The Gates of Europe by Serhii Plokhy

The Gates of Europe by Serhii Plokhy – A History of Ukraine – is a book I read to accompany the course Timothy Snyder gave at Yale and that is available online, alongside the reading list. I would have read this book regardless, as it is a must read history of Ukraine. Interestingly, when I was commuting to London for my studies, a lady in the train was reading the same book. I asked her views on the book and she said that she enjoys it, which she picked because of the war and her wanting to know more about the history of the country. She also said that she can only read a couple of chapters at a time because she usually reads fiction. I think a couple of chapters in one go is really good for someone who is not reading history books on a regular basis, so definitely a plus.

The Gates of Europe by Serhii Plokhy

The book is a bit over 400 pages long, but only 350 are on the history with the rest being notes and bibliography. So, it’s not a long book considering that it covers a history which is over 1,000 years old. The history is very interesting, starting with the Vikings and going up to the present day.

I took lots of notes and learned a lot from the book. I think it is well structured and interesting. For anyone who likes reading some non-fiction and is interested in Ukraine this is the book to read. I liked that he included some funny details, such as that the soviets wanted to have equal pay, as in everybody to get the same salary, which was quickly dropped for obvious reasons.

The Gates of Europe by Serhii Plokhy

Details about the picture: sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes!
Published by: Penguin
Year it was published: 2016
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History – Ukraine
Pages: 432

About the author: Serhii Plokhy is a Ukrainian and American historian. Plokhy is currently the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and Director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University, where he was also named Walter Channing Cabot Fellow in 2013. A leading authority on Eastern Europe, he has lived and taught in Ukraine, Canada, and the United States. He has published extensively in English, Ukrainian, and Russian. For three successive years (2002-2005) his books won first prize of the American Association for Ukrainian Studies.
Website & Social Media Links: –

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