation’. . . . The importance of the book’s subject and the fresh look Wilson presents should lead all libraries to seriously consider its purchase.”—Choice

“The book makes for an interesting and provocative read, which will, one hopes, contribute to the Western understanding of what Ukraine is and why it matters.”—Volodymyr Kulyk, Harvard Ukrainian Studies

“A spirited and eminently learned investigation of who Ukranians say that they are, how they came to be so, and how others view them. . . . A comprehensive work incorporating a most impressive amount of data and analysis. Wilson skillfully uses the sweep of the past to make sense of present circumstances. . . . It packs in a great deal of deftly evaluated information. If you re add only one book of Ukraine, this should probably be it.”—Elizabeth Luchka Haigh, H-Net Reviews

“[A] sweeping introductory examination of Ukrainian identity and history. . . . An exceptional history, the kind that supplies not pat answers but food for thought within a lush context of documented and mythological past.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)



“This marvelous work examines Ukranian history and politics in light of the literature of the countries nationalism. . . . A perfect introduction to a fascinating culture: strongly recommended for all libraries.”—Library Journal

“A lively, detailed and eminently sensible exploration of who the Ukrainians are and why they are important, and it should become required reading for anyone with a serious interest in Eastern Europe.”—Literary Review

“This important book is elegantly written and rich in information from various sources, in inspiring insights and interpretations. . . . It is fascinating reading.”—Slavic Review

“In this excellent guide, Wilson charts the history of Ukrainian nationalism over the centuries, and examines the ways in which Ukrainians have understood their culture, myths, history, and politics as specifically Ukrainian. Wilson has succeeded admirably in providing a detailed and judicious study of the current ideas that make up Ukrainian national identity, and his work is sure to interest a wide range of scholars.”—Virginia Quarterly Review
ISBN: 9780300269406
Publication Date: November 8, 2022
480 pages, 6.125 x 9.25
77 b/w + 6 maps
Virtual Politics

Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World

Andrew Wilson

View details
The Ukrainians

Unexpected Nation
Fourth Edition

Andrew Wilson

View details

The Last European Dictatorship
New Edition

Andrew Wilson

View details