Serhii PlokhyOct 27, 2021
Essays on Ukraine's Past and Present
Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute 2021
Serhii Plokhy’s The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine’s Past and Present (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2021) includes discussions that focus on the major milestones of the history of Ukraine, ranging from the first ancient mentionings of the territory to the recent Russian military aggression against Ukraine. The book offers a concise and comprehensible commentary on the most contested and controversial issues, including the legacy of Kyivan Rus’, the Pereiaslav Agreement, historical and political representations of Ivan Mazepa, the formation and the collapse of the USSR, the Chornobyl disaster, and the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian war, to name but a few. Providing thoroughly researched materials, the essays are important contributions that enrich and detail the study of Ukraine; additionally, the book inscribes Ukraine into a broader, global historical and political context. In this regard, The Frontline is an invitation to think about Ukraine not only as a territory whose history was overshadowed for a long time by the overbearing presence of Russia, but also as a historical and political unit that participated in and propelled a number of changes that led to major geopolitical shifts that eventually entailed the transformation of how the region was perceived and understood at the local and global levels.
Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University.