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Bill Thayer

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Public service message, 24 Feb 22: A Ukrainian historical researcher who has contributed to this site has advised me that The Ukrainian Red Cross Society is accepting donations from abroad in relief of civilian populations in Ukraine and persons displaced due to the Russian war against that country, and has set up a page for those wishing to donate. (And yes, I've donated a bit myself, about $350 thru Oct 2023.)

The Story of the Ukraine

Clarence Manning

The Book and the Author

Clarence Augustus Manning (1893‑1972), Ph. D. 1915 Columbia University, and professor in that University for forty years, chairman of its Slavic Department for half of that, devoted most of his life to Slavic studies, and in particular the history and literature of Slavic peoples beyond Russia, concentrating more especially on Ukraine. His Oct. 7, 1972 obituary in Svoboda, the Ukrainian weekly of North America, reads in part:

non-conformist for his times, Professor Manning challenged the pro-Russian school of historiography in this country and persisted in a crusading spirit to publish scholar­ly works that eventually opened the field of study to other Slavic peoples. He published a series of thought-provoking articles and books on the history and literature of Ukraine, as well as studies on the history of Bulgarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Byelorussians, Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

The book transcribed here is the most general of those works, and aims at undoing the Russian view that Ukraine was a sort of subsidiary appendage of Mother Russia. The fact that Ukraine was invaded and partitioned by her neighbours Russia and Poland, and that her nationhood was consequently submerged for several hundred years, does not somehow cancel the equally undoubted fact that Ukraine was not an appendage of Russia but on the contrary the core of greater Rus′: in effect the parent and mentor of Russia in that country's formative stages. That Russian imperialism, first under Peter the Great then under Catherine the Great, succeeded in colonizing many independent peoples on Russia's borders, each with their own proud identity and history (often older than that of Russia) and that Russian state propaganda has continued to downplay the identities of those colonized peoples, does not make the Russian thesis true.

All of which might be considered purely academic were it not for its consequences. As we have now seen, such a false view of history provided the principal ammunition and intellectual underpinning for Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Vladimir Putin's speech in the first days of that invasion, in which he said among other things that Ukraine was not even a country, and that her very existence and territory was a creation of Russia, struck many people in the West as sheer lunacy, being described in some quarters of the Western press as a "rant": but he was merely restating the long-held standard Russian viewpoint — that for many years has been more or less accepted in the West. It is thanks in part to the dissemination of such views that Russia has become the most success­ful colonial power in history (and in part to the fact that its colonies are contiguous with Russia, unlike those for example of Britain and France, whose colonialism has long been much more apparent).

For readers in a hurry, chapters 2, 8, and 25 of Prof. Manning's book redress the balance, and show how Russia has ensured her subjugation of Ukraine at different periods of that country's history; but of course the book, carefully researched and soberly written, is well worth reading in its entirety.

A note on the book's title is in order. As most of us know, the correct form of speech is "Ukraine" — not "the Ukraine", which latter, here too, is the work of Russian and Soviet propaganda (see Kathryn Graber's excellent explanation at Sapiens.Org); and our author is well aware of the difference and uses the correct form, except for two slips on p51 and p286. His book's title, however, is The Story of the Ukraine: I can only lay it to the publishers and I imagine Prof. Manning must have been unhappy about it.

For technical details on how this site is laid out, see below, following the Table of Contents.

 (p5)  Table of Contents





Rus′ and Ukraine


Kievan Rus′


The Cultural Revival


The Kozaks


Bohdan Khmelnitsky


The Revolt of Mazepa


The Spread of Kievan Culture in Moscow


The Last Acts in Poland


The End of Kozak Liberties


Ukraine at the End of the Eighteenth Century


The Awakening in Eastern Ukraine


The Society of Saints Cyril and Methodius


The Revival in Galicia


Progress in Russia


Developments in Western Ukraine


Between Revolution and War


The First World War


Ukrainian Independence


Foreign Relations


The Republic of Western Ukraine


The Fall of Ukraine


Western Ukraine




The Ukrainian Soviet Republic


Ukraine in World War II


The Future of Ukraine


Technical Details


In addition to a general map of Ukraine and surrounding countries that serves as a frontispiece, the printed book includes four illustrations, not the best quality, on single glossy pages inserted between the first and second signatures (after p32) and the second and third (p64); their placement has no connection with the text, and in this web transcription I've moved them to suitable places. I wouldn't be surprised if the publishers had originally projected inserting illustrations between all the signatures but abandoned the scheme due either to lack of funds or an editorial failure to come up with suitable illustrations in time, but that's just a bit of speculation on my part.

The printed book has no table of illustrations. Here is mine:

Map of Ukraine


Taras Shevchenko in 1840


Prof. Michael Hrushevsky


St. Volodymyr and St. Olha


The Zaporozhian Kozaks writing a letter to the Sultan


Edition Used and Copyright

The text I transcribed is that of the first and maybe only edition, © 1947 "By Philosophical Library, Inc." but the copyright was not renewed in 1974/75 as then required by American law to maintain it, so that the book is now in the public domain: details here on the copyright law involved.

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line); p57  these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.


As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

My transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree; a red background would mean that the page had not been proofread. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The printed book was well proofread. There were no serious mistakes (bearing in mind that I'm not an expert in Slavic geographical or personal names); the few errors were trivial, and I marked them with a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the underscored words to read what was actually printed. Similarly, glide your cursor over bullets before measurements: they provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

Some odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic  in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked. They are also few.

Any over­looked mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.

[image ALT: An outline map of Ukraine. The image serves as the icon on this site for the book 'The Story of the Ukraine' by Clarence Manning.]

Since none of the printed book's five illustrations is suitably general for the purpose, the icon I use to indicate this subsite is the obvious one, taking my cue from the map that serves as the book's frontispiece: a more readable outline map of Ukraine, in her national colors.

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Site updated: 25 Apr 22