Magazine article Foreign Affairs

The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution/Putin's War against Ukraine: Revolution, Nationalism, and Crime

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution/Putin's War against Ukraine: Revolution, Nationalism, and Crime

Article excerpt

The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution BY MARCI SHORE. Yale University Press, 2018, 320 pp.

Putin's War Against Ukraine: Revolution, Nationalism, and Crime BY TARAS KUZIO. Self-published, 2017, 490 pp.

These two books take radically different approaches to exploring Ukraine's dramatic recent history. Shore's book is written at the deepest human level and is built on the testimony of those who participated in the 2014 revolution that rocked Ukraine or who experienced firsthand the war in the eastern part of the country known as the Donbas, which broke out in the aftermath of the revolution. In the first half of the book, Shore shares the vivid accounts of those who took part in the Maidan uprising and their reflections on how the drama redefined their lives and the bleak realities of Ukraine. The second half records the simple but searing thoughts and impulses of those who fought or were caught up in the war. Most of them were on the Ukrainian side; those who came from the proRussian separatist regions provide homely but telling insights into what the war meant to them and the people among whom they grew up. Literature offers added resonance: for Shore, echoes from novels and short stories run through the tales she hears; for some of those who lived through these events, poetry was a sustaining force. …

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