ebook / ISBN-13: 9781399609180

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 29th September 2022

Genre: Humanities / History / Regional & National History / European History

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‘A fascinating and often violent odyssey, spanning more than 1,000 years of conflict and culture’

Flat, fertile, and fatally tempting to invaders, for centuries Ukraine was fought over by more powerful neighbours. Though its modern national movement dates back to the early nineteenth century, it did not win real independence until 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Since then, Ukrainians have proved themselves one of the world’s most remarkable nations. In 2014 mass demonstrations forced out a corrupt pro-Russian president. Russia responded by invading, first seizing Crimea and the eastern Donbass, and then in February 2022 marching on Kyiv. With Western help, Ukraine is fighting back. But in what form it will emerge from the war – the bloodiest in Europe since 1945 – remains to be seen.

For this fourth edition of her classic history, Anna Reid returns to the scene. Talking to refugees, politicians and victims of widespread Russian war crimes, she adds a new chapter to the complex biography of a country on the frontline of the conflict between democracy and dictatorship.


Beautifully written and lovingly researched ... This book brims with colourful historical personalities ... The mixture of travelogue, history, political analysis and anecdote makes Anna Reid's account a highly digestible popular introduction to the tragic plight of a country whose very name means "Borderland". "The West ... had difficulty taking Ukraine seriously at all," she writes. Her first (and I hope not her last) book is a noble and praiseworthy attempt to correct this gross historical injustice
Daily Telegraph
Gripping history ... [Reid] writers with authority having lived for three years in Kiev as a reporter ... [she] is remarkably clear-headed about the many competing versions of Ukraine's history and its mostly invented heroes. A wise and generous government in Kiev would give her a medal
The Times
A compelling and improbably enjoyable read ... Despite its problems [Reid] says, the country has the potential to be one of Europe's greatest states
The Scotsman
A beautifully written evocation of Ukraine's brutal past and its shaky efforts to construct a better future ... Reid succeeds in vividly conjuring up dozens of little-know heroes and villains of Ukrainian history ... Reid summons up the rogues and poets of Ukraine's past with a deft touch, but her real theme is the tragedy which has been Ukraine's lot for much of its history ... Borderland is a tapestry woven of the stories of all its inhabitants, recording their triumphs and their conflicts with the fairness of a compassionate outsider
Financial Times
Anne Reid ... has sharp vision and an enquiring mind which launched her on a journey through the country's history to help her make sense of what she saw. Often controversial but never stuffy, she takes her reader at the same time on a tour of Ukraine, relating past events to a modern context ... [she] proves herself an astute observer of the Ukrainian scene
This book takes the reader on a fascinating and often violent odyssey, spanning more than 1,000 years of conflict and culture. Reid covers events from the coming of the Vikings, to Stalin's purges and beyond to the independence celebrations of 19991. She translates her obvious mastery of her subject into an accessible work, which should enrich the experience of any traveller to this new country
Independent on Sunday