A rich, multifaceted and complex account of Ukraine’s often tumultuous and tragic past, along with its newly minted...

AN ORANGE REVOLUTION

A PERSONAL JOURNEY THROUGH UKRAINIAN HISTORY

Scrupulous chronicle of Ukraine’s successful and bloodless mass demonstration, which in late 2004 proved that protest and civil disobedience can topple a corrupt regime.

In his first book, veteran journalist Krushelnycky captures the real-time suspense of a story whose outcome we already know by vividly characterizing the multiple parties and perspectives involved. We see the view from Putin’s Kremlin; from inside then-presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko’s camp; from Independence Square with Pora, the youth-centered opposition organization instrumental in organizing the first protests; and abreast of various figures and characters who formed the jigsaw puzzle of participation in or around Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution.” Krushelnycky successfully navigates rapid-fire narrative shifts between these groups by continually making connections between action and reaction, cause and effect. The book is not solely a political history, however. The son of Ukrainians who emigrated separately to England after World War II and married there in 1952, Krushelnycky also tells the story of his family’s participation in the fight for national unity and independence, providing a comprehensive history of Ukraine from World War I onward. Firsthand reporting and interviews with major players in the 2004 uprising combine to make a compelling case for the Ukrainians’ need to take to the streets to secure democratic rights. The author examines the failed assassination of Yushchenko and paints a technicolor portrait of the students, war veterans and intelligentsia who came to the capital in Kyiv to test their mettle by standing up to both a corrupt Ukrainian government and Soviet hegemony. He also shows the utter arrogance and contempt for ordinary citizens of Ukraine’s ruling party, “tight communist networks mutated into powerful oligarchic clans where government, corrupt business and organised crime intersected.”

A rich, multifaceted and complex account of Ukraine’s often tumultuous and tragic past, along with its newly minted democratic ideals.

Pub Date: July 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-436-20623-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Harvill Secker/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2008

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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