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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 $85 so far.)

Readings in
Ukrainian History

We have been told recently that Ukraine is not a place, that Ukrainians are only rebellious peasants, that their language doesn't really exist, being some form of bastardized Russian (as officially stated by Russia in the baldest terms in 1863, for example) and that the country is a sort of gift of Russia, with no history of its own: a propagandistic falsification going back some three hundred years — but no less false for that — that would merely be a laughable absurdity in the face of the plainest evidence: were it not that such views have concrete effects, and as I write (2022) we can see these results in the flagrantly unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country, painful to Ukraine, and shameful to any Russian who would make those views their own.

So, doing my small part for historical truth, in which we might honorably disagree in many ways and in important ways, but not in our basic obligation to abstain from spreading wholesale lies, I am now committed to presenting materials that give a rounded view of the history of Ukraine and her people. These texts are in English, unless otherwise indicated; I list them in more or less chronological order by subject.


[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.]

American historian Clarence Manning's The Story of the Ukraine (1947) traces Ukrainian history from its medieval roots thru the region's invasion by Tatars and Russians, to the saga of the Kozaks, its subjugation by imperial Russia, and Ukraine's difficult reawakening in the twentieth century.

[ 28 webpages
— 306 pages of print, 4 photos, 1 map ]


[image ALT: zzz.]

Ukrainian historian Dmytro Doroshenko's Survey of Ukrainian Historiography (1957) is a massive bibliographical catalogue raisonné of thousands of historical works by Ukrainians and related writers on Ukrainian history, from the earliest Kievan Chronicle of the 9th century thru writers of the 20th century. Presented in chronological slices each consisting of an introductory essay followed by the bibliography proper, it's a comprehensive sourcebook of Ukrainian history. I haven't decided whether to put the entire work online, but good chunks of it are on their way.

[ for now: 10 webpages
— 56 pages of print, 1 photo ]


[image ALT: A head-and‑shoulders photograph, three-quarters right, of a balding man in late middle age. He wears a rather fierce expression, a walrus moustache, and a somewhat rumpled high-collared coat. He is Ukrainian poet, painter and patriot Taras Shevchenko; this image serves as the icon throughout my site for the book 'Taras Shevchenko Bard of Ukraine' by Dmytro Doroshenko.]

The life of Taras Shevchenko, the Ukrainian poet, painter, and patriot par excellence — the single most important historical figure if we are to understand Ukraine — is usefully outlined for the English-speaking reader by Ukrainian historian Dmytro Doroshenko in Taras Shevchenko, Bard of Ukraine.

[ 3 webpages
— 59 pages of print, 1 photograph ]


[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.]

In 1953, Clarence Manning published a more narrowly focused book, Ukraine under the Soviets, which covers in detail the genocidal policies of the Russian leader­ship of the Soviet Union in Ukraine: the mass deportations of the Ukrainian people, the war on Ukraine's language and culture, and the rape of her land and economic wealth.

[ 28 webpages
— 219 pages of print, unillustrated ]

Onsite link

I will be adding a few journal articles from time to time. Here is the first:

The Doctrine of Wilson and the Building of the Ukrainian National Republic



[image ALT: The stylized trident or tryzub of the Ukrainian national flag. This design serves to represent the section of my site on Ukrainian history.]

The icon I use for this subsite is a plain field with the national emblem of Ukraine, the tryzub, in the colors of her flag.


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Site updated: 23 Jun 22